The Apprentice - Episode Eight – Lawyer’s summary


3 mins

Posted on 26 Nov 2015

The Apprentice - Series 11, Episode 8 - 26 November 

The next instalment of Chloe Harrold's column for The HR Director

Just half of the number of candidates we started the series with remained as this week’s episode kicked off. Lord Sugar explained that parents spend £2b per year on parties for their children (whatever happened to jam sandwiches and pass the parcel?) The teams were assigned a family each and tasked with planning and hosting a child’s birthday party.

Gary Poulton’s team started off well, building a good rapport with the family and listening closely to what their client asked for. Or so we thought. Fast forward to party time and mum had to sit in a safety exclusion zone until dad was able to establish that the chocolate spread for the cake was not Nutella, and did not actually contain nuts, despite the team scaring them by warning that it “may” contains nuts. Which part of “severe nut allergy” did the team not understand?

Communication is key and getting the message wrong can have serious consequences. In the everyday world of HR this rarely means life or death, but it could easily mean money, deadlines, and maintaining good relationships with colleagues. Another good example this week of how not to communicate was the dynamic between Richard Woods and “sous slave” Vana Koutsomitis.

Richard barked orders out constantly and at times was downright rude, even when Vana was asking perfectly valid questions about an important part of the birthday party: the cake. Vana’s handling of the situation is to be commended as she took it in her stride and rather than allow it to become an even bigger issue, removed herself from the situation. Vana didn’t seem to hold it against Richard and, graciously in the circumstances, commented “I think he was just on a bit of a power trip”.

Gary and his team upset their client to the extent that it lost them the task. Surely you cringed with me when Charleine Wain jumped the gun and tried to leave the room thinking she was safe? It definitely annoyed Lord Sugar but he didn’t let that sway his decision and it was David Stevenson whose Apprentice journey ended. As the numbers dwindle it becomes more difficult for the candidates to hide their shortcomings.

Next week the candidates are selling property, and I really hope that the clip the BBC showed isn’t just clever editing as Scott Saunders said: “these windows let the sun in all day, and at night”.

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