Information:  this a very large management consulting company.  There are two participants Ahmad (the manager) and Mustapha (the secretary).  There is a big problem here. 


Try to think about the following questions as you read.


1) What are their personalities (Filters of the mind) as communicators?

2) What is the major problem and how is it being solved at first?

3) How would YOU solve the problem if you were Mustapha?  Ahmad?

4) Would it make a difference if Ahmad were older, or if Mustapha were older?



Scene:  Mustapha had just sat down at his desk.  It’s 7:30 am, Saturday morning, when his boss Ahmad rushes into the office.



“Mustapha!!! Have you finished the report I asked you to do?”

“Report?  what report was that, Mr. Ahmad?”

“Yes, a report.  I asked you for a short report on the Al-Fulaan factory personnel problem.  Don’t you remember it Mustapha?  I asked you two weeks ago to do it.”

“Oh, yes . . . I think I remember it, Mr. Ahmad.”

“THINK you remember it ????  I need it NOW!!!  I have a meeting in 30 minutes with the personnel director of Al-Fulaan and some very important managers.  You mean to tell me you don’t have it ready for me?  Ya Allah!!!”

“Well, Mr. Ahmad, why didn’t you tell me you needed it THIS morning?”

“I told you two weeks ago I needed it soon, Mustapha.  Soon means this morning!”

“How was I supposed to know that soon meant this morning?”

“Listen, Mustapha, any DONKEY could have understood what I meant. doesn’t soon mean to complete an assignment in a couple of days?”

{Mustapha responds and answers very quickly}  “When I was working for Mr. Ibrahim in the purchasing department here, he always told me the exact date and time he wanted anything done by me.  And he NEVER called me a donkey!”

[After Mustapha says this, Ahmad’s face turns red with anger and he rushes out toward the door.  He stops a second before going out to say the following]: “Well, Mustapha, you are not working for Mr. Ibrahim now, and don’t you forget it.”


Adapted for use in the Arabian Gulf environment from J. Cochran, Management consultant, Scottsdale, AZ  -- 1985.