Importance Of Planning And Personal Development Education Essay

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A plan is a predetermined course of action which an individual desires to take in order to achieve a desired goal or objective. Planning is a vital process necessary for allocation and utilisation of resources. Personal development plan (PDP) can be defined as a structure and a process that helps an individual to reflect upon his or her learning, performance and / or achievements in relation to his or her personal, educational and career development goals and objectives. Personal development planning is a structured way of helping an individual to identify where he is, where he wants to go and how to get there. It requires a vision of the future and the desired achievement, a projection of tomorrow with the end in mind.

Personal development plan is an important tool to help in understanding oneself and setting of meaningful goals. It helps to define goals in terms of what one wants to achieve and the steps to be taken to get there. Through personal development plan, an individual will be able to identify gaps in his skills and come up with action plans to fill them and help him to move close to the predetermined end goal.

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In the pages to follow I will outline details of my personal development plan focusing on my dream career of becoming a Chartered Secretary to work in a highly reputable public limited company. Personal and professional goals required for working as a chartered secretary will be examined. The need of continuing professional development programmes will be assessed and evaluated. Objectives to be achieved through personal development plan will be analysed while considering obstacles to achieving these objectives and means to overcome them.

I will conclude by giving a reflective report evaluating the impact of my own learning against the achievement of strategic goals while considering my strengths and areas for development of leadership skills.

1.1(ii) Skills required for a career as a chartered company secretary.

Company secretaries are focal point of companies for independent guidance and conduct of business, governance and compliance. They are responsible for the promotion of best practises essential for organisational performance (www.icsa.org.uk visited on 15th January 2011 at 1700hrs)

In their website www.icsa.org.uk, the institute of chartered secretaries and administrators state that the responsibilities of a company secretary will vary depending on the level of the job, role, organisation and sector, either public or private sector. Some of the responsibilities are:

To advise the board of directors on effective decision making on legal and regulatory matters and, risk management.

Developing and managing strategies to ensure compliance with legal and regulatory requirements and identify areas for improved corporate governance.

Managing board, shareholders and trustee communications, reports and meetings and liaising with auditors, lawyers and tax advisors.

Leading on issues essential to performance such as negotiation of contracts, finance, accounting, insurance and property.

Interpreting and advising on financial reporting.

Implementing change in relevant legislation.

In order to execute the above mentioned responsibilities of a company secretary, possession of certain personal and professional skills is vital. Some of the skills that I should possess to meet organisation objectives as a company secretary are explained below.

Personal skills:

Integrity - a company secretary should be a person of high moral principles, He should attract respect and admiration out of his personal disposition.

Confidentiality - the company secretary should be able to keep secrets of the company and not divulge them to un authorised parties.

Trustworthy - the company secretary deals with confidential information of the company, he should be trusted to handle such information.

Hard working- a company secretary should be able to deliver on time and able to gather necessary information with promptness and accuracy.

Affable - He/she should be a good natured and sociable person who can easily be approached for advice and information relating to the organisation. He should easily interact with all stake holders of the organisation.

Good time keeper- reports and information should be presented on time and thus the importance of time management skills.

Communication skills- this is a personal as well as a professional skill. A company secretary should be able to communicate fluently, effectively and efficiently. It is important to be conversant with different communication methods and how to use them in variable situations.

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Professional skills:

Report writing skills- one of the major tasks of a company secretary is to prepare comprehensive reports for the stake holders of the organisation. Report writing skills are essential to be mastered in order to present well written and comprehensive reports

Presentation skills- a company secretary should be conversant with different methods of presenting information for varied audiences. He should be able to explain technical terms in language comprehensible to the audience.

Analytical skills- the ability to analyse information and data presented so as to compile reports and present them in an intelligible manner.

Computer skills- the use of information technology should help a company secretary in executing his / her duties. Mastery of relevant computer skills is vital

Problem solving skills- a company secretary is confronted with different issues that arise due to the dynamic business environment. Problem solving skills will be necessary to solve matters that may arise

Project management skills.- A company secretary should possess good management skills and a mastery of management of projects and various requirements at different stages.

Organisation skills- It is important to be well organised and to know how to plan activities and deliver within time frames allocated

1.2. Techniques for assessing professional and personal skills

Under the guidance of my lecturer in this subject of Professional Development for Strategic Managers, Mr. Tashfeen Khan, I have carried out a skills audit to assess the skills that I require to support my future career aspiration of working as a chartered company secretary.

By conducting a skills audit review, knowledge and skills that I consider to be important for my future career as a company secretary are listed and rated according to my current position. My fellow classmates have helped in analysing my behavioural skills and helped in rating them in a scale ranging from: strong, weak and average. I have analysed my technical knowledge and skills and rated them according to level of competency using the following categories;

- No current competency - implies that I do not have current knowledge or skill in a particular field

- Not sufficiently competent - Implies that I have some awareness but not sufficient to use effectively - there is need for improvement

- Some competency - familiar with and able to use the knowledge and skill, continued work experience and exposure will benefit in achieving high level competency

- High level competency - proficient in the knowledge or skill and able to show others how to use it, however continued leaning and exposure will lead to full competency.

- Fully competent - expert with a high degree of skill and/ or knowledge

2.1 Skills audit and identification of learning styles.

Using the previously mentioned methods in 1.2 for analysing behavioural and technical knowledge and skills, the table below shows an analysis of behavioural and technical skill and the current personal position measured on scales defined above.

Table 1: skills audit

Behavioural skills - (transferable personal and inter personal skills. They are necessary for almost every career)

Scaled as: 1= Strong

2=Average

3=weak

Communication skills

1.

Problem solving skills

2.

Time keeping and management skills

3.

Self management and development

2.

Task management

1.

Listening skills

1.

Applying initiative

2.

Analytical skills

1.

Information and Computer Technology skills (ICT) skills

2.

Organisation and team building skills

2.

Technical knowledge and skills - (Those that are necessary for a particular profession or field)

Scaled on level of competency:

Fully competent= 5; High level competency=4; Some competency=3; Not sufficiently competent=2; No competence=1

Financial report interpretation skills

3

Report writing skills

3

Presentation skills

3

Knowledge on company and business law

2

Good command of written and spoken English

4

Skill audit summary

From the skill audit conducted I clearly understand my current position and have identified areas that I need to improve on in order to achieve my goals.

Time management and keeping is one of my weak areas that I should improve on and an important aspect in any field or career. I will also work towards improving other skills in problem solving, Information technology and team building skills that are essential interpersonal skills in a career of chartered secretary.

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Technical knowledge and skills are essential for particular profession. These I have to work towards improving them since I have not attained any high level of competency in most of them.

2.2. Professional development priorities and SWOT analysis

In this section, an evaluation of professional development priorities is undertaken as well as Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats (SWOT) analysis. The evaluation of professional development priorities is done using learning material from subject lecturer Mr. Tashfeen Khan and adopted from Belbin Team Roles Inventory developed by Meredith Belbin in 1981.

Belbin Team Roles - Self Perception Inventory

The following tables have sets of questions which I will answer by distributing a total of ten points among the sentences which I think best describes my behaviour.

The questions relate to an individual working with a team but also relate to personal characteristic that can be used to identify personal strengths and weaknesses in developing a person's profession.

Table 2. (a) Section I - VII - Belbin team roles inventory tables

Section I: What I believe I can contribute to a team:

I think I can quickly see and take advantage of new opportunities

A

I can work well with a very wide range of people

B

Producing ideas is one of my natural assets

C

My ability rests in being able to draw people out whenever I detect they have something of value to contribute to group objectives

D

My capacity to follow through has much to do with my personal effectiveness

E

I am ready to face temporary unpopularity if it leads to worthwhile results in the end

F

I am quick to sense what is likely to work in a situation with which I am familiar

G

I can offer a reasoned case for alternative courses of action without introducing bias or prejudice

H

Section II. If I have a possible shortcoming in teamwork, it could be that:

I am not at ease unless meetings are well structured and controlled and generally well conducted

A

I am inclined to be too generous towards others who have a valid viewpoint that has not been given a proper airing

B

I have a tendency to talk a lot once the group gets on to new ideas

C

My objective outlook makes it difficult for me to join in readily and enthusiastically with colleagues

D

I am sometimes seen as forceful and authoritarian if there is a need to get something done

E

I find it difficult to lead from the front, perhaps because I am over responsive to group atmosphere

F

I am apt to get too caught up in ideas that occur to me and so lose track of what is happening

G

My colleagues tend to see me as worrying unnecessarily over detail and the possibility that things may go wrong.

H

Section III. When involved in a project with other people:

I have an aptitude for influencing people without pressurising them

A

My general vigilance prevents careless mistakes and omissions being made

B

I am ready to press for action to make sure that the meeting does not waste time or lose sight of the main objective

C

I can be counted on to contribute something original

D

I am always ready to back a good suggestion in the common interest

E

I am keen to look for the latest in new ideas and developments

F

I believe my capacity for cool judgement is appreciated by others

G

I can be relied upon to see that all essential work is organised

H

.

Section IV: My characteristic approach to group work is that:

I have a quiet interest in getting to know colleagues better

A

I am not reluctant to challenge the views of others or to hold a minority view myself

B

I can usually find a line of argument to refute unsound propositions

C

I think I have a talent for making things work once a plan has to be put into operation

D

I have a tendency to avoid the obvious and to come out with the unexpected

E

I bring a touch of perfectionism to any team job I undertake

F

I am ready to make use of contacts outside the group itself

G

While I am interested in all views, I have no hesitation in making up my mind once a decision has to be made

H

Section V: I gain satisfaction in a job because:

I enjoy analysing situations and weighing up all the possible choices

A

I am interested in finding practical solutions to problems

B

I like to feel I am fostering good working relationships

C

I can have a strong influence on decisions

D

I can meet people who may have something new to offer

E

I can get people to agree on a necessary course of action

F

I feel in my element where I can give a task my full attention

G

I like to find a field that stretches my imagination

H

Section VI: If I am suddenly given a difficult task with limited time and unfamiliar people:

I would feel like retiring to a corner to devise a way out of the impasse before developing a line

A

I would be ready to work with the person who showed the most positive approach, however difficult he might be

B

I would find some way of reducing the size of the task by establishing what different individuals might best contribute

C

My natural sense of urgency would help to ensure that we did not fall behind schedule

D

I believe I would keep cool and maintain my capacity to think straight

E

I would retain a steadiness of purpose in spite of the pressures

F

I would be prepared to take a positive lead if I felt the group was making no progress

G

I would open up discussions with a view to stimulating new thoughts and getting something moving

H

Section VII: With reference to the problems to which I am subjected to in working in groups:

I am apt to show my impatience with those who are obstructing progress

A

Others may criticise me for being too analytical and insufficiently intuitive

B

My desire to ensure that work is properly done can hold up proceedings

C

I tend to get bored rather easily and rely on one or two stimulating members to spark me off

D

I find it difficult to get started unless the goals are clear

E

I am sometimes poor at explaining and clarifying complex points that occur to me

F

I am conscious of demanding from others the things I cannot do myself

G

I hesitate to get my points across when I run up against real opposition

H

The points allocated to each question are transferred into the following table.

Table 2 (b) Belbin team role inventory points allocation

Section

IM

CO

SH

PL

RI

ME

TW

CF

I

g

7

d

5

f

7

c

6

a

7

h

8

b

9

e

II

a

7

b

8

e

1

g

3

c

5

d

2

f

2

h

III

h

9

a

8

c

6

d

7

f

8

g

8

e

9

b

IV

d

8

h

8

b

7

e

2

g

7

c

8

a

8

f

V

b

9

f

7

d

7

h

6

e

7

a

8

c

9

g

VI

f

8

c

5

g

7

a

3

h

8

e

9

b

8

d

VII

e

8

g

3

a

6

f

6

d

4

b

7

h

4

c

TOTAL

56

44

41

33

46

50

49

38

1 5 6 8 4 2 3 7

The column with the highest total points indicates my primary team roles other high scores indicate additional roles that I may also undertake.

Arranged in order from best to worst:

Implementer (IM) = 56 POINTS

Monitor evaluator (ME) = 50 POINTS

Team worker (TW) = 49 POINTS

Resource investigator (RI) = 46 POINTS

Co-ordinator (CO) = 44 POINTS

Shaper (SH) = 41 POINTS

Completer finisher (CF)= 38 POINTS

Plant (PL) = 33 POINTS

The description of the team roles is provided below:

Table 2 (c) Belbin team role analysis table

Key

Team Role

Team contribution/personal style

Allowable weakness

PL

Plant

Generates ideas. Creative, imaginative, unorthodox, solves difficult problems

Ignores details, too preoccupied to communicate effectively

RI

Resource investigator

Maintains awareness of resources available outside the team. Extrovert, enthusiastic, communicative, explores opportunities, develops contacts

Overoptimistic, loses interest once the initial enthusiasm has passed

CO

Co-ordinator

Ensures internal resources are applied to the team objective. Mature, confident, a good chairperson, clarifies goals, promotes decision making, delegates well.

Can be seen as manipulative, delegates personal work.

SH

Shaper

Shapes the way the team operates. Challenging, dynamic, thrives on pressure, has the drive and courage to overcome obstacles

Can provoke others, hurts peoples feelings

ME

Monitor evaluator

Assesses team progress against the objectives and milestones. Sober, strategic and discerning, sees all options, judges accurately.

Lacks drive and ability to inspire others, overly critical

TW

Team worker

Involves everyone, looks after individual needs, and seeks to gain commitment by participation. Co-operative, mild, perceptive and diplomatic, listens, builds, averts friction, calms the waters

Indecisive in crunch situations, can be easily influenced

IM

Implementer

Turns ideas into practical actions. Disciplined, reliable, conservative and efficient.

Somewhat inflexible, slow to respond to new possibilities

CF

Completer finisher

Ensures the job is properly finished. Painstaking, conscientious, anxious, searches out errors and omissions, delivers on time

Inclined to worry unduly, reluctant to delegate, can be a nit-picker.

Sources: "Management Teams - Why they succeed or fail" Meredith Belbin, 1981, Butterworth-Heinemann

"Team Roles at Work" Meredith Belbin, 1993, Butterworth-Heinemann

Summary of strengths and weaknesses

The above suggested analysis by Meredith Belbin has been significant in helping to understand my personal strengths and weaknesses. I agree with the results of the analysis that I am keen on implementation of ideas, disciplined, reliable, conservative and efficient but also somewhat inflexible and slow to respond to new possibilities. I am also a monitor and evaluator with a character to see all options and judges accurately although I may lack drive and ability to inspire others and at times over critical. More to that I am a good team worker who involves everyone and looks after individual needs seeking to gain commitment by participation .

Some of my worst skills that I may need to improve are in conjunction to overcoming obstacles which I lack the drive, inability to thrive on pressure and in challenging dynamic situations. I am also weak at ensuring that jobs are well completed and delivered on time, and without errors and omissions. Generation of ideas by being creative, imaginative and ability to solve difficult problems is also a major area of weakness

3.1 Personal development plan (PDP)

A personal development plan enables an individual to take charge of his own learning and development. Learning becomes a proactive as well as reactive process designed and prioritised to support immediate development needs as well as long term ambitions

A personal development plan will enable me to identify key areas of learning and development that will enable me to acquire new skills and attributes for addressing my career aspirations in the future.

In the previous sections I have carried out a skills analysis and determined my learning and development needs. The following is a personal development plan to meet the requirements identified in the skills audit.

PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT PLAN (PDP)

Name: Joseph Mutisya

Date: 26th December 2010.

Needs:

Objectives:

How to meet needs.

Achievement determiners.

What is my current position?

A full time student undertaking a level 7 diploma in management and leadership skills

*Attain relevant management and leadership skills to qualify as an effective and more efficient manager

* By completing the 12 months diploma and studying and understanding all the relevant modules

* writing and submitting all assignments to the modules and passing with acceptable standards

Where do I want to be in 1 to 3 years time?

-To enrol for an MBA degree.

-To complete professional exams in chartered secretaries and administrators

- To undertake computer lessons and attain relevant IT skills

* To further my knowledge in management and administration of organisations and to increase my employability opportunities.

* To become a professional chartered secretary

* To become efficient in use and application of Information technology in modern business practises.

1. By enrolling for a distance learning MBA programme after completion of diploma.

2. By registering with professional body of institute of chartered secretaries and administrators, studying and attempting all professional examinations.

3.Enrolling for part time computer classes for chosen packages.

1. Passing written examination and writing a dissertation.

2. Passing all modules and being awarded with certificates of merit after completion.

3. being able to apply the learned IT skills and passing any written and practical examination

Where do I want to be in 4 to 6 years?

Should have finished my studies, obtained a job in a medium size company as either a company secretary or an assistant to the secretary

To gain the relevant practical work experience and apply the years of education and learning into practical field.

To be fully certified chartered company secretary

By making job applications and attending job interviews whenever shortlisted.

Gaining work experience in a company for a period of 6 years

Getting employed in a company of choice and fully utilizing the acquired knowledge.

Final award by professional body of title of Chartered secretary.

Challenges that am likely to meet within my development plan.

1. Financial constrains to.

The MBA degree and the chartered secretary course require high amounts of money

2. change in UK legislation in regard to student visa extension thus limiting my study period

Perceived means of overcoming those challenges.

1. Relying on savings to finance the development objectives, otherwise my wife is willing to fully support where necessary.

2. Working hard to attain the MBA before expiry of current visa in 2013. Professional examination can be taken from my native country in case I fail to get visa extention.

What adjustments would I make to achieve my goals?

Draw a workable time plan of when to expecting to start and finish desired goals.

- be time cautious and work extra hard.

- read widely especially on business matters .

-prioritize goals and work within specified time frames.

What else should I consider important to my personal development?

-Eat healthy food and exercise regularly.

- interact with positive minded people who will help me to remain focused and determined to achieve goals

3.3 Professional development plan/ continuous development plan

A professional development plan is a short planning document that examines a person's current Continuous Development Plan (CDP) needs, and looks at how these might be met by listing objectives for the future and helping to structure and focus the training needs. ( Mr. Tashfeen Khan, professional development for strategic managers, lecture material.)

CONTINUOUS DEVELOPMENT PLAN FOR THE YEAR 2011-2012

Aims and aspirations:

Attain an extended diploma in management and leadership

Successfully finish a MBA post graduate degree

To have attempted and successfully passed in four of the eight professional exams for chartered secretaries.

Skills/ knowledge required to achieve the aims

How fulfil them

Time management skills

Planning activities before starting and allocating specific time to follow.

Financial interpretation skills

Learning relevant modules in professional training

Presentation skills

To be acquired trough course work in professional developemnt

Report writing skills

Through professional training

Computer skills

Enrol for computer classes

Management skills

Learning from extended diploma in management and leadership.

3.3. Reflective report.

By undertaking this module of professional development for strategic managers, I have been in sighted to carefully examine my goals and aspirations as far as my future life and career are concerned.

I have discovered my week areas especially on time management and have been able to focus and plan for the future and avoid procrastination. I am more enthused to face the challenges that might occur to hold my progress towards achieving my goals since I have reflected and accommodated them in my planning.