133. Reading Skills Comprehension: Egyptian Slaves

By | July 17, 2023
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Egyptian Slaves

Read the passages given below and answer the questions that follow them:                             

The slaves of the Egyptian who used to heave forty-ton blocks of limestone up the side of the great pyramid of Khufu were also like a team in 2600 BC. Four thousand six hundred years later, many employees would argue that the same Egyptian managerial principles survive as we move into the second millennium AD. Whether true or not, those principles provide a means of getting things done through the deployment of a number of people of various functional ability in pursuit of a shared objective.

 Teams and teaming have emotional content conveying feelings of mutual support, camaraderie, warmth, inclusion, success and belonging. Teams are also associated with providing additional strength or power. We call it synergy: the whole being greater than the sum of the individual parts.

The primary or overwhelming organisational motive behind the use of teams is a performance enhancement. Unlocking the synergy leads to enhanced or improved levels of performance. In the tough competitive climate in which organisations now operate, performance enhancement can mean. containing cost, improving product/service quality, getting to the market faster, improving customer satisfaction and being able to enact radical change quickly. These organisations which have achieved successful applications report an improvement in the way the company has been able to unlock I the skills and experience of team members. This has usually produced an improvement in the way resources have been used with a consequent increase in efficiency and effectiveness or productivity. An improvement in communication across the organisation is usually reported, and so is the visible degree of cooperation between departments, functions or teams.

In fact, the manager is ill-advised to embark on a team building route unless there is clarity about what is expected will be achieved by organising as a team or teams. There is certainty that teaming is the best or only way to achieve the strategy or objectives the organisation is absolutely committed to. This would imply un-learning or re-learning for everyone involved. If the manager and team are not successful in unlocking the collective magic of synergy, the initiative will fail. This will lead to consequences; the objectives will not have been achieved. People will become cynical about the process. Managers will not be given a second chance until they can overcome the cynicism. The high performing team characteristics are clarity of required outcome, willing and enthusiastic participation and exercise of maximum individual effort in support of the team as a whole.

Questions

I. Answer briefly:

1. How did the Egyptian slaves work like a team while building the great pyramid of Khufu?

2. How are teams associated with synergy?

3. How can organisations achieve efficiency and productivity?

4. What are the chief characteristics of a high performing team?

II.Vocabulary:                                                            

1. The word similar in meaning to ‘visible’ is

 (a) that can be seen                      (b) sight                             (c) see                          (d) seen

2. The word similar in meaning to ‘overwhelming’ is:

 (a) strong                                       (b) hidden                          (c) underlying             (d) base

3. Choose the opposite of ‘incompetence’ from the given options:

(a) skill                                             (b) wisdom                        (c) efficiency                (d) ingenuity

4. The adverb form of ‘collective’ is:

(a) collection                                   (b) collect                         (c) collectively           (d) collecting

Answers

1. The Egyptian slaves used to have40-ton blocks of limestone up the side of the great pyramid of Khufu as a team. People of various functional abilities were employed to achieve a shared objective.

2. Teams are associated with providing additional strength or power to the members. It is called synergy. It means that the whole is greater than the sum of individual parts.

3. Organisations can achieve efficiency and productivity by enhancing team performance. Unlocking the synergy leads to enhanced or improved levels of performance.

4. Clarity of the required outcome, willing and enthusiastic participation and exercise of maximum individual effort in support of the team are the main characteristics of a high performing team.

II.1. (a) that can be seen                

2.(a) strong

3.(c) efficiency

4.(a) collectively

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