Monday, June 17, 2013

Reflection and Professional Development Essay

1.0 Introduction In the contemporary world in which almost everything is “instant” and people are too busy chasing after dreams the process of self reflection is one of the most important exercises that an individual can engage in. This is due to the fact that the process of self reflection forces and individual to acknowledge and come to terms with their strengths and weaknesses, both personally and at a professional level. After realizing one’s strengths and weaknesses an individual can enhances their strong points and come up with strategies that will enable them to effectively respond to their flaws or weaknesses (Robbins and Hunsaker, 2012). The twenty first century is characterized by a very high level of competition in the different sectors of human life for instance the educational and commercial sector. Consequently, it is important that individuals perfect their skills and sharpen their competencies so as to remain marketable and gain an advantage of their competitors. According to Routledge et al (2007) it is only through a process of personal reflection that an individual can identify their strengths and weakness with the intention of working towards a process of both personal and professional development. This paper will begin with an analysis of learning where my personal strengths and weaknesses in relevant areas will be discussed in detail. This will be followed by the competence development segment where particular personal and professional weakness that have been identified as well as the strategies that will be applied in self improvement will be described in detail. The conclusive part of this paper will depict my performance in the team work process as well as the new insights that have been gained as a result of engaging in this exercise. The last part of this paper will be a draft of the references that have been quoted in the research. 2.0 Analysis of Learning COMPETENCY CURRENT ABILITY POTENTIAL APPLICATION CORE VALUES 1. Self Management Competencies Stress managing qualities are one of my personality traits. The activities held in my class, helped to surface many of my hidden abilities, one of which is my capacity to resolve conflict between people. This aptitude which I possess can definitely help toward decreasing stress in the environment (Pedler et al, 2006). Opinions given by my colleagues about me claim that I contribute toward reducing stress simply by boosting the happiness of the people around me. This is a rare quality as many people panic easily when working in a stressful environment. My ability to resolve conflict and manage stress can be helpful for me in my professional and personal life My competence in conflict and stress management will help me to avoid distraction and devote my energy and time towards the attainment of my goals. My ability to resolve conflict and handle stress will also help me to establish good relationships with people (Lovelacea, 2007). This is due to the fact that I have the ability to boost their happiness and reduce their stress. My ability to manage stress amongst the most significant qualities for effective leadership. Stress management serves the purpose of enabling me devote my competencies towards achieving a specific goal Stress management and conflict resolution 2. Interpersonal Competencies My peer group review indicated that I do possess effective teamwork skills. This is because I not only know how to bind the group members together but I can also work with people from diverse backgrounds and competencies. The review given about me showed that almost everyone was pleased with me in terms of the relationships I created with the different members of my team. Studies indicate that people with specific training in team skills can manage work loads more effectively than those who do not possess such skills. As indicated by Pricharda (2011) in the twenty first century effective team skills are a requirement for experts in different professions as well as in almost every aspect of social life. One needs to work in unity with others so as to achieve their different goals. I do need to learn more about utilizing my team skills as it will definitely help me to work collaboratively with others in the management of work load in my educational and professional life. Fitzpatrica (2005) reveals that team skills are an amalgam of interpersonal skills and technical skills. These skills help the individual to contribute towards the combined interest of their commercial organizations in particular as well as their financial systems in general. Team Skills 3. Self Development Competencies I have discovered that I tend to be unenthusiastic and unmotivated in accomplishing all tasks and assignments given to me. As indicated by Walker (2010) motivation refers to the inner drives and needs that cause people to work towards attaining certain specific goals. Motivation allows an individual to struggle toward achieving an organizational or individual goal, despite of the existence of potential risks or failures (Robbins and Hunsaker, 2012). My involvement in the classroom activities revealed that I do lack self-motivation qualities. On doing group assignments or any other individual task, I have a propensity towards withdrawing from the completion of assigned tasks or projects. Reviews from my peer group showed that I don’t struggle to find a solution for the problem; I would rather withdraw from the difficult situation. This is a major hitch in my personality which hinders me from working hard towards achieving my goals. It is necessary that I come up with solutions for this problem. Motivation in any workplace tends to impact on the culture of that particular organization. Motivation allows for the effective use of human capital to acquire many organizational goals. It increases the level of efficiency of the employees as well as any individual because it allows exposing some of the best qualities in individuals, simply by motivating them. Motivation increases productivity of the employees, therefore it reduces cost of an operation (Walker, 2010). Motivation 4. Personal Leadership Competencies According to Bennett (1988) leadership qualities are very important particularly when working in a team or when one has a number of followers that need to be mobilized towards the attainment of particularly objectives in an organization. According to Routledge et al (2007) a leader must know how to utilize the power, which has been assigned to him. The classroom exercises portrayed the fact that I am weak leader who can not easily practice authority or influence on others. Owing to the fact that I am naturally quite timid, do not take me seriously and they rarely obey or enforce my directives. In addition to wielding authority it is important that an effective leader possess qualities that complement power such as toughness, assertiveness and a genuine interest in their followers wellbeing. I do have a helping nature but I lack toughness and assertiveness. Janowski (2012) claims that authority and influence in a leader is required in order to influence others towards the attainment of organizational objectives. Wielding such authority allows a leader to persuade and positively impact their followers. A good leader knows how to utilize power in a manner that will not affront the feeling of others. Power is a significant attribute of a leader’s personality as it enables the leader to ensure discipline within a group of people. Power is a key element which binds people together in a working environment. Authority and Influence 5. Diversity Management Competencies Effective communication in an organization requires that members of the organization be aware of different cultures. One should look outside one’s culture, and try to accept and respect the other cultures present in a society. I know that in order to maintain peace in the society one has to the respect the culture of others. The classroom activities revealed that I am not only very peaceable and easy to get along with but I also have knowledge about other cultures. This is very important as it helps me develop an understanding with people from other cultures. It is noteworthy that what is acceptable in one culture may be unethical or intolerable in the other. Therefore culture awareness is obligatory as it promotes organizational, national and global unity (Robbins and Hunsaker, 2012). Davis (2007) asserts that cultural awareness is essential when you are the part of a multicultural group. Educational institutions must offer different foreign languages to their students as this fosters cultural awareness. It is the core responsibility of the educational institutions to adapt strategies that will cultivate racial tolerance and will allow them to judge another individual on the basis of their personality not on their race or culture. This approach will definitely help to construct a prosperous universal society Effective communication and cultural awareness 3.0 Competence Development Competence development is described as the sets of procedures involved in the personal and professional growth of individuals which is influenced by laid down organizational goals and vision. One of the most important aspects about competence development is the fact that this activity is a personal responsibility which only the individual concerned can carry out. In spite of the fact that some individuals may at times have to be coached and instructed on effective competence development, the morale for self improvement has to originate from the affected persons. As already indicated in the second part of this paper, my major weaknesses which need to be improved upon are the leadership skills I possess as well as my levels of motivation. As posited by the principles of Robbins and Hunsaker (2012) the first area in my personal and professional development that requires improvement is my leadership skills. Despite my admirable teamwork skills, it is noteworthy that effective leadership skills are amongst the most important qualities in team work activities. This implies that it is very important for me to develop effective leadership qualities. There are a number of strategies that I intend to apply towards this end. First, I need to understand that there are very few leaders who are born leaders; most people, like me, have to work hard and develop leadership qualities. Secondly, despite the fact that I am timid, in order to enhance my authority as a leader I have to perfect my communication skills. Before communicating any information or directives to the rest of the team, I have to make sure that the content I want to communicate is very clear and organized. This will serve to boost my morale and reduce my nervousness. Effective communication has to be two sided; it is important that after making my opinions and expectations of the different team members known, that I also give them the opportunity to respond and air their opinions as well. In order to be an effective leader I realize that I will have to improve on my personal hygiene and be smartly addressed at all times. This will increase my levels of confidence and reduce my nervousness as I address the rest of the team. Development of effective leadership skills requires that I come up with informed ideas and creative notions; this necessitates that I read widely about effective leadership skills and consult with other leaders who have been successful. My lack of motivation and enthusiasm required to complete tasks emanates from the fact that I perceive the projects or tasks assigned to me as being too difficult to complete successfully. There are a number of reasons for this; the first reason is that I lack the competence needed successfully carry out the tasks. According to Pedler et al (2006) when a person lacks the skills, knowledge and expertise required for them to successfully accomplish tasks they tend to lose their morale. Competence is a very important fact in the development of personal motivation since its absence makes goals unattainable. There are two main types of competencies which are very important in order for me to develop the self motivation that is necessary for my success. The first type is technical competence; this refers to the ability to make use of available resource and equipment such as computers and printers to accomplish tasks. The second type is personal competence; personal competence is described as the personal capabilities that a person possesses as well as their ability to work as members of a team. I have already indicated that I possess adequate team skills. One of the major strategies that I will apply in enhancing my personal motivation is by engaging extensively in team work activities. This will enable me to develop a “team spirit” and a sense of identification and belonging to a team which will consequently male me assert greater effort in attaining team objectives. Secondly, in order to attain the group objectives, I will first of all have to exert myself into fulfilling my roles in the team and this will enhance my enthusiasm. Attaining team goals will increase my self esteem and this will in turn increase my motivation. 4.0 Conclusion This paper began with an analysis of learning where my personal strengths and weaknesses in relevant areas were discussed in detail. This was then followed by the competence development segment where particular personal and professional weakness that had been identified as well as the strategies that will be applied in self improvement was described in detail. The remainder of this conclusive part of this paper will depict my performance in the team work process as well as the new insights that have been gained as a result of engaging in this exercise. As already indicated in the introductory part of this paper, the process of self reflection forces and individual to acknowledge and come to terms with their strengths and weaknesses, both personally and at a professional level. After realizing one’s strengths and weaknesses an individual can enhances their strong points and come up with strategies that will enable them to effectively respond to their flaws or weaknesses. My engagement in this exercise has been very successful in enabling me to discover a number of qualities about myself that I was previously unaware of. Before this exercise I mistakenly thought that the control over my life was external rather than inside of me. One of the most significant discoveries is that competence and personal or professional development is a personal responsibility which only the individual concerned can carry out. In spite of the fact that some individuals may at times have to be coached and instructed on effective competence development, the morale for self improvement has to originate from the affected persons. It is through acknowledging my flaw, accepting my weaknesses and agreeing to work on improving myself that I can develop both personally and professionally. In addition to this, I have discovered the fact that I do not have to be born a greater leader in order for me to manage or head team work activities that have been assigned to me. This is because leadership qualities can be cultivated and developed. As is to be expected, there are many challenges that one encounters in a process of self reflection. One such challenge that I had to overcome is the tendency to blame others for my mistakes or faults as well as stop trying to control or manage other people’s lives. The most enjoyable part of the classroom activity was engaging in team work. This process was enjoyable die to the fact that it enabled be to acknowledge and appreciate the diversity that exists between different members of a team as well as their different perspectives and approaches to issues. The most surprising and intriguing part aspect of this exercise for me was the realization that one can improve their personal and professional realities through self reflection as well as welcoming the criticisms and opinions of others. I was a very effective member of my team and I believe that my team members and I contributed in equal measure not only to guarantee the success of the classroom exercise but also to ensure that we gained as much insight as possible from this module. 5.0 References Bennet, J. B., (1988), Power and Influence as Distinct personality Traits: Development and Validation of a Psychometric, Journal of Research in Personality, Vol. 2, No. 3, pp. 361-394 Davis, J. R., (2007), Making a Difference: How Teachers Can Positively Affect Racial Identity and Acceptance in America, Washington D.C: Heldref Publication Fitzpatricka, E. L., (2005), Forming Effective Worker Teams with Multi-Functional Skill Requirements, Computer and Industrial Engineering, Vol. 48, No. 3, pp. 593-608 Pricharda, J. S., (2011), Evaluating the Effects of Team-skills Training on Subjective Work Load, Learning and Instruction, Vol. 21, No. 3, pp. 429-440 Janowski, K., (2010), P-1030-Immune Power Personality Questionnaire-Development and Psychometric Properties, European Psychiatry, Vol. 27, No. 1 pp. 1 Lovelacea, K. J., (2007), Work Stress and Leadership Development: The Role of Self-Leadership, Shared Leadership, Physical Fitness and Flow in Managing Demands and Increasing Job Control, Human Resource Management Review, Vol. 17, No. 4, pp. 374-387 Pedler, M., Burgoyne, J. and Boydell, T., (2006), A Manager’s Guide To Self Development (5th ed.), McGraw Hill Robbins, S. P. and Hunsaker, P. L., (2012), Training in Interpersonal Skills: Tips for Managing People at Work (6th ed) Pearson Routledge, Chris and Carmichael, (2007), Personal Development and Management Skills, London, CIPD Walker, G. L. S., (2010), The Effect of the Workplace on Motivation and De-motivation of Construction Professionals, Construction Management and Economics, Vol. 8, No. 7, pp. 833-841