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• Chapter 1 “What Is Human Relations?”. Understanding how personality, attitudes, self-esteem, and

perception impact human relations. How we are, how we behave, and our belief systems all impact

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how we view ourselves and others.

• Chapter 2 “Achieve Personal Success”. Understanding the components to personal success, such as

goal setting and emotional intelligence skills. Being able to achieve personal success is the first step in

attaining career success.

• Chapter 3 “Manage Your Stress”. Managing stress and understanding how too much stress can

negatively impact our human relations.

• Chapter 4 “Communicate Effectively”. Communication abilities. Everything we do at work and in our

personal lives involves communication. Understanding how to communicate effectively is the

cornerstone of positive human relations.

• Chapter 5 “Be Ethical at Work”. Ethical decision making is necessary because ethical decisions must

be made all the time in our personal and work lives. Understanding how to make an ethical decision

can help us become better employees and human beings.

• Chapter 6 “Understand Your Motivations”. Understanding what motivates you can help you know the

right career path and can assist you in guiding your supervisor. Without an understanding of our own

motivations (our own self-knowledge) we may not be able to complete tasks as efficiently. Of course,

this skill is the key to successful human relations.

• Chapter 7 “Work Effectively in Groups”. Working in teams has become necessary in most every work

environment. Understanding how teams work and how they achieve success together will provide you

with the tools to be an effective team member.

• Chapter 8 “Make Good Decisions”. Good decision making, both personally and professionally, can

help our human relations in that it provides a framework to make sure we are thinking about all

aspects of the decision. We tend to be happier when we make better decisions, which means we relate

better to others.


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• Chapter 9 “Handle Conflict and Negotiation”. The ability to manage conflict is necessary in today’s

workplace. Not everything will work exactly as we planned, nor will we get along with everyone we

meet. Learning how to work through these challenges can help us become better at human relations.

• Chapter 10 “Manage Diversity at Work”. The ability to work with a diverse workforce. In a globalized

workforce, we will work with people from all cultures and backgrounds. Understanding how to

effectively work with people different from us can help us be more successful at work.

• Chapter 11 “Work with Labor Unions”. Understanding labor unions and their role in the workplace

will help us understand how unions work, should we become employed in a union environment.

Understanding the concepts in this chapter gives us the working knowledge to apply the human

relations skills we have learned.

• Chapter 12 “Be a Leader”. Leadership and management skills can assist us in understanding how we

can be leaders in our workplace, even if we do not have a formal title.

• Chapter 13 “Manage Your Career”. Managing one’s own career, such as etiquette, dealing with change,

and networking. This capstone chapter will relate our discussion back to these key components to

human relations.

We will focus on human relations in a work setting, but many examples will also relate to personal

settings. The examples provided will give you tools to have positive relationships with coworkers,

supervisors, and people in your personal life. These positive relationships—both at home and at work—

help us become more rounded, happier individuals. This is good for everyone, including the company you

work for.



• Human relations is an important part to our career success. It is defined as relations with or between

people, particularly in a workplace setting. Because a company depends on good human relations

through its organizational structure, developing these skills is important.

• Technology has greatly impacted human relations because so much of our communication occurs without

the advantage of seeing body language. This can result in miscommunications. Many



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workers telecommute to work. There are advantages and disadvantages, more notably a disadvantage

being the lack of human, face-to-face contact.

• There was an evolution in human relations study. In the classical school of management, the focus was on

efficiency and not on human relations.

• Employees began to unionize in the 1920s due to lack of positive human relations, and therefore

the behavioral school of management was created. During this time period, researchers began to focus on

the human relations aspect of the workplace. One of the major theories developed was theHawthorne

effect, which determined that workers were more productive when they were being watched and cared

about by researchers.

• During the 1950s, the behavioral science approach looked at management techniques as a way to

increase productivity and human relations.

• In the 1960s and beyond, sophisticated tools allow researchers to analyze more data and focus on the

statistical aspects of human relations and management data.





1. Have you ever worked with anyone like Jenny (in the opening case), either in school or at a job? Discuss

your experiences and how you handled working with this person. How could they have benefited from an

understanding of human relations?

2. Discuss two advantages to learning about human relations skills. Why do companies value good human

relations skills?

3. Would you be interested in telecommuting for work? What are the advantages and disadvantages to the

employee? Discuss in small groups.

4. Draw a timeline of human relations research. On the timeline, indicate the events that changed human

relations thinking. Bring your timelines to class and discuss in small groups.





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[1] Merriam Webster Dictionary, accessed January 30, 2012, http://www.merriam-


[2] Natalie Jones, “10 Most Common Reasons Why People Are Fired,” Wikinut article, February 28, 2010, accessed

January 31, 2012, http://business.wikinut.com/10-Most-Common-Reasons-People-are-Fired/ggcsrftv/

[3] Jean Maye, “7 Steps to Getting Promoted,” Chicago Tribune, 2012, accessed January 31,

2012, http://www.chicagotribune.com/classified/jobs/sns-jobs-steps-promotion,0,6989913.story

[4] Brian Tracy, “Mastering Human Relationships,” Brian Tracy International, August 19, 2009, accessed January 31,

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