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This paper tries to discuss the main personal and professional skills that are vital in achievement of individual and organizational goals.
Professional Development is the experiences that enable educators to facilitate learning of students by acquiring and applying knowledge and skills that address improvement goals of the individual or the institution.
This means that the individual and the organization in question must continually review set goals and score them against set targets in order to ensure that organizational results are optimum.
This paper tries to look at the various desirable skills (personal and professional) which are to be critically analyzed before an individual or an organization is said to be successful.
Outcome 1: Personal and professional skills and methods to improve them
Task 1 Identification of the key skills
The main personal and professional skills as outlined above are:
a) Time management: It can be defined as the principles and practices that enable somebody to get more value out of time and in the long run improve the quality of life. Time management is about making choices because good choices lead to good results while poor choices waste time and energy.
According to the time thoughts website, time management is all about doing right things that will add more value to an individual or an organization. Smart managers will therefore dwell on few but important projects that will add more value since time management is all about bringing value using minimal time. Good time management skills enable a manager to utilize time well and therefore get the best value out of his time because he or she dwells on the most important tasks first.
b) Stress management: This is a collection of skills and techniques that enable an individual to manage and counteract the negative effects of stress .Stress is a unique response to a situation or an event. It therefore means that everyone will respond to each situation uniquely. The best strategy in stress management is to find a more positive way to cope with stressors and effects of stress.
Good stress management skills enable the manager stay away from situations or people who may reduce productivity. This in turn ensures that the morale of the concerned party is not affected negatively.
c) Running meetings-This is a skill that enables someone to be able to call, conduct and pass a specific message through a gathering. Through meetings, issues pertaining to conduct of business are discussed and care should be taken to ensure that the message is passed to the recipients as desired and that nothing disrupts the meeting. A person with this skill will ensure that he or she captures the attention of all listeners during the meeting.
Effective skills in running meetings ensure that the facilitator should sticks to the schedule and does not discuss issues which may make the listeners lose track. This is made easy by having an agenda for the meeting prior to the meeting and sticking to this agenda.
d) Making Presentations-This is the ability to talk to people and pass across certain ideas and thoughts about a certain idea. Presentations in most cases are done by group leaders who are chosen to explain a certain fact.
It is only through presentations that speaker is able to get the attention of their listeners .An attempt should be made by the speaker to understand the audience and the concept to be talked about.
Good presentation skills make the speech captivating and everyone can therefore actively contribute to the topic
Task 2 Methods for improving the skill
Time management can be improved by writing down things in order to keep track of tasks, control them thereby keeping you organized. Prioritizing your tasks will enable you to be able to dwell on things that matter most and do away with things of less importance. Having a clear schedule outlining how tasks are to be done will go a long way in preventing overlap of activities.
Learning to say no to low priority requests will give you extra time to spend on high value activities. Making time for attending training programs enables you to learn new things and develop talents and abilities. This finally improves your efficiency and marketability.
Using the best time management system helps you to prioritize your work and develop good plans that will enable you achieve your goals.
Also identify bad habits that steal most of your time and eliminate them by replacing them with good habits that generate value.
Furthermore, avoid doing other peopleââ‚¬â„¢s work because this takes most of your time .Another good idea is having a journal that helps you to keep a record of work done and thereby remaining on track .Finally; avoid by the way tasks which may affect the long run accomplishment of tasks.
Stress management can be improved by doing different things .For instance good stress management involves changing the stressors or the environment. This can be done by ensuring that the environment is free from noise, there is adequate air and lighting and the room is properly arranged.
Changing direct response to stressors may also help strengthen stress management skills. This involves managing daily activities in the best way and avoiding too much worry.
Changing how you think about a situation helps to enhance stress management. This is done by changing the mindset and how you view a situation through better understanding of your thought patterns and having positive attitude.
Taking time away from routine jobs can help improve stress management .This is by having regular exercise, having a healthy diet and participating in sports.
Running meetings can be improved by having meetings at a special time or when a specific activity is about to take place. This ensures that time is invested in finding appropriate solutions to a problem just at the correct time.
During the meeting care should be taken to stick on the agenda which ensures that the meeting remains on track. The agenda should also be circulated earlier to ensure that people come to the meeting when they know what is to be discussed. Also invite a few people because inviting many people increases discussion thereby wasting time.
In addition, having a theme for your meeting clearly indicates why the meeting is being held. Setting and honoring times for beginning, breaking and ending the meeting is very vital. This helps keep track of time and avoid wasting time that could be invested in other activities.
Making presentations can be improved by attending a class which offers public speaking skills. Classes will enable you be able to know knew ways of handling yourself when talking to the public. Joining an organization that is dedicated in improving public speaking skills will offer a good opportunity to learn and also get feedback on your presentation and in the long run improve on the mistakes.
When choosing a topic for presentation, ensure that it is a topic you are knowledgeable and passionate about because in such a case you will use less energy when making the presentation. Before making the presentation, practice the speech so that you know it from the beginning to the end.
When making the speech, remember that you have the asset that people came to look for (information),therefore you should provide it in the best deliverable way. Finally never keep your audience idle. Keep talking because through such talking you gain more confidence.
Outcome 2 ââ‚¬"Personal Skills Audit
An analysis of the different learning styles:
These are methods by which individuals get to know more about something. These styles include:
Auditory learning: In this type of learning, individuals get to know about something by hearing either from tapes or discussions. This style requires that there should be dialogue and discussion.
Visual learning: In this style, people learn best by using their eyes. This will involve reading magazines and newspapers.
Tactile /Kinesthetic: Learners in this category get ideas by participating actively in the learning process. This can be through taking your own notes or participating in hands on projects which enable them to exercise their skills.
The best environment is the classroom which enables the learner to participate.
Personal Skills Audit
This has been designed to assist an individual to identify his weaknesses, strength and areas for development within various skill areas. It enables an individual to score himself or herself against various criteria and therefore be able to prioritize and improve on the weak skill.
The skills audit will involve a job analysis which helps you to work backwards and know what you are good at. It involves listing all the jobs done in a certain period and brainstorming all the tasks that were involved in the role played. The next step is to look at the tasks to see which skills have been used well in accomplishment of the task. This will assist you to know the strength of each skill that you may be possessing.
The next step will be to explore the skills developed through performance of different tasks .A good idea would be to make a list of all skills that were required in the accomplishment of the tasks. When brainstorming, it is good to do it with a friend who may assist you to analyze the skills.
Personal skills audit may be done even for activities outside work since it may enable you to know other skills which manipulate themselves through other activities which are not related to work. In the long run these skills may be translated into the job place.
When performing the skills audit, list thing that you are good at proudly and you will find that you have many skills. You may also get ideas about skills in adverts and also from friends. As a final stage of the audit, you have to rate your skills by level of ability and level of enjoyment.
Outcome 3-Personal Development Plan
When developing the personal development plan, there is need to set objectives which are SMART. You must also perform the SWOT analysis in order to know your strengths and weaknesses.
SMART objectives are: Specific and significant:-Objectives set must be clear, specific and should be able to bring a positive impact in an individual.
Measurable Motivational: It should be easy to measure your goals in order to assess progress against the measurable criteria. They should also inspire you to take action in a specific direction.
Achievable and Action-oriented: your goals should comprise of actions that are within the control of the individual. In addition, the goals should have high expectations of being achieved.
Realistic and Relevant: Goals are realistic when actions related to the goals are things that can easily be done. They are relevant when they can make a difference. Time bound and trackable: Setting deadlines for your goals adds the element of urgency which assists the individual to work hard to meet the deadline. It should be easy to track the goals because it will offer a good means to assess progress.
It offers an individual the best way to set goals that will give the individual most benefit. It enables somebody to match internal capabilities and resources and external factors that are facing him or her.
Steps in SWOT analysis.
Identify your strengths: These are the internal capabilities that an individual has. It will involve assessing the relevant skills and talents that you possess.
Identify your weaknesses: These are the internal liabilities which are due to lack of certain strength.
Identify external opportunities for growth and improvement:
Identify threats which are environmental factors which will affect you negatively.
SWOT analysis enables you to analyze the best strategies and targets to deal with in the current situation and even strategies that will help you to prepare for the future.
Personal Development Planning is the process undertaken by individuals to reflect on their learning and overall performance and plan for their personal development. PDP is aimed at improving the capacity of individuals to understand what and how they are learning and to review, plan and take responsibility for their own learning.
According to Velez S (2007), a Personal Development Plan will help you define what you want and put it into action. It involves:
Set motivating and realistic goals which you truly wish to achieve.
Move closer top the goals by taking action because it is only through action that you will be able to achieve these goals.
Be open to any opportunity that you may encounter because this will offer you the best chance to do your work best by maximizing on the opportunity.
Celebrate your success because it will be a source of encouragement for you to continue doing your best in order to achieve the set goals. A good way to remember success is by noting all the positive things done in a journal. This will act as a motivating factor to the individual because it adds to the confidence of the person in question.
Believing in yourself is another way of enhancing your PDP since it offers courage to enable you to pursue your goals. In addition, visualizing goals will make their attainment a reality.
Finding a mentor who has been successful in the area you are dealing with will help you to build up your confidence.
Task 5-Monitoring and feedback
APD monitoring and feedback will enable the individual assess progress against the set goals. In addition, feedback offers an opportunity for communication in order to know the goals which have not been achieved thereby making the necessary adjustments because through effective time management skills you are able to phase out the goals of less importance and those that offer less value to the individual.
In addition, feedback enables you to take advantage of opportunities that may arise in the environment and therefore assist in maximizing value to an individual because the individual may capitalize on the opportunity that makes use of the skill that he is best in.
Monitoring has the role of ensuring that the individual is kept on track because certain goals may overlap and bring a problem during implementation. Monitoring therefore offers a means for clarification of the different objectives and also clarifies the role of each individual in attainment of the overall goals.
Personal Development Planning is a continuous cycle of events involving planning which involves the goal setting process; Doing involves putting the goals set into action. Review is the next step which involves scoring the actions done against the measurement criteria or certain set standards. Review will assist an individual to do away with unattainable goals and dwell on the most valuable goals. The next most important step is Reflection which enables the
individuals to assess their progress towards meeting ambitions.
Feedback in development planning can be obtained from colleagues, seniors and individuals themselves by assessing the goals set earlier. Therefore, it is important to co-ordinate with colleagues in order to get the best feedback mechanism for achievement of long run objectives.
It can be concluded that there are unique personal and professional skills that are vital for achievement of organizational objectives. It means that proper use of such unique skills can lead to individual and organizational efficiency.
Maintaining a good base of skills requires that you device the best methods of improving the skills in order to improve your value. This will involve a skills audit which enables you to score your skills against a certain set standard.
When setting goals, ensure that they are SMART and perform a SWOT analysis for the in order to know the strengths you have for achieving the goals, the opportunities that may assist you in performance and the threats to your performance.
Having a good development plan also helps you to keep track of your activities by doing the required actions, reviewing them and reflecting on the already done tasks in order to measure performance .This helps in ensuring that the individual is kept on track.
Effective utilization of skills means that the individual uses such a skill to achieve the best value. On time to time basis, monitoring and feedback should be done because this provides a good way of assessing the utilization of the various skills.
Finally it is important to work well with your peers because it offers a good opportunity for mentoring and even corrective action to be undertaken when a problem arises in the organization. In addition, there must be clear cut description of roles to avoid a mix up of tasks. This means that there should be effective coaching and mentoring in order to assist in professional development of the individual.