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You’re just wrapping up the Teams video meeting with your international colleagues to discuss the next section of your collaborative report – the meeting you scheduled earlier in this case.

In the last few minutes of your meeting, your colleagues Nico, from the Munich office, and Riya, from the Bengaluru office, send you private messages, asking if you can stick around for a few minutes after the meeting to discuss an issue. Nico and Riya are, like you, entry-level research analysts. You’ve been working closely with Nico and Riya ever since you started at MCC eighteen months ago, and since then you’ve developed a friendly, trusting relationship.

As the meeting ends and the rest of your colleagues disconnect from the Teams video meeting, you ask Nico and Riya what they would like to talk about. Both of them look reluctant to speak. Finally, Riya describes the issue. “It’s Kevin,” she says, referring to an entry-level research analyst at the London office. “He’s been saying some … inappropriate things.”

Emboldened by Riya’s comment, Nico joins the conversation. “He won’t stop making comments to me about the World Wars! Remember when I made that trip to visit our client in Brussels? He sent me an email reminding me not to invade Belgium! And every time I ask him to do something, he writes back and says ‘Sure, just please don’t blitz me with emails!’”

“And with me,” Riya continues, “he’s always singing these made-up Bollywood songs during our one-on-one meetings! He can’t even be bothered to learn real ones! He just sings these ridiculous love songs and does these terrible dances. It’s actually quite embarrassing!”

You sit quietly as you process this information.

“I don’t think Kevin means to be unkind,” says Nico.

“No,” Riya interjects, “I think he finds these jokes funny. He’s ‘taking the piss,’ or whatever British people say. But it’s annoying! And can you imagine? What if he said something like this to a client? It would be a disaster!”

You nod. “Well, should we go to Marta or HR about this situation?” you ask.

“Goodness, no!” Riya exclaims. “We don’t even want the senior analysts to know about these behaviors! That’s why we’re coming to you. Kevin is not a bad person. But he needs to know that he can’t talk to his coworkers like we’re at a social gathering.”

“So what do you think we should do?” you ask.

“Please just talk to him,” Nico replies. “If Riya and I try to talk to him, it might just make matters worse. I don’t want him to think that I’m just another humorless German. But if you talk to him – if he knows that you, as an outsider, take this matter seriously – he might be more likely to listen.”

Eager to help your colleagues, you reassure Nico and Riya that you’ll talk to Kevin. To address this situation, you decide that a one-on-one Teams video meeting would be the best way to address this situation. So, you send Kevin an email, requesting his availability for a brief meeting. In this email, you hint at the issue with Nico and Riya and make a brief case for why Kevin should behave differently. You then pull out a notebook and jot down some persuasive talking points for your meeting. Having initiated this process, you take a deep breath and sip your coffee. This chat is going to be uncomfortable, but you know it’s for the best.

 

Assignment Instructions

Assignment Instructions

Send a routine / persuasive email and outline a persuasive argument. These writing tasks should correspond to the tasks that appear in the Scenario Update above.

In your first message, you will send a routine / persuasive email to Kevin. In this email, you should ask Kevin if he’s available for a brief meeting, hint at the issue with Nico and Riya, and identify one of Kevin’s problems / needs that you seek to address during your meeting. To be clear: in this message, you do not need to make a robust, persuasive case for why Kevin should alter his behavior. You should, however, give Kevin a broad sense of what you plan to discuss during the meeting and how, generally speaking, this meeting will benefit him. Giving him a preview of the meeting’s focus will ensure that he is not blindsided by your comments. It will also help prime him in favor of your arguments.

Your email should:

· Contain a strong, action-oriented subject line

· Blend elements of routine and persuasive message structure

· More specifically, it should begin with a clear call-to-action (i.e. your meeting invitation), then proceed to identify how this meeting will help address a problem or need that Kevin faces

· Provide a clear sense of your availability and propose 2-3 realistic, considerate meeting times

· Specify the medium in which you would like to meet (i.e. via Teams)

· Translate your meeting time into your reader’s local time zone

· Indicate that you will follow-up your email with a calendar invite containing meeting logistics

· Adhere to all of the 4-C style principles

· Use block formatting to make the document visually appealing

· Conclude with specific, personalized goodwill and a call-to-action

In your persuasive argument outline, you will plan the arguments that you will use during your Teams video meeting with Kevin. This argument should aim at persuading Kevin to alter his behavior toward Nico and Riya. To be clear, this outline is for your eyes only; Kevin will not see this document. Nevertheless, you should use this document to rehearse the kinds of arguments and talking points you hope to use during your conversation with Kevin.

Your outline should:

· Open by identifying how Kevin’s behavior is creating a problem, not just for Nico and Riya, but for Kevin as well (in other words, you should identify how Kevin’s jokes are failing to produce their desired outcome)

· Propose a solution to this problem

· For instance, you might ask Kevin to avoid these kinds of jokes altogether, you might encourage him to channel his sense of humor in a less offensive direction, or your might encourage him to pursue his goals by some means other than humor

· Identify 2-3 arguments / persuasive appeals supporting your proposal

· This section must include at least one logos appeal, but it may include other kinds of persuasive appeals

· This section should clearly indicate how your proposed solution will help Kevin achieve his goals

· Specify how you plan to establish goodwill and trust with Kevin during this conversation

· Propose concrete next steps for how to begin remedying this situation