Initial Self- Assessment and Reflection
Management is a complex profession which requires one to possess specific skills (Rowe, 2011). We have learned several management skills in this course that are essential for one to become a successful manager. As part of the learning and development process, it is important for management students to assess themselves in order to determine their progress (Leonard, 2002). Taking into consideration the different management skills we have learned in this course, I have reflected on my current strengths as well as areas that need improvement. I chose to carry out an analytical SWOT study in regards to my learning progress so as to determine the subject issues that I am weak at and be able to improve as required. As far as this profession is concerned, I also set out managerial skills that I would like to acquire and strive in the achievement. Some of strengths that I currently possess are good decision-making and problem solving abilities, creativity, optimism and opportunistic.
Personally, I am a good decision-maker with high ability to make instant decisions. I can analyze the prevailing situation and quickly come up with a viable solution to the issue at hand. I am always optimistic in my own decisions and have a strong urge to pursue them. I am also opportunistic and creative. I have the ability to invent new ideas by taking advantage of the available opportunities in the market. This enabled me to establish a computer services business within the college after realizing that students were being forced to look for these services far from the college. I am always keen on identifying opportunities within the market and devising of how to capitalize on the available opportunities.
A combination of these characters gives me a great potential of becoming a successful manager and leader. Being opportunistic enables me to capitalize on the available opportunities in the market while the innovativeness helps in coming up with viable business ideas which are important in the formation of an organization. The ability to make instant decisions is fundamental for effective running of the business. Critical decisions have to be made in the course of operating a business and a successful entrepreneur must have a strong decision-making ability (Howkins, 2001).
However, I also have some weaknesses that I need to improve on. Some of the areas that require improvement include time management and tolerance. Punctuality and time management has been one of the greatest weaknesses throughout my life. I always find it hard to keep time especially when travelling is involved or when working on tasks involving strict deadlines. As a manager, I need to lead by example at all times. Employees often refer to their manager as a role model in many aspects of life (Griffin, 2006). I therefore need to improve on my time management skills in order to be a good manager. Another weakness that I possess is the lack of tolerance. I am always strict and determined to get things done without taking into consideration individual differences. The current society has become integrated and organizations consist of employees from different backgrounds. Employees within an organization may have different strengths and weaknesses hence a good manager should be able to inspire and accommodate diverse personalities. I therefore need to improve on my tolerance in order to manage the current organizations that are diversified and respect other people`s views.
In order to ensure that I gain maximum benefits from the learning opportunities offered within this Unit, I have set three goals that must be met by the end of March. These include: to improve on tolerance and learn to respect other people`s opinions, to understand and manage my own learning and to help others perform better.
My first goal is to improve on tolerance. Following may personal reflection of the management skills required for one to be a successful leader, I discovered that in do not tolerate other people`s views. This is one of the greatest weaknesses that require improvement in order to secure my management career. I am therefore determined to make sure that I improve on this weakness through acquiring tolerance by learning how to accommodate other people`s views. I plan to start taking the suggestions from other students seriously and also that of my tutors so as to be able to be more accommodative and to develop a better style of leadership. I also want to be more approachable and sensitive to the needs of other people more that I currently am so that they can be able to develop confidence in me, in my opinions and in my leadership.
I will participate in group discussions in order improve on my team spirit and learn how to work with people from different backgrounds. This will enable me to become a good manager who can be able to accommodate every person.
The second goal is to understand and manage my own learning. By the end of March, I am determined to carryout a self assessment on my learning styles and how they can help me become a good manager in future. I will compare my learning styles with other members of the class in order to identify ways through which I can improve on my learning and development. To make my learning process more effective, I will also internalize the use of David Kolb’s learning model that emphasize the use of experiential learning as a technique to grasping study issues better (Manolis et al, 2012). I also tend to believe in the model that emphasize that experience is the best techniques as regards learning and the development of a student. Good learning skills will enable me to acquire the necessary skills and competence required of a successful manager.
The third goal that I should accomplish by the end of March is to help other members of the class to perform better. This is very important for career development. The duty of a manager is to lead and inspire employees towards attainment of organizational goals (Griffin, 2006). A good manager should therefore provide direction and help members of the organization improve on their performance. These leadership skills can be acquired through helping other members of the class to perform better. Teamwork is a very important aspect in contemporary management of organizations (Wheelan, 2010). I will therefore work with my class mates and help them improve on their performance. This will help acquire leadership skills that are crucial for securing employment in future after my graduation.
Ethics, Values, Beliefs and Professionalism
Ethics refers to the act of systematizing, recommending and defending concepts of the right and wrong conduct (Fisher et al, 2012). It basically refers to the moral behavior of human beings and how they should act. Ethics involves a set of principles and concepts that guide human beings in determining whether their behavior harms or helps others. Values, on the other hand, refer to intrinsic ideals or beliefs shared by members of a common culture about what they consider good or bad (Fisher et al, 2012). Values normally have a big influence on a person`s attitude and behavior since they act as guidelines in all aspects. A belief is a state of mind in which confidence or trust is placed on a person or a thing. It is a psychological state whereby an individual hold premise or proposition to be true. A good manager should take into consideration ethical practices, cultural values as well as beliefs of different groups of people he or she is leading.
Professionalism is the qualities, aims or conducts that mark or characterizes a particular profession or professional person (Kanes, 2010). A profession on the other hand refers to a calling which requires specialized knowledge as well as intensive academic preparations. Professionalism therefore encompasses several attributes such as specialized knowledge, competency, integrity and honesty, accountability, self-regulation and image. A professional is one that is able to execute their responsibilities diligently, while still upholding the required moral standards, values and ethics as desired by those in the same field. Management is one of the professions where all these attributes apply. This degree course enables me to develop professional attributes such as acquisition of specialized knowledge and competency. Teachings on management skills have also enabled me to acquire important attributes such as honesty, accountability, integrity, image and self-regulation (Samita, 2012). As a professional, management has taught me that it is also very essential to ensure that I am able fulfill the required obligations and responsibilities as defined by my work roles and structure. This unit has therefore significantly contributed to my professional development and future career practice.
I believe that one should not compromise good morals or rational decisions just to please other counterparts. In regards to professional ethics, as a professional in the management profession will choose to advocate for social responsibility so as to give back to the community in which they operate. Due to the study of this degree, I hope to acquire skills that will enable me to be more sensitive to the needs of both the staff of the organization and the community in which the environment is based. This is by means if using proper language at the work place and being sensitive to the work conditions and the environment in which the workers are based in. This is because management teaches me to be people oriented and not process and outcome oriented.
Throughout this term, I have made commendable progress towards attainment of my professional development goals. Concerning tolerance, I have started taking suggestions from other students and my tutors seriously in order to be more accommodative and to develop a better style of leadership. I engage in group discussions where members give a wide variety of opinions. I have also humbled myself so that I can be more approachable and sensitive to the needs of other people more that I currently am so that they can be able to develop confidence in me. I have been frequently collecting opinions from other members of my class on how they perceive my attitude towards other people. The feedback from my classmates indicates that my tolerance levels have significantly improved in recent times. My plan is to continue improving on my tolerance levels in order to be a good manager.
I have also made commendable progress in understanding and managing my own learning. I carried out a self assessment on my learning styles and compared them with those of other members of the class. This self assessment enabled me to identify new learning skills that have enhanced my understanding. I have internalized the use of David Kolb’s learning model that emphasizes the use of experiential learning as a technique to grasping study issues better. I take into consideration different views raised by my fellow students as well as tutors. I have been able to learn a lot of things through engaging my classmates in discussions and group projects. I have also gone out of my university environment to interact with business mangers in order to get first hand information from them. These strategies have enabled me to improve on my learning as evident in the assignments I have recently undertaken in college. I was able record high improvements in the class assignments due new learning skills that I have put in place. I am looking forward to continue using these new styles in future so as to achieve even better results.
My third development goal is to help other members of my class improve on their performance. I have also been able to record significant progress towards realization of this goal. I have successfully convened several group discussions with my classmates over this semester in order to discuss on important issues concerning our future careers. I have taken leadership roles in group projects so that I can help other team members improve on their performance. The progress was shown by the feedback from group working projects that were conducted during the semester. The group in which I was the team leader emerged the best among all others as a result of my visionary leadership. This is clear evidence that I am making progress towards attainment of my third goal. I will continue assisting my classmates as well as other people within and outside the university when and where
Plan of Action
Management is a very complicated profession and any person who dreams of becoming a successful manager must develop the desired management skills. The current business environment is full of challenges that require managers to make critical decisions (Whetten & Cameron, 2007). In this case therefore I plan that I become more inclined towards developing more of my managerial skills so that I can be a successful manager. I will continue respecting other people`s opinions and involving them in my decisions so that I can develop tolerance to a wide range of views. I also plan to intensify, on my research skills so that I can be able to find out more important information required for successfully managing an organization. I will engage my tutor in areas where I am weak in order to improve on my learning. Finally, I am planning for more group discussion in order to share the knowledge with the rest of the class. This will enable me to help mother people perform better and at the same time learn leadership skills that are essential for my future career as a manager. This way I can be able to determine the possible ways to co-exist with people and thus increase on future productivity of any company that I may work for.
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Griffin, R, W, 2006, Principles of management, New York, Cengage learning.
Howkins, John, 2001 “The Creative Economy: How People Make Money from Ideas”, Penguin, p.155-158
Kanes, C, 2010, elaborating professionalism: Studies in practice theory, California, Springer
Leonard, C, D, 2002, Learning theories, California, Greenwood Publishing.
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Rowe, J, 2011, Management Skills, New York, Carina press.
Samita, M, 2012, Values and ethics in business and profession, 1e, California, PHI Learning pvt ltd.
Wheelan, S. (2010). Creating Effective Teams: a Guide for Members and Leaders. Los Angeles: SAGE. Print.
Whetten, D, A and Cameron, K, S, 2007, Developing Management skills, New York, Prentice Hall.