The objective of this section intends to identify and analyze my learning style, personality and team role by different kinds of psychometric tests. Then I can understand myself more and it's helpful for me to determine my future career. They are VARK, MBTI, Honey & Mumford and Belbin. They are useful to let me more understand my favorable and preferred learning style, personality and team role. Moreover, my strengths and weaknesses will be identified as well by the test results.
What is learning style?
According to Harold (2008), the term of learning style is the concept that the people can identify which mode of instruction or study is the most effective learning style for them.
Therefore, different people have their own exclusive learning style. We should clearly understand our own learning style and determine the most suitable method for learning for improving our learning effectiveness.
Why learning is important?
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Learning outcome is the updated knowledge. It plays an important role in the decision making. (Wen,2004). Therefore, learning is a preparation for the future career path and to be success. The outcome of learning is knowledge which can update and improve you in order to face the challenge of the job and carry it out smoothly. And it will be helpful to make a correct decision. Hofmann (2008) stated the world is changing rapidly. Therefore, the people should adapt the changing situation through the learning constantly in order to maintain the competitiveness.
It is a set of questionnaire that can help the people to identify their learning preferences which can facilitate the effectiveness and efficiency of learning. It has become evident that can diverse the preferred learning styles to the students through the four physiological learning styles of visual, aural, read-write and kinesthetic.(Dargo,2004). The test was initially developed by Neil Fleming since 1987 in New Zealand.
Analysis of VARK
As the result shows, I have a multi-modal learning preference.
VARK (2011) stated this perceptual mode which the preference for information is "heard or spoken". Aural learning seems the most suitable learning method for me. For instance, in the school, I prefer listening to the lecturer to understand the knowledge and theories. If I faced some difficulties of the content or feel confused, I won't hesitate to ask the lecturer after the lesson. And also I would discuss with my classmates in order to find out the principle and solve the difficulties.
VARK (2011) stated this preference is for information displayed as words. Read/Write learning is quite similar to my learning method. I would like to take my learning English method as an example. When I saw some new vocabularies which I did not know, I would write it down to my notebook. And I would read it constantly and regularly when I was free. Furthermore, regards to the revision method of examination. I also would write it down to my notebook which part was important for memorizing.
VARK (2011) stated this preference includes the depiction of information in maps, spider diagrams, charts, graphs, flow charts etc. Visual learning is also quite similar to my learning method. For my studying method. After read the content of the textbook or notes. I would draw a diagram to summarize and gather all the things. I think it can make it clearly to understand a wall of text.
VARK (211) stated this modality refers to the perceptual preference related to the use of experience and practice. Although this preference I have got the lowest score, it quite matches my learning style. Such as learning Mathematics, after learned a new formula, I would apply it for calculation. Initially, I could not calculate the correct answer. I would do more and practice more until I was corrected. And then, when I calculated the same type of this question next time, I could do it quickly and accurately.
Significance and limitation of VARK
VARK is good for me to understand my preferred learning style. However, the test seems too comprehensive as it allows the happening of multi-model learning performance. Taking my case as an example, I have the multi-model learning performance as well. The points of different aspects are balance and similar. Therefore, the result of the test is probably not specific and exclusive enough.
Myer-Briggs Type Inventory (MBTI)
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The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) is a self-reporting, psychological instrument designed to categorize individuals based on their preferences in four areas.(Hamilton et al,2002). Based on the state of Zemke(1992), MBTI can distinguish the people into sixteen personality types based on high and low points on the four areas. It developed by the mother-daughter team of Katharine Briggs and Isabel Briggs Myers.
What is personality?
Wall (2008) stated that the personality is "the pattern of collective character, behavioral, temperamental, emotional, and mental traits of a person". And our personality type can determine people how to interact the world, gather the information, make decision and orient our lifestyles. And also determine the communication style to others.
Analysis of MBTI
According to the test result, I belong to ESFP and ESTP. It stated that I am an Extraversion, Sensing, and Perceiving. The major difference of result is between Feeling and Thinking.
The result identified that I am Extroversive (E), I quite agree that. I realize that communication and being active are the most important for establishing the social network. Therefore, I am willing to make new friends and open my mind to chat with them. Especially, I enjoy chatting with the elders. It's because I can learn a lot form them through the communication. Such as they would share about their life experience, views and values to me which really made me to gain a lot and change my mind.
Concerning the Sensing(S). I also agree with that. For example, I prefer doing project with my group mates because I believe that the better consequence would be got through interaction and discussion. Regards to Perceiving (P), It also quite matches me. Doing the tasks step by step or sequentially is not my habit. I prefer being flexible and find out the feasible way for doing the tasks. Concerning the Feeling(F) and Thinking(T), they also match me. I would concern and consider others' feeling as I realize the importance of harmony.
Significance and limitation of MBTI
Tan (1999) indicated that "MBTI is a useful tool for enhancing career counseling and personnel development in management." It would be helpful for me to determine my career path. Such as I am Extroversive (E), maybe I can adapt the works which are required to communicate with the customers. However, Tan (1999) also stated that the "personality types identified are not cast in stone". It means the preferences will change depends on different situation. People can manipulate their answers to obtain the "right" result. It means the result of the test can be changed easily. (Kennedy & Kennedy, 2004)
According to Bebin Associates (2012), It can identify the strengths and weaknesses of the people in workplace. The Belbin team-role inventory is a well-known and established measure for identification of individual team roles (Senior and Swailes, 1998). It was developed by Meredith Belbin in 1969 and it can measure preference for nine Team Roles.( Belbin Associates,2012)
What is team role?
Team-role is defined as "tendency to behave, contribute and interrelate with others in a particular way". A team does not just mean a group of people with the job title. It is a congregation of individuals. Every member should understand each other's role and perform most effectively and naturally. (Belbin Associates, 2012). The team role described how the individual fits into the team. It did not mean the individuals perform a particular function. (Rajendran, 2005)
Analysis of Belbin's Team-role
According to the BELBIN test, I am most likely an Implementer. The least preferred team role is team worker and completer finisher.
As an implementer which I got 100 points, the test said I am disciplined, reliable and capacity for taking practical steps and action. I agree with that. Take the group project as an example. Every group mate would be assigned certain of work. I could always probably do it well and submit it on time. And I am quite practical because I always request my group mates to concentrate and make more efforts on the part which constitute the highest marks.
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I got 90 marks as a Specialist. The Specialist has the characteristics of being single-minded, self-motivated, dedicated and able to provide knowledge and skills in rare supply. I rather agree with the test result. For example, I probably will mention some theories from the textbook or notes in order to remind my group mates the project what is involved.
Significance and limitation of Belbin's Team-role
Partington and Harris (1999) stated the Belbin's Team-role can identify the strengths and weakness of management teams. It is useful for me to realize what my preferred team role is and act which position in the team.
However, Jackson (2002) identified that the team role would not be predictive of team performance. The test just indicated what the role you are, but did not involve weather you can perform well on the team-role.
Honey & Mumford learning styles questionnaire
Honey & Mumford learning styles questionnaire is a research instrument was developed for helping answer the research question indicating the development of a valid and reliable measurement instrument to match and determine students' learning styles preferences within a higher educational institution. (Penger & Tekavcic,2009)
It includes major four types of learning style which are activist, reflector, theorist and pragmatist style. (Penger & Tekavcic,2009)
Analysis of Honey & Mumford learning styles
I am Activist which is very strong preference by the test result. As the test stated this type of person prefer act first then consider the consequence later. I am so surprised because that definitely is me. For instance, when I was required to do project, I would do it first whether the direction was correct without comprehensive planning which just depended on my thought. If the problems happened, I would seek help actively such as ask my classmates or teacher and find other ways until figuring out all of the problems. That is quite risky as the consequence is ignored. Moreover, I also enjoy here and now as the test sated. It is because I always think that the future is unpredictable, no one will know what will happen. And I am also open-minded. I am willing and appreciated to someone who could indicate my faults, tell me some new things and teach me some new knowledge. As I realize that learning should be better through interaction.
Limitation of Honey & Mumford learning styles
Caple and Martin (1994) stated that even though Honey & Mumford learning styles focused on learning from experience and it did not guarantee whether the experience was effective learning. And they also mentioned that the meaning of learning from experience by Honey & Mumford learning styles was ambiguous. For example, what can exactly been learned from experience.
Summary of test results
Honey & Mumford
Result of Psychometric Test
multi-model learning preference
capacity for taking practical steps,
act first then consider the consequence later,
Enjoy here and now,
Notes: E=extroversive, S= sensing, F= feeling, T=thinking, P= perceiving
Self awareness - overall synthesis
According to the analysis of the result, I have be more understanding of myself. My strengths and weaknesses are indentified as follow:
Based on the VARK test, I have a multi-model learning preference so that different learning ways can be applied during my learning process. I am an extroversive person through the MBTI test. I enjoy to new friends and being willing to talk with everyone. And I am also friendly and understanding the importance of harmony what can help me to extend my social network. In relation to Honey & Mumford learning styles, I am quite open-minded. This attitude can help me to have more chances to learn from others. It can broaden my outlook. Concerning team-role, I am quite disciplined and punctual. I always can finish the works on time. And the practical personality helps me to take the practical step for minimizing the opportunity cost. And my character also can help me get well along with each group mates.
As I have a multi-model learning preference, it is quite balanced of each learning styles. It implies that I have no specified learning style is outstanding which influence the consistency of learning process.
I realize I am quite impulsive. As the Honey & Mumford test indicated me I would act first then consider later. Even though it is better than just think and do nothing. It will cause a lot of risks. Therefore, I should consider more before making the decision.
Besides of these, I cannot really work independently. It is because I have got use to the teamwork for a long time. I find some difficulties when doing this project as it is individual work.
After understanding my weaknesses, I wish I can improve it as soon as possible and enhance the efficiency of learning as well in order to face the challenges in my future.
Section A.2 - Implication of Career Choice
The product merchandising has become a nearly essential part of a company's income stream. And the right product merchandising can increase profits, improve competitive positioning, and promote the company in the good reputation. (Makens & Bowen, 1996).Therefore, merchandising is an important part on the success of the company.
Based on my results of self-assessment in previous section, I would like to decide to develop my future in the merchandising industry.
As I am a fresh graduate and have not enough related experience and industrial knowledge. Therefore, I wish I can start from my career path at Assistant Merchandiser in Multinational Corporation as the entry level as the MNC always offer some effective and systematic training programs to the employees.
According to the job advertisement from JobsDB (2013), the degree holder would be reached the job requirements. And I can have opportunity to assist and engage in some sales and merchandising activities as well. I would accumulate more practical experiences of the merchandising industry. During this period, I can enhance my communication skills, interpersonal skills by getting along with the colleagues and related industrial knowledge. And be more understanding about the basic procedure of merchandising.
Around 5 years later, I would be able to be a senior merchandiser. According to the job advertisement from JobsDB (2013), the leadership skills and planning skills are required. For instance, this position is needed to develop and implement the procurement strategies. And the further communication skills and interpersonal skills are also required as it is needed to establish and develop a good relationship to the suppliers.
In the senior level, I wish I can be the merchandising director within 10 years. According to the job advertisement from JobsDB (2013), the Master's degree of Business of administration is required. In order to achieve the job requirements, the strong interpersonal skills and management skills should be had for building and strengthening the business relationship. The strategic thinking mind, sense of business and forecasting skills are required as well for making the right decisions. The rich practical experiences also cannot be ignored.
Career and myself
My strengths and weaknesses have been identified by four self-assessment tests in the previous part. In this section, my strengths and weaknesses would be used to analyze the match and mismatch between my personality and career prospect.
Firstly, my learning performance is Aural. It allows me to focus on communication as I get the new information by heard and spoken. And I am willing to communicate with everyone. The merchandiser which is my identified career is needed to build and maintain the good relationship to the suppliers by communication. And negotiation is always the main task for merchandiser. It is because the merchandiser needs to negotiate the price as low as possible in order to increase the competitiveness. Whether the negotiation is good, it always depends on the communication. Therefore, the good communication is beneficial for my career.
Secondly, I am an extroversive person which also matches to be a merchandiser. The extroversive personality enables me to expand my social network more easily. As a merchandiser, social network is quite important as it is helpful to find the right supplier to increase the competitiveness of the company. Moreover, as I am an implementer, I have capacity for taking practical steps and action. It is very necessary for being merchandiser. It is because a good merchandiser who can take the practical steps to purchase the right products what would directly influence the profit and reputation of the company. According to the Belbin test as well, I am disciplined, reliable and punctual which also can help me to fulfill the requirements of being a merchandiser.
Nevertheless, there are still some weaknesses which are needed to improve in order to be a successful merchandiser. Firstly, the Honey & Mumford test indicated that I am an activist. I am quite impulsive as I would act first then consider later. This would be a big mistake to be a good merchandiser. A good merchandiser should be very careful and considered before making the purchasing decision. Otherwise, the consequence would be quite serious such as influence the benefit and reputation of the company. Moreover, I am a feeling person. I would make the decision or judgment based on my personal value. It would let me make the wrong purchasing decision. Therefore, I should improve this weakness and consider more critically and rationally before making the decision.
Secondly, the Honey & Mumford test also identified that I enjoy now and here. It means that I prefer stay here and not willing to face the challenges. It would cause me cannot be promoted to the higher level of my career path. I should change my mind and be willing to face each challenge. Otherwise, no matter how many years later, I would be still an assistant merchandiser. Therefore, after understanding how my weaknesses mismatch between my personality and career prospect. I should improve my weaknesses as soon as possible in order to fulfill the requirements for being a good merchandiser.
There are several transferable skills which I need to possess. Different career level has different requirements of transferable skills. They are helpful to my career path no matter at which job position. Farmer and Campbell (1997) stated that the transferable skills are a core of generic skills that information professionals possess which can be transferred either to other roles or other sectors within the profession.Press the Escape key to close
The transferable skills may contain different kind of skills. They are communication skill, interpersonal skill, time management skill and problem solving skill.
Communication skill has great importance in the work area as it includes all areas of life. It can be able to express oneself or to understand the others correctly are required for success and satisfaction at least in elementary level. (Unalan, & Tengilimoglu & Akdemir, 2009)
In the stage of junior level of merchandiser, a good communication skill can improve the relationship and harmony with the colleagues and increase the working efficiency on some routine work.
In meddle and senior level, a good communication skill enables to manage the subordinates more efficiently. And also benefit to negotiation as well. As a merchandiser, maintain a good relationship to the suppliers is very important. It can enhance the ability for bargaining.
Interpersonal skill associates with people skills which are needed to interact with individuals to finish a project. And also relate to an individual's behaviors and attitudes, interpersonal communication and group behavior. (Lerouge, Newton & Ellis,2005)
The interpersonal skill in junior level should follow and obey the orders from the boss in order to satisfy their requirements. In meddle and senior level should have a higher interpersonal skills. It's because it needs to manage a team and coordinate the subordinates to achieve a specific goal.
Time management skill
Stanley (2004) stated that time is the most valuable commodity and it is easily wasted and can never be replaced so that the time management is essential. Time management is a process directed toward analyzing work and the time it takes to complete various assignments.
The time management is very important on any levels of the career path. In the junior, it is just needed to finish some routine works on time. However, the time management skill plays a more important role on the middle and senior level. As here not just manage your own time, but also manage your subordinates' time through motivating and coordinating.
Problem solving skill
In real situations, problem solving skills can to generate ideas to solve new problems and the ability to do or offer useful service in certain cultures. And it is also an effort to find some solutions when face the difficult situation.
(Nair & Ngang, 2012)
Problem solving skill is required slightly as always just handling some routine works in junior level. Nevertheless, in the middle and senior level. When facing the issue, all subordinates would depend on your guiding and direction. Strong problem solving skill will be very important as you are the leader of the team or department
Life long learning
Glastra, Hake & Schedler (2004) pointed out that lifelong learning is needed because the economic system and personal life world is changing rapidly. Life long learning can contribute to the individual's knowledge, abilities and skills continuous improvement.
It is a trend that the individuals are going to be encouraged for developing their skills and competences constantly. (Skok & Marjana,2010)
The people will learn more effectively as they can create and apply the knowledge depends on their own needs and demands via life long learning. (Dimitropoulos & Panagiotis,2008)
Life long learning can induce me being mature and wise to handle everything in the life.
I would like to expand my academic knowledge by studying the Master of Business Administration in City University of Hong Kong. There is at least three year working experience among the entrance requirement of the course. (City University of Hong Kong,2012)
Therefore, I will accumulate three years experiences in the merchandising industry in order to have enough qualification to apply the master degree.
The course aims to offer an experience-based learning approach. According to objectives of the course (City University of Hong Kong,2012), after the finishing the course. I will be able to synthesize and apply knowledge across disciplines to real-business problem. This advanced knowledge will benefit my career development especially in management level.
Language skill plays an important role in business as it can increase the commercial opportunity. (Griva & Sivropoulou, 2009).
Having a good language skill is beneficial as it assists understanding of conversations, communications and negotiations between practitioners and foreign customers (Thitthongkam, Walsh& Bunchapattanasakda,2011)
Mandarin and English are very important in Hong Kong business environment. A good my language skill can enhance my competitiveness. I would like to apply the Business English and Mandarin part-time course for the better future preparation in Hong Kong Language Training Centre (Hong Kong Language Training Centre Ltd,2012). It is because a merchandiser is always needed to communicate with the foreign suppliers.
Negotiation skill plays the important role to reach a mutually beneficial agreement that can establish further business relationships (Rudolph& Kleiner,1992)
A good negotiation skill is essential to the merchandiser. It is not only increase the company's profit by the lower purchasing. It also can build up a better relationship to the supplier. Therefore, I will apply the negotiation skills in workplace certificate course in Informatics Professional Development Centre (Informatics Education HK Limited,2009) Different negotiation skills will be learned in the course. I can hence my negotiation skill after the course which will benefit my career path.
To conclude, I have identified my preferred learning style, personality and team role, and have an analysis of them as well. It enables me to know more about myself. Furthermore, I have determined my future career path as a merchandiser base on my preferences and characters.
Moreover, I have a set of my life long learning plans in order to increase my competitiveness and match the requirements of my career path. I wish I can upgrade myself constantly. And then finally, I can reach the top of my career path.