How Self Awareness And Continuous Self Development Education Essay

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Managers play a very significant role in an organisation. We might conclude that managers who are able to enhance the profit of an organisation as effective and successful managers. In fact, a manager should play in parts more than just generating profit for the organisation. A successful manager may indicate someone who has the ability to carry out their work at an above average effectiveness regardless of their level of management, previous working experiences or age. The qualities of a successful manager may be various according to different circumstances. However, managers should not overlook the importance of self- awareness which can be one of the key factors that failed them from being a successful manager. Many researchers have found the importance of self-awareness which leads to excellent management. (Atwater & Yammarino, 1992 )

What is self-awareness? According to Goleman (1998), an individual who deeply understand his or her own emotions, strengths and weaknesses is said to be self-aware. Church (1997) defines managerial self-awareness as the ability of an individual in assessing his or her own behaviours and skills in workplace. Hence, successful managers should have an appropriate understanding of their own behaviours, skills, emotions, strengths and weakness in their workplace. There are few important aspects of self-awareness which may give a great impact to an individual and these include emotional intelligence, personal values, learning style, and attitude towards changes. (Whetten & Cameron, 2007).

According to Miller (1999), many managers fail due to poor relationship and they did not aware that their results significantly influence by their ability to motivate others as they often get their work done through others. The responsibility to deal with situations that require critical solution will easily get managers feel stressed and frustrated, which these emotions affect how the managers and colleagues respond to one another. The awareness of such emotions allows managers to improve emotional intelligence by recognizing and controlling their own emotions in order to avoid overly harsh in conversations and alienate the people they work with. Thus, emotional intelligence which is the ability of and individual to manage the relationships with others become one of the core factors of being a successful manager.

Harris & Sutton (1995) indicate that most of the managers are now in the circumstances of compromising their own personal standards or values in meeting companies' goals. Managers who aware of their personal values and have a well-developed set of principles base on their past experience can always perform better and more successfully. This is because a set of principles will help managers in making decisions so that they will not compromise morality. This may for example, avoid them from being involved in activities that are against the laws as these actions may lead to severe consequences and at the extreme may force them to end their managers' life.

To be successful, everyone has to be learning constantly and this is why everyone has to focus on their own learning style. Research by Kolb and Kolb (1999) suggest that retaining longer period of learning will help in developing more effective behavioural skills. Our learning style should be compliment with the awareness of our attitudes toward changes. If managers aware of their own attitude toward unexpected changes, they will be able to choose a situation which they feel more comfortable to perform effectively as self-understanding is always a factor to self-improvement and changes.

The rapid changes in organisations have raised the importance of continuous self-development. As stated by Koonce (1996), a manager who is unaware of his or her blind spots would be a disaster in the workplace. Hence, self-development could be achieved by seeking feedback from relevant individuals such as colleagues and to use the feedback effectively. By referring to our feedbacks, we will have more understanding about ourselves and hence could enhance ourselves by setting clear goals and having ways to measure the progress towards our goals. The development may include practical activities such as developing better networks or attending valuable seminars which can build our confidence. Self-development leads us to explore self-knowledge, self-identity and the developing of our full potential with the view to fulfil the criteria of a successful manager.

The awareness of what other's expectations of me will assist me in my career development. Self-development helps us to improve self-knowledge and identity, develop talents and potential. With appropriate self-awareness, I will be more willing to take part in certain activities if I am to be aware of the need for such development. As long as there is appropriate self-awareness, self-development will be in progress. Hence, the increment in the accuracy of self-awareness will lead to an effective self-development. Understanding one's ability through professional assessments of personality and skills will help an individual to understand his or her competency portfolio in order for him or her to enhance himself or herself and this highlights the relationship between self-awareness and self-development. (Peterson & Hicks, 1995).

Self-awareness also allows me to recognise and control my own emotions so that I am less likely to lose control and experience depression under great pressure or when the job circumstances require me carry out 'impossible' task. Appropriate awareness and development of personal values will enhance my ethical decision making in the future. It is also important in helping me to understand the differences of others. We can understand other well only if we completely understand ourselves. There will be no room for us to understand others and to manage and interact with them successfully if we are lack of self-awareness. This is important to me in the future as I will certainly encounter people with different style, different values and different perspective from me. Thus, if I am to be a manager in the future, self-awareness helps me to understand my colleagues as I clearly understand how my emotions, personality and reaction will respond to others and I will know how others perceive me and also the impact of my behaviours to others.

My chosen toolkit is: Cultural Intelligence

Summary of critical incident which demonstrates how you have achieved PG Goal Two: Be culturally and ethically aware and Objective One: Demonstrate their ability to work in diverse groups and teams.

During the group discussion in residential week, the Chinese find it more comfortable to communicate with each other in mandarin which the minority part of my team members could not understand. I see the miserableness of my other team members and hence I decided to stop my members who were communicating in mandarin and encourage them to speak in English so that everyone can be involved in the discussion. However, as the discussion get on to some critical part, the team members started to communicate in Mandarin again as they find it difficult to express themselves in English. I tried to stop them again but they told me that we would not complete the task successfully if they do not communicate well. The only thing I am able to do at the moment was to try my best to explain to the Non-Chinese on what was being discussed and listen carefully to their opinions so that I could deliver their ideas to the group.

How does this reflect the findings of your chosen self analysis toolkit?

I have tried my best to communicate with people from different cultural backgrounds and find it interesting to share the stories of our culture as it enables me to enhance my knowledge on the cultures of the others. I clearly understand that each country has its different language and hence I encourage the team to communicate in an acceptable common language, which is English. When the team members refused to communicate in English, I try my best to explain to the other members to make sure that they have the idea of what was being said and listen to their opinions. I assist the other members to deliver their ideas to the group so that we are all treated as part of the group.

Identify the key strengths and weaknesses identified within this critical incident

I clearly understand that we are working in a group from diverse cultural backgrounds. I was brave enough to raise the issue that the Chinese should not be communicating in Mandarin. I did not get frustrated when the Chinese ignore my advice but act rationally to translate the content being discussed to the other members as I see the importance of commitment of team members during group discussion.

However, I see my weakness in delivering knowledge to others as my team members did not see the importance of communication in common language in a group after my advice to them. Furthermore, I am lack of rationality and this stop the team from working well. I did not insist on communicating in English when my team members persuade me that it is more important to win the task.

What are the implications for future career or personal development?

As organisations tend to enlarge their businesses internationally, it would change the working environment and there might be chances that I will encounter people from different nation with different cultures and ethics. According to Earley and Mosakowski (2004), we can improve how people relate to one another by understanding how their different backgrounds influence their act. Appropriate cultural intelligence allows me to get along with people from different cultural backgrounds and this will solve my social problem in the future. It also assists me in communicating with a group of people with diverse cultural background as we might offend the others if we do not understand their backgrounds. Cultural intelligence will not only influence my own impression to others but also the reputation of my working company if I am to represent a global organization in the future.

My chosen toolkit is: MBIT:Think about yourself

Summary of critical incident (use detailed critical incidents from your module activities, residential weekend, past experiences etc).

I have been very lost in the gridlock session and did not understand the task well as I need more time for myself to understand the game while most my group mate were started to voice out their own opinions and suggestions to the solution. While everyone is busying with sharing their own solutions, I notice that one of my group member - X was trying to share his idea that nobody was to listen to him. I feel sympathetic to him and tend to listen carefully to what he was trying to share. He thinks that it would be easier for us to communicate with each other if we were to label each of the grids numerically or alphabetically. I appreciate his suggestion and explain to him that it might be a little too time consuming and is not practical to the task due to time constraint.

How does this reflect the findings of your chosen self analysis toolkit?

I strongly agree that I am more to introversion which I prefer to work quietly and without interruption in my inner world. I love to solve task myself and I tend to have more confidence to solve tasks effectively if I were given sometime for myself to think about it. I prefer to use proven procedures to make things more realistic and practical which cause me to deny the creative suggestion raised by group mate X. The feeling types define those who like to deal with people and easily feel sympathetic, appreciative and tactful to others has perfectly described my personality, for example I started to listen to group member X when the other group members ignore him and gave him appropriate feedback upon his suggestion.

Identify the key strengths and weaknesses identified within this critical incident

I see myself as someone who is considerate as I clearly understand that the suggestion by group member X is being ignored by others would give him the worst feeling ever and I deny his suggestion tactfully so that I did not affect his confidence on providing other opinions to the group. Even though I did not understand the task thoroughly at the beginning of the task, I did not give up easily and tried my best to keep myself on track.

However, I did not respond quickly to the task given which unable to contribute the group. I am too introvert that I prefer to do work in my inner world this has failed me from communicating with other group members and not able to get additional information and understanding to the task given.

What are the implications for future career or personal development?

This incident has given me a very big impact on how I would like to carry myself in the future. I will be more aware of the impact of my actions to the others so that I did not easily put people down. Future career require me to deal with people with different personality and it would give me a better advantage of being more sympathetic, appreciative and tactful when dealing with others so that we are able to work with harmony in order to enhance the effectiveness of work. Furthermore, Reinsch and Gardner (2011) reported in the Association for Business Communication's Annual Convention that employees with strong interpersonal communication skills are most likely to be considered for promotions by senior business executive and also indicate that writing ability was not viewed as priority concern for promotion. Hence, I acknowledge the important of being responsive and development of my communication skill with others will assist me to perform better in future in both the aspect of personally and career.

My chosen toolkit is: Belbin

Summary of critical incident (use detailed critical incidents from your module activities, residential weekend, past experiences etc).

In the session of building of Pyramid, each member of my group have shared our Belbin preferred roles in order for us to divide our work accordingly. We have been informed that there should be someone to focus on the financial part, hence I mentioned to the group that I have basic knowledge in finance and I am very keen on doing the part. However, as the task begins, my group did not divide the work accordingly and I did not get the chance to work on the finance part. Due to time constraint, my team leader, a shaper was busy with getting started with the task and refused to re-plan on the work division so I went on with what had been asked to do by the leader. However, I feel regret as I did not put more effort to clarify to the group that our work division is not divided according to our preferred roles, in which this might be the main factor that leads to failure in our group.

How does this reflect the findings of your chosen self analysis toolkit?

My Belbin preferred roles: Co-ordinator, Monitor Evaluater, Implementer and Specialist.

I found myself to be a very good implementer as I did not get frustrated with what had been arranged and go on with what is planned by the leader, as an implementer always has a good deal of self-control and discipline. Even though I love to be involved in the financial calculation part, I did not insist on doing that to avoid distraction in my leader's plan which seems to be less concerned with pursuit of self-interest.

Furthermore, I did fulfil the characteristics of a Specialist who pride myself on acquiring knowledge in finance and I used to defend for my own field. I have been a volunteer to be involved in the finance part during the task and I have the confidence to do the best for my team.

I am lack to be a good monitor evaluator as I did not think things over. I realised that my team mate who is working on the calculation part do not have financial background and I did not consider this problem seriously. If I were to take this issue seriously I can discuss with my leader about the pros and cons of this work division so that he can change our position in order to complete the task successfully.

Identify the key strengths and weaknesses identified within this critical incident

Throughout the incident, I realise that I have a good self-control that I did not get frustrated to things that happening not according to what I thought it should be. I behave myself and do my best on the task that is given to me by my leader. I have been patience enough to deal with task that I do not prefer. Being respective to leader or who has the right to give instructions is also one of my strength as I did not get into conflict with my leader for not dividing work accordingly.

However, it shows my weaker side by not being brave enough to challenge others' opinions or ideas. I did not voice out even though I realise the issues of instructions and ideas given by my leader. I am lack of confidence to speak out firmly when I notice that there is a problem within the group as I am afraid that my suggestion will be rejected.

What are the implications for future career or personal development?

I see how important how each person's preference role will influence the result on a task. I clearly understand my own preferred role and will carry this with me in my future as I find that I will be more committed taking part in things that I preferred. I also realise how one's actions or decisions toward the impact of a result. If I were to talk slowly and persuasively to my team leader, we might turn things over. In the future, I might encounter more shapers who are aggressive and have strong drive with little interpersonal understanding. I will maintain my self-control in the situation and learn to be more persuasive in delivering my message to other without being reluctant to insist on the things which I think is right and try to deliver the message to them clearly so that they will take into consideration of the issue which have been raised by me.

Reference List

Ashford, S. and Tsui, A. (1991), Self-regulation for managerial effectiveness: the role of active feedback seeking, Academy of Management Journal, 34, 251-80.

Atwater, L. & Yammarino, F. (1992). Does self-other agreement on leadership perceptions moderate the validity of leadership and performance predictions?. Personnel Psychology, 45(1), 141-164.

Bourner, T. (1996). Effective management and development of self-awareness: a plain manager's guide. Career Development International, 1(4), 14-18. (printed journal)

Clive Fletcher, Caroline Bailey. (2003). Assessing self-awareness: some issues and methods. Journal of Managerial Psychology, 18(5), 395 - 404.

DeKay, S. H. (2012). Interpersonal Communication in the Workplace: A Largely Unexplored Region. Business Communication Quarterly, 75(4), 449-452. doi:10.1177/1080569912458966

Earley, P., & Mosakowski, E. (2004). Toward culture intelligence: Turning cultural differences into a workplace advantage. Academy Of Management Executive, 18(3), 151-157. doi:10.5465/AME.2004.28561784

Goleman, D. (1998). What makes a leader. Harvard Business Review, 76 (6), 92-102.

Harris, J.R., and Sutton, C. (1995). Unraveling the ethical decision making process. Journal of Business Ethics, 14, 805-817

Kolb, Alice, & Kolb, D. A. (1999). Bibliography of research on experiential learning theory and learning style inventory. Ceveland, OH: Case Western Reserve University.

Koonce, R. (1996). Emotional IQ, a new secret of success?. Training and Development. 50(2), 19.

London, M. & Smither, J. W. (1999). Empowered Self-development and continuous learning. Human Resource Management, 38(1), 3-15. (journal 3)

McCarthy, A. M. & Garavan, T. N. (1999). Developing self-awareness in the managerial career

development process: the value of 360-degree feedback and the MBTI, Journal of European Industrial Training, 23(9 ), 437 - 445.

Miller, M. (1999). Emotional intelligence helps managers succeed. Credit Union Magazine, 65(7), 25.

Pedler, M., Burgoyne, J. & Boydell, T. (2001). A Manager's Guide to Self Development. (4th ed.), Berkshire: McGraw-Hill Publishing Company.

Peterson, D. and Hicks, M. (1995), Development First: Strategies for Self-development, USA: Personnel Decisions International. (journal 2)

Reinsch, N. L., Jr., & Gardner, J. A. (2011, October). Do good communicators get promoted? Maybe not! In L. G. Snyder (Ed.), Proceedings of the 76th annual convention of the Association for Business Communication. Retrieved from http://businesscommunication.org/ wp-content/uploads/2011/10/2011-ABC-01-REINSCH.pdf

Van Velsor, E., Taylor, S. and Leslie, J. (1993), An examination of the relationships among self-perception accuracy, self-awareness, gender and leader effectiveness. Human Resource Management, 32 (3) , 249-263.

Whetten, D. A & Cameron, K. S. (2007). Developing Management Skills. (7th ed.), New Jersey: Peason Education Inc.

My chosen toolkit is: Belbin

Summary of critical incident (use detailed critical incidents from your module activities, residential weekend, past experiences etc).

In the session of building of Pyramid, each member of my group have shared our Belbin preferred roles in order for us to divide our work accordingly. We have been informed that there should be someone to focus on the financial part, hence I mentioned to the group that I have basic knowledge in finance and I am very keen on doing the part. However, as the task begins, my group did not divide the work accordingly and I did not get the chance to work on the finance part. Due to time constraint, my team leader, a shaper was busy with getting started with the task and refused to re-plan on the work division so I went on with what had been asked to do by the leader. However, I feel regret as I did not put more effort to clarify to the group that our work division is not divided according to our preferred roles, in which this might be the main factor that leads to failure in our group.

How does this reflect the findings of your chosen self analysis toolkit?

My Belbin preferred roles: Co-ordinator, Monitor Evaluater, Implementer and Specialist.

I found myself to be a very good implementer as I did not get frustrated with what had been arranged and go on with what is planned by the leader, as an implementer always has a good deal of self-control and discipline. Even though I love to be involved in the financial calculation part, I did not insist on doing that to avoid distraction in my leader's plan which seems to be less concerned with pursuit of self-interest.

Furthermore, I did fulfil the characteristics of a Specialist who pride myself on acquiring knowledge in finance and I used to defend for my own field. I have been a volunteer to be involved in the finance part during the task and I have the confidence to do the best for my team.

I am lack to be a good monitor evaluator as I did not think things over. I realised that my team mate who is working on the calculation part do not have financial background and I did not consider this problem seriously. If I were to take this issue seriously I can discuss with my leader about the pros and cons of this work division so that he can change our position in order to complete the task successfully.

Identify the key strengths and weaknesses identified within this critical incident

Throughout the incident, I realise that I have a good self-control that I did not get frustrated to things that happening not according to what I thought it should be. I behave myself and do my best on the task that is given to me by my leader. I have been patience enough to deal with task that I do not prefer. Being respective to leader or who has the right to give instructions is also one of my strength as I did not get into conflict with my leader for not dividing work accordingly.

However, it shows my weaker side by not being brave enough to challenge others' opinions or ideas. I did not voice out even though I realise the issues of instructions and ideas given by my leader. I am lack of confidence to speak out firmly when I notice that there is a problem within the group as I am afraid that my suggestion will be rejected.

What are the implications for future career or personal development?

I see how important how each person's preference role will influence the result on a task. I clearly understand my own preferred role and will carry this with me in my future as I find that I will be more committed taking part in things that I preferred. I also realise how one's actions or decisions toward the impact of a result. If I were to talk slowly and persuasively to my team leader, we might turn things over. In the future, I might encounter more shapers who are aggressive and have strong drive with little interpersonal understanding. I will maintain my self-control in the situation and learn to be more persuasive in delivering my message to other without being reluctant to insist on the things which I think is right and try to deliver the message to them clearly so that they will take into consideration of the issue which have been raised by me.

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