The Apprentice - Episode 3 - Lawyer's Summary

3 mins

Posted on 22 Oct 2015

Chloe Harrold's column for The HR Director continues at  . Look out for her next column next week.

This week’s mission saw the teams heading to France to show off their negotiation skills. Lord Sugar sent them off with stern instructions that anyone doing business with him needs to “negotiate anytime, anywhere and, more importantly, with anyone”.

Knowing that half of each team was off to do business abroad I was expecting this piece to be filled with discrimination examples. Clearly I did the candidates a disservice; they were nothing but polite, friendly and respectful to and about the French. They just saved their scathing comments for one another.

As PM of the girls team Vana Koutsomitis made a strong start, insisting that everyone “respect each other”. Contrast this with Joseph Valente’s foray into management: “I really do not like working with him” (about Richard Woods), and you could be forgiven for expecting the girls to triumph (but getting it wildly wrong).

What followed from Koutsomitis was anything but respect for her team members and friction between certain individuals was obvious (Charleine Wain v Selina Waterman-Smith).

Kousomitis barked one word orders at her team, practically face-palmed Waterman-Smith and called out Jenny Garbis as being the “dead weight” of the team (although, to be fair, Lord Sugar agreed). The biggest put downs of the show came from Wain, aimed at a bemused Waterman-Smith who was called a “morale vacuum” and told she was “just like an irritating wasp at a picnic”, ouch.

Despite winning the task, the boys weren’t without their backbiting and undermining of one another. All in all we were treated to a shambolic execution of the task which could have only been made worse if the teams had failed to get hold of manure for nothing (am I the only one who was secretly hoping one of the teams paid for it?)

A valuable lesson which can be learned from this episode is: practice what you preach. Of course you should respect your colleagues and no matter how stressful your workload and tight your deadlines it’s dangerous to forget this. Lack of respect fosters resentment, which decreases productivity and creates a destructive working atmosphere. We all have bad days, but don’t lose sight of the importance of good working relationships. I for one am interested to see what else the Wain/Waterman-Smith clash will bring.

Don’t miss next week’s episode when the candidates are at the London Pet Show: Me, my dogs, and cats and I can’t wait!

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