Megan Tierney Stangohr GWRTC 103 #0004 Breneman April 21, 2010 Extra Credit Assignment: Nightmares, Demons, and Slaves The event that I attended this week was a lecture given by Dr. Sarah Tracy from Arizona State University about the effects of workplace bullying. The lecture was very interesting, and Dr. Tracy gave us lots of insightful information about how to avoid or deal with bullying in the office. When looking at all the outside lectures and speeches JMU offers us, it is truly amazing that the school administration is so focused on the student body being able to learn not only inside the classroom, but outside the classroom as well. When Dr. Tracy began her speech she spoke a little bit about her background, and after that she went onto discuss how she got to where she is in her field. The subfield of communication that she studies is the field of organizational communication. Some of the things that Dr. Tracy spoke about were how she had the opportunity to go behind the scenes and into a specific work environment in order to conduct her research. She did this so that she could get a better understanding of what was going on in the work environment. One of the occupations she held was a cruise director where she observed the interaction among coworkers, management, and all other professional relationships on the cruise ship. This is very interesting to me, especially since I’m studying in the School of Communications at JMU. I find it fascinating that Dr. Tracy used some of the research methods that we have discussed in my SCOM classes this year. One of the main points that she brought up when discussing her research was that she always found different answers based on how the research was being collected or tested. After talking about her background information, Dr. Tracy defined workplace bullying, and gave some common example that she came across in her research. The definition of workplace bullying defined by Dr. Tracy is, ongoing negative interaction at work. Some examples of this can include; information being withheld, a workload that is not manageable, work given out that is below competence level, impossible deadlines, and the most harmful is being ridiculed for work being done. Although these examples may seem obvious it was amazing to me that so many people don’t think that these examples can be classified as bullying. After explaining what workplace bullying was, there was information given to us about what the bullying process feels like and how to help prevent this issue. The information shared from this lecture had a lot to do with some of the subject that we learned in GWRTC 103. When Dr. Tracy first got up to begin her speech she gave her background information in order to develop her credibility, and show us that she was a real communication studies researcher. She also did some activities in order for us to think about what exactly she was trying to explicate. Metaphors were also used so we as an audience could understand some of the more difficult topics she was explaining. This experience enriched my life in many ways. First, since I’m studying in the field of communication listening to other professors speak about what they do in the field is intriguing. Since I’m only a freshman I still have to decide what concentration inside the major I want to study, and listening to all the different types of occupations one can have after studying communications and what the people that are at the highest in this field do with their education is interesting to me. Another way that this presentation enhanced my life is because I learned something new. We typically don’t study such specific issues in class, and it is fun to learn more about social issues that aren’t broadcasted over the news ever night. The issue of workplace bullying is a real issue especially if you are the person being bullied. With that being said, overall I think that this lecture was very informative, and I learned a lot from it. When looking back at the different things Dr. Tracy spoke about in her lecture it is safe to say that I learned many things, and will be able to take the things that I learned and apply it to my life in the future. Having a professor from such a prestigious and well-known school speak at JMU allows us as students to continue to grow and succeed outside of the classroom.