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It is not where you start, it is where you finish. Finally, I make myself to the United Kingdom and experienced the academic here in Sheffield Hallam University. One of the most interesting modules is called Professional Accounting Skill For Business Decision, which is a totally practical teaching module as compared to others.
Initially, we have been given a group work which requires a lot of teamwork in order to be present in front of the audience. However, we each have different ability, thoughts, strengths and weaknesses.
For me, the most important aspect is the balance of the team members in terms of their ability. Previously, I didn't notice the importance of identify the team role at the initial step as this seems nothing much helpful.According to Belbine Team Role Theory, It was found that different individuals displayed different team roles to varying degrees. 'People need to know where they stand in relation to others if they are to succeed in establishing working relationship' (Belbin, 1993).
Personally, I would consider myself as a 'plant' among the team roles as I am a creative and imaginative person. Only when the team roles are clearly identified, balance can only be strike and it is a key thing for success. Thus, each member with different ability can supply specific knowledge which they are distinct with. This reminds me that a good achievement is actually the combined effort of all the members, but not an individual.
Having experienced this, now I realized even though how distinct your result or how tough you were, you cannot reach a perfect outcome without the cooperation of your group members. Additionally, I have found out that one could see something from different point of view that you might have not realized as 'strength lies in differences, not similarities' (Stephen Covey). As a next step, I would try my best to observe the behavior of my team members and seek opinion from others to fit into our works and make a perfect outcome.
As this is a group work, we then been assigned to handle a specific task or part and make preparation for it. However, the proportion and level of difficulties of the task assigned for every team member was not the same.
Therefore, possible conflict could arise due to unfairness among group members. For me, the most relevant issue here was that whether my team members can still be working on cooperatively and put much effort on the specific part assigned to usdue to this perception of unfairness.
Social interdependence theory recognizes that there is a type of social interdependence called 'positive interdependence'(. Johnson &R.Johnson, 1989). Positive interdependence exists when individuals perceive that they can reach their goals ifand only if the other individuals with whom they are cooperatively linked also reach their goals and, therefore, promote each other's efforts to achieve the goals.
Having experienced this, I have now felt the importance of teamwork as it could help promote the best quality outcome. 'Teamwork is the ability to work together toward a common vision. It is the fuel that allows common people to attain uncommon results' (Andrew Carnegie, 1903).Equally, many studies have actually showthat 'cooperative learning experiences encourage higher achievement' (Maughan& Webb, 2001). This means that in order to improve our achievement, perhaps a leader is needed to help in terms of cooperation and encourage group members to share out the tasks.
One of the most interesting parts of this module is that different cycle would have different members to deal with different specific task. At this time, we must first know everyone from the team members very well so that we can support each other in terms of strengths and weaknesses or sharing of ideas or opinions.
If we can communicate well, we can perhaps having our work done smoothly and perfectly. Therefore, communication plays an important role here.Further, these enable team members to understand each other feelings and thoughts for the specific task. As what Henry Fordhas said 'If there is any great secret of success in life, it lies in the ability to put yourself in the other person's place and to see things from his point of view - as well as your own.'
For me, the most important lesson was that communication does play an important part in our lives. This is how we deliver our message to others in order to achieve what we want. 'The way we communicate with others and with ourselves ultimately determines the quality of our lives'(Anthony Robbins ). At the time, I considered myself as an introvert which has little communication with others. Having taking part in many team discussions and presentations, I have significantly developed my skills in communication with others.
Having experienced this, I now feel that we should always listen to other thoughts. By doing this, we can actually benefits from it and also others. As what Sam Walton said 'The key to success is to get out into the store and listen to what the associates have to say. It's terribly important for everyone to get involved. Our best ideas come from clerks and stockboys.' This makes me feel that communication can actually results in a win-win situation as we know each other wants.
Furthermore, I have come to realise that this understanding is so essential for me especially when I work next time. Communication can be a key tool to cultivate relationship with all the team members within an organisation and to work cooperatively.
Because I have now realised the importance of this, I will now need to improve my communication skill by take part in various social activities or events.
In study life, being a polite character like me would normally be favor by a lot of people such as my friends. However, in the real world, problems occur when we met with the strong characters for some wants.
For me, my useful experience was that a polite character like me would normally control or influence by another strong character in a deal, especially with person who has high authority. In this case, being a polite person would absolutely faces huge losses in such situation. According to French and Raven (1960) (cited in Daft, 2006, p. 680), there are five sources of power which are legitimate, reward, coercive, expert and referent power. A strong character with high authority is normally considered as coercive or legitimate power, which is to force people to do something against their will.
At the time, I did not think that any preparation should be made when making deal with another character. However, I lost my control and influence in a deal with another strong character. Alternatively, a compromise did not reach in a win- win situation with what I want originally but instead the strong characters are seem having their own advantages because of my polite characteristic.
Ultimately, our group did not achieve a successful outcome. Having experienced this, I now realized that we should sometime change our characteristics to be much stronger in order to attain for our own interest. Additionally, I have learnt that we should have built confident with ourselves when dealing with others. This understanding could be essential for me in the future as I should determine what forms of power I and others available so that I shouldn't assume I am powerless or have less power than the other person.
When meeting with another strong character, we were also tried to fight for or win over something that we were planned to. Problems arise when I felt that the strong character is continually taking advantage from me, and I had no chance to fight for something that I want all over the negotiating process.
Having also experienced this, I now felt that equip with key negotiation skill is vital in today competitive environment. Additionally, I have learnt some negotiation skill in this module which is helpful for me in the future. I have come to realized that a successful negotiation is not only about winning from one party, but both parties which resulting a win-win negotiation.
This means that sometimes we have to find alternative ways, in order for both parties to feel positive once the negotiation is over. Most importantly, this helps people keep good working relationships afterwards. 'My father said: "You must never try to make all the money that's in a deal. Let the other fellow make some money too, because if you have a reputation for always making all the money, you won't have many deals.' (J. Paul Getty).
This understanding is very important for me as I will be involved in many negotiation processes in my future career. Therefore, I will now need to brush up my win-win negotiation skills and preparing for a successful negotiation. As what Chester L. Karrass said 'In business, you don't get what you deserve, you get what you negotiate.'
When I came to a specific task, it shows that they were tremendous of problems along with the task. Difficulties arise when I was asking myself whether I should solve all the problems with little concerns, or, should I solve the main problem with much effort being place.
Potential problem may arise if we failed to identify the main problem, and there is useless to give a lot of solutions for the minor problems. 'When a problem comes along, study it until you are completely knowledgeable. Then find that weak spot, break the problem apart and the rest will be easy.' (Norman Vincent Peale). For me, the most important aspect was that we should always identify the main problem which causes all the minor problems.
Initially, I did not notice whether there are any differences between main and minor problems. Thus, solutions with little concentrate being paid to the major problem due to taking care with another issues which now I realised that those were minor issues which could be solve if the main problem were solved. Having experienced this, I have come to realise that the significant aspect is to stop the main problem from happening. I have significantly improved my skill in problem solving which is essential for me in the near future.
In order to deal with many issues which arises from the specific task given to us, this requires a lot of thinking. To what extent that we are able to think become an issue here.
As a university student, my thoughts might be limited or not realistic enough due to lack of practical experience from outside world.The outcome that we produced might not sound creativity or practical enough, which is helpless for helping an organisation to solve the problems. For me, the most useful aspect was that we should have think outside the box and shouldn't be thinking like a university student like what we did last time.
Therefore, I have come to realize that what we have contributed in terms of our ideas should look like a ways in which real world would act, tothink like a professional or manager. Alternatively, this is what differentiated you among others.Because I did not have sufficient practical experience, I will now need to increase my practical knowledge by reading much more business and financial news for now and future.
We could sometimes face significant problems and have to make critical decisions within a limited time. Due to the problem is so significant, the decision that we make must therefore be realistic and appropriate. However, difficulties arise as we were given very little time.
Time constraint could sometime influence our thinking, causing us to make unrealistic decision. Perhaps, we could also face pressure from other parties in the decision making process. At this moment, we are much easier to be influence by the intense environment that surrounded us.
For me, the most important lesson was that we should always stay calm and keeps our mind clear in the decision making process. Only by this way, you can make proper and appropriate judgments in relation to the issues. 'One thing is sure. We have to do something. We have to do the best we know how at the moment... if it doesn't turn out right, we can modify it as we go along.'( Franklin D. Roosevelt ).
Previously, I did not make a good decision in such an intense and pressure environment. I did not realize how actually this kind of pressure could significantly affect our performance and decision. Equally, this kind of environment could mislead and confuse us in the decision making process. This demonstrates that I am not mature and experience enough to faces all the upcoming challenges which could be face in the near future.
Having experienced this, I now feel that it is so important that we should not influence by the environment that surrounded us when making judgments. Additionally, I have realize that we as a professional next time would be facing a lot this kind of problems in the practical world which would then requires us to solve them professionally. Further, his make me feels that the practical world is not as simple as what I have thought earlier.
This understanding could be essential for me in my career prospects in the future, we are all require have the necessary skill to deal with many kinds of problems that the organization face.
Group Initiate Realistic
When come to the situation where critical decision making is has to be made, the members will tend to delegate the responsibility or fault to the others.
In reality, people will tend to transfer the risk of uncertainty or fault to another person in order to protect their own interest. Therefore, we should always be defensive with other advices or actions for us. As what Margaret Meade has said 'What people say, what people do, and what they say and they do are entirely different things.' Thus, the leader who bear the risk might face discipline for the decision it has make in case of any fault occurs.
For me, the most important lesson was people can be trust until the time when they needmuch money, authority and power. At the time, I did not notice that they are actually delegate the fault to me as they were all acting in a proper or manner way. However, when problems goes worst, all the blame is on you.
Having experienced this, I now know we should always be vigilant on others when we are working next time. Equally, it is all about politics in an organization. Additionally, I have learnt that people will tend to try their best to threaten you and consequently they will replace you. This understanding is essential to me because I might face the same situation when I am working next time.
The specific task given to us sometime involves choices between personal interest and moral value. However, it is depend on you whether you want to gain interest or to be an ethical person. Therefore, we could always face the dilemmas in the ethical decision making process.
Some people will tend to choose unethical actions which could exchange for their own ends. Teleological theory by Plato and Aristotle recognizes a normative ethical position called egoism that sets as its goal the benefit, pleasure, or greatest good of oneself alone. However, certain risk could arise from your unethical actions and the consequence could be worst.
For me, the most significant aspect was that one should not always make unethical actions which could harm others in order to exchange for their own ends. Previously, I did not notice how importance the ethical decision making was. In the worst case, an unethical decision could have major impact on the life of other human being. Equally, some people will tend to undertake unethical decision despite of the major impact to others and this is due to their self-interest.
Having learned this, I now feel that it is necessary to be an ethical person for now and in the future. I have significantly developed my understanding in terms of making this kind of ethical dilemma decision because I realize that the costsarise from the impact of the unethical decision could always outweigh the benefits for undertaking the unethical decision. Equally, this means that a good reputation built in terms of ethics could also just take one unethical action to destroy it.
We were be given one specific task each week, from the beginning until the end of the semester. The specific tasks required us to prepare for presentation, meetings, discussion and report each week.
Difficulties arise when we were given many tasks and we must complete them within a given time period. For me, the most important lesson was whether we are competency enough to get ready to for the practical world. Equally, there are a lot more challengeswhich tougher than now is waiting for us in our career next time. In other words, we should always get ready to cope with all the challenges in the future. 'When life give you lemon, you made lemonade'.
Having experienced this, I now realised that in the practical world, there are only two types of workers which are competency and incompetency. Therefore, we should always try our best to deal with all the tasks given to us so that it demonstrates that we are competency as compared to others. Eventually, you will see the rewards coming to you. As what Napoleon Hill has said 'Effort only fully releases its reward after a person refuses to quit'.
Collectively, I have learnt a lot of practical knowledge which I cannot experience it in Malaysia. Additionally, this module had help me improved my presentation and negotiation skills.
More importantly, I have developed my skill by learning how to approach to the issues face by the various organizations with different industries. Having experienced this, I now noticed that a professional accountant shouldn't be taking care with all the figures, but instead should spend more effort on dealing with strategy and management.
Equally, I would appreciate this module as it teaches us how to think. The most important aspect is that we should always approach to the issues and think of any solutions creatively. 'Creative minds have always been known to survive any kind of bad training' (Anna Freud).