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The Importance of personal and professional skill

The skill development is not a new concept, but it is becoming increasingly important. The continuing pace of change in business and management means that what we learned in our initial training courses soon becomes dated and irrelevant. It has been estimated that the half-life of skilled knowledge is about seven years. Furthermore, the amount of knowledge and skills continues to increase. Business and management has become knowledge intensive: we have entered the skilled-based economy.

In this new world, it is impossible for us to know all that there is to know, yet access to the skilled and knowledge base is increasingly readily available. So what will make us developed skill specialist, rather than poor ones, is that our knowledge is more relevant, and more current, and is applied more efficiently and effectively.

The work-place has also changed, with the result that in business and management are expected to have a wider range of skills. We increasingly work in teams on projects and much of what we do is virtual rather than tangible. As one project ends, another begins, and so we move from project to project, from team to team, and from one work-place to another. Indeed, for many, the increasingly itinerant nature of work leads us into several different careers during our working lives. These are strong, compelling reasons for professional development skills for manager, but there are many more.

A better informed and more sophisticated public is demanding a higher duty of care and level of service from skilled workers.

Linked to this is the increasing risk of claims for negligence from professionals deemed to have 'failed' in their duty or given poor advice.

Within organisations, modern quality management systems demand that qualified people are in place to make decisions.

If we do not respond to this challenge, we face the prospect of becoming irrelevant. If, as skill professionals, we assume that our old time-served competences will last a lifetime, we will find ourselves becoming candidates for redundancy. The organisations we work for equally run the risk of failing to provide the new products and services that the market requires, resulting in decline. And so we need to learn continually as we work. This requires a skill set all of its own, a skill set we need to learn for ourselves as teachers and mentors, and a skill set we need to instil into our learners for their future benefit.

TASK – 2

Above we discussed importance of which we might assess our professional and personal development skills. However, what is missing is the route by which we might achieve its objectives. In this case four step approach is used:

STEP 1 - Profiling Ourselves

This is the starting point for our individual professional development plan and should contain the ingredients from the table below:

Working Life

List strengths and successes

Identify expertise that has not been exploited

Skills inventory

Rate skills and competences on a scale of 1-5

Identify skills needing further development

Values, attitudes and beliefs

Review the opinion of others

Evaluate your own views and opinions

Learning skills

Identify types of learning preferred

STEP 2 - Define the Strategy

Our development skills need to be correctly focused for maximum impact so that it meets both our individual development needs and those of the organisation for which we work. For Example - If our employer has in place an annual staff review and appraisal process, then our individual aspirations and the organisational goals may have been reviewed, and a training and development plan agreed for the foreseeable future. Otherwise, we should discuss our skill development needs with department.

STEP 3 - Develop an Action Plan

Putting the strategy into action can be the biggest challenge. An action plan can help. An effective action plan has four key ingredients:

A clear statement of the goal to be achieved

The actions required to achieve the goal

The target timescale for achieving the goal

Criteria to assess when we have reached our goal

In order to deliver the action plan, we will have to seek out opportunities for learning and skills development, ideally in partnership with our employer. And since professional development benefits both the employee and the employer, we might find that our employer asks us to make a contribution to our own professional development, by committing some of our own time and perhaps by sharing the costs.

Having established our action plan, we next need to decide how we are to go about the learning process.

STEP 4 - Evaluation and Reflection

As we have seen, good development skills rely strongly on self analysis and appraisal to develop our personal profile and to analyse our preferred learning styles. This is not necessarily easy for a number of reasons. First, it can be hard to understand ourselves and 'see ourselves as others see us.' Second, reflecting on skills and competences is not something that we are necessarily trained to do. Third, as the pace of life continues to increase, it is not easy to find time for self analysis and reflection.

Mentoring is one way of overcoming these problems. A mentor is someone who can advise and guide you in your career. He or she has a number of roles - as an appraiser, a supporter, a communicator and a motivator. The relationship therefore is different from that between a superior and his/her subordinate, and it is unlikely that a manager can carry out these functions. A good manager has coaching skills, is trustworthy, respected and is free from major distractions either within or outside the workplace.

OUTCOME – 2

TASK – 3

Research commissioned by the British Audio Visual Society in 1988 suggests that we remember 10% of what we read, 20% of what we hear, 30% of what we see, 50% of what we see and hear, 80% of what we say and 90% of what we say and do at the same time. For this reason, professional recommends that we integrate learning and working, so that we improve our development skills within the context of our work using real-world problems. Then the time and effort we invest in professional development is rewarded by immediately assisting us to complete the task in hand. Senior skilled professionals believe the immediate usefulness of the learning greatly improves our motivation to learn. Whilst this may be generally true for groups of people, as individuals, we each have our own preferred learning styles.

There are many ways to categorize learning styles, but the simplest places learners into one or more of three categories:

Visual - those who learn best through their eyes and what they see and read. The ideal learning approaches in this case will involve studying magazines and books and learning online.

Auditory - those who learn best by hearing things, either on tape or in discussion. Dialogue and discussion is important to their learning process. The ideal learning environment is the classroom, but discussions with colleagues and audio tapes can also be useful.

Tactile - those who learn best by 'doing', such as taking their own notes or participating in demonstrations and hands-on projects. Ideal structure: magazine and online learning; classroom that encourages participation.

OUTCOME – 3

TASK – 4

The basis for my personal development plan is my ability to look inward into what are my values, who I am, my beliefs, strength and weakness. I was able to reflect and know myself and how I can transform my values into crucial tools that would help my professional development rather than be at the drawback of the clients that would need help in the future. Most counselling and therapy approaches believe that relationship between counsellors and client is very important. Certainly, effective communication between counsellor and clients is an aspect that aids the key elements of a sustainable therapeutic relationship, which includes empathetic understanding, genuineness, unconditional positive regard and trust (Copeland, 2002).

It is recommended, that throughout counselling, clients should be free to give feedback and raise concerns about the counselling relationship. I have used the same relationship style in relating with my approach to address conflict and open to change. My research on this study has helped me to readdress my time keeping, studying more and writing more in my personal journal.

In accordance with the SMART AND SWOT analysis, I use reflective practice to evaluate and draw my personal and professional plan. Reflection, or rather reflective practice, contributes to professional development by revealing the knowledge and skills used in everyday practice, and exposing areas that require development (Driscoll The-2001). The values that I prioritise in my professional development plan are respecting client’s human rights and dignity, and also ensuring the integrity of practitioner-client relationship. Moreover, what is critical in practitioner client relationship is the issue of power discourse. However, what comes to mind is that power is also a potentially destructive weapon that can be used to oppress and exploit people and could lead to abuse in counselling and psychotherapy practice (Thompson, 2003). The principles that I have learnt and hope to adopt in my work with my case study in balancing power relations and dealing with forms of oppression include beneficence, empowerment and advocacy.

Personal SWOT analysis

Strengths

I'm very creative. I often impressing clients with a new perspective on their brands.

I communicate well with my clients and team.

I have the ability to ask key questions to find just the right marketing angle.

I'm completely committed to the success of a client's brand.

Weaknesses

I have a strong, compulsive need to do things quickly and remove them from my "to do" list, and sometimes the quality of my work suffers as a result.

This same need to get things done also causes me stress when I have too many tasks.

I get nervous when presenting ideas to clients and this fear of public speaking often takes the passion out of my presentations.

Opportunities

One of our major competitors has developed a reputation for treating their smaller clients poorly.

I'm attending a major marketing conference next month. This will allow for strategic networking, and also offer some great training seminars.

Our art director will go on maternity leave soon. Covering her duties while she's away would be a great career development opportunity for me.

Threats

Simon, one of my colleagues, is a much stronger speaker than I am, and he's competing with me for the art director position.

Due to recent staff shortages, I'm often overworked, and this negatively impacts my creativity.

The current economic climate has resulted in slow growth for the marketing industry. Many firms have laid off staff members, and our company is considering further cutbacks.

TASK – 5

The leadership skills have following functions in relation to Task, Team and individual needs.

      i). Defining the task - it should define the task with clear, concrete, time limited, realistic and challenging objective so that his followers can understand properly and complete the task in time. The end of the task should also be defined to make members aware about the success criteria.

      ii). Planning of the work - Leader should do proper planning on the procedures to be adopted in an open mind before starting the work. The questions based on what, why, when, how, where and who should be answered during making a simple and fool proof plan. Sometimes leader presents ideas and invites question from followers

or he suggests tentative plan subject to change afterwards.

      iii). Delegation of works - Leader gives briefing about role of every individual in task and delegate work accordingly to create the right atmosphere, to promote team relationship and to encourage and motivate all team members.

      iv). Controlling - Leader controls their team by directing, regulating, restraining or encouraging individual and team efforts on the task. Leader needs to exhibit self-control over his own sentiments and to have good control systems for effective monitoring financial and task performance for controlling others problem.

TASK – 6

The concept of personal and professional development is closely related. It could be explained that both concept impacts on one another, depending on the aspect at which we perceive the terms. According to Maslow (1996) Personal development refers to individual self development and the development of others. In addition, personal development may involve programs, tools and methods. As an individual, my personal development includes plans or actions oriented towards one or more of the following aims: goals, developing strengths, improving self-awareness and self-knowledge, building or renewing identity, identifying or improving potential, building employability or human capital, enhancing lifestyle or the quality of life, realising dreams and fulfilling aspirations (Bandura.1997.Jasper.2006).

In my personal development, I learn information that will help me become more efficient, successful and happy according to (Peter, 1999). In the UK, personal development took a central place in university policy in 1997 when the Dearing Report declared that universities should go beyond academic teaching to provide students with personal development. In 2001 a Quality Assessment Agency for UK universities produced guidelines for universities to improve personal development as a defined structured and a support process set by an individual to reflect upon their own learning, performance, achievement and to plan for their personal, education and career development (Speck-Knipe.2005).

Conclusion

Using reflective practice, I have demonstrated in this essay the experience of my personal and professional development. I have differentiated between these two concepts and have also explained how they are intertwined to produce quality and efficient professional relationship in me as a potential counsellor. I have taken on board some core professional values such as trust, confidentiality, developing, professional, relationship and self-assertiveness as principles that underpin my professional development. I hope to apply these valuable experiences to practice as I work with other multi-disciplinary teams to assess service users’ needs and the law and ethical implications that could arise in the course of my placement. Applying for placement has not been easy hence I am yet to find a place. More importantly, as a student counsellor, the question is how does reflective and reflexive influence who I am? This is an on-going question for me to answer, as I continue with my learning until I take off counselling hat, though there is still room for improvement as I consider myself to be a work in progress.

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