The Implications For Future Career Or Personal Development Education Essay

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In this developing self assignment, a literature review of self awareness and self development will be presented. A further explanation the two concepts in helping me to fulfill my future career as a manager will also be demonstrated in part one of the assessment. In addition, I'll be writing on three critical incidents happened on beginning of my postgraduate life that significantly impact my thoughts about myself which I have never realized before.

What is self awareness?

I believe that self awareness from the words itself is meant by having a clear understanding about myself which includes strength, weaknesses, beliefs and emotions. Besides that, generally with self awareness, it allows me to understand others and response to their feedbacks. From a managerial perspective, there are various definitions explaining the concept of self awareness. Atwater & Yammarino (1992) have defined self awareness as "the individual's ability to assess other's evaluation of the self to incorporate these assessments into one's self evaluation" (p. 143). Furthermore, Goleman (1998) proposed that a self awareness incorporated person will have comprehensive perception of oneself. Moreover, a manager with self awareness is able to identify and precisely evaluate colleague's attitude and competency (Church, 1997).

In this globalization era where businesses are getting more competitive, not only the company's production contributions are significant for overall success of business, but also the qualitative aspect of management team. There are numerous elements of assessing the success of organization. Recently, researches have shown that the key determinant of the success of business organisation lies on the competency of management. Welbourne & Andrews (1996) found out that firms that did a good job of managing people tended to survive while others did not. Amundson (1995) have stated that self awareness of a manager is an important element to achieve balanced working life. Besides, he mentioned that people with higher level of self awareness can react better to external contingency and exercise more supremacy in long term. Amundson (1995) and Chen (1998) further explain self awareness is a major component for both profession and managerial progression.

According to Whetton & Cameron (2007), there are five essential areas of self awareness which is identified as critical indicators of effective managerial performance. The areas are values, emotional intelligence, core self-evaluation, orientation towards change and learning style. Values are the underpinning of a person's characteristics and preferences. They help to shape a person with instilling good morality and conception which developed throughout one's life. Among various existing values, ethical decision making values are the most significant to an organization when managers practice unethical behavior which will affect the culture of the management as a whole. Emotional intelligence is defined as the ability of oneself to recognize and control own emotions, identify other's feelings and finally able to respond relevantly (Whetton & Cameron, 2007). There were several of studies which had proven that managers with highly developed emotion intelligence produced effective management (Goleman, Boyatzis & McKee, 2002; Boyatzis, 1982). According to Judge (2003), core self-evaluations subconsciously affect individual's appraisal towards others which sometimes also read them as positive self regards. Core self-evaluation is consisted of four components which made up of self esteem, generalized self-efficacy, neuroticism and locus of control (Whetton & Cameron, 2007). In addition, there were positive relationships shown between core self-evaluation and job satisfaction and effectiveness in individuals (Judge, 2003). In the complex business environment, managers' attitudes towards changes are crucial when processing hectic business information and making critical decision on behalf of the company. Moreover, managers with high flexibility and adaptability towards changes are likely to be entrepreneurial in their decisions (Timothy, et al., 1999). Lastly learning style is associated to each individual's tendency in receiving, interpreting and responding to information. It is sensible that most successes are derived by constantly learning and it applies in every context of life especially in the business world.

What is self development?

Peterson & Hicks (1995) focused that self awareness plays an important part in self development. Self development in career life has four stages which include assessment, exploration, goal setting and strategy (Knowdell, 1996). In the initial stage, Peterson & Hicks have suggested that individual needs to have a good understanding of own competency portfolio by evaluating feedbacks received by supervisors. Knowdell also argued that during initial assessment phase, feedbacks are useful for the individuals to assess their values, skills, strength and weakness. Besides, Knowdell also claimed that the whole career development process will be ineffective if the initial stage is not achieved. In addition, Noe and Wilk (1993) stated the importance of individual's perception of development needs in order to be more committed in learning process. In this competitive and continuously changing business world, it is important that employees seek information to improve skill, identify areas to improve current performance and anticipate how changes in the organisation and the industry may affect work demands. Moreover, in an organisation, self development needs to be guided by managers by giving feedbacks and resources for progression which in turn encourage employees to enhance their knowledge and skills in career (London & Smither, 1999).

How self awareness and self development fulfil my role as a future manager?

To become a successful manager in future, with the knowledge of self awareness, I will know my current capabilities level before I develop new capabilities in order to be more productive at work. Self awareness too helps me as a manger to work with diverse group of colleagues which able me to recognise and appreciate cultural and comprehension differences among others. Besides, it also assists me to understand own strength, weakness and sensitive point which make interactions with others more insightful. Managers with emotional intelligence are able to recognise and manage their emotions which they are less likely to lose control of feelings and experience anxiety. This plays an important role in the working environment as global managers often work with people with different cultural backgrounds, gender and age group. Values such as cultural, personal and ethical value are significant indicators of managers' self awareness. In this competitive business world, I believe managers often feel under pressure when compromising personal values to meet company goals. Frequently, companies with bankruptcy cases are due to unethical business conducts by managers although most companies have written code of ethics. This has pointed out that it is crucial for managers to manage ethical trade-offs and have clear sense of principles when making decisions. One of the key factors of successful in a managerial life is constantly learning. Continuous self development and learning attribute to major part of one life. A successful manager will prepare for future changes by constantly acquire new knowledge and skills to improve own development and ensure continued contribution to the organisation. In addition, managers with self development often seek performance feedback to assess their development process. To me, this step is important for my overall performance enhancement and whole organisation which encourages continuous learning. To conclude, I agree that self awareness and continuous self development are two essential factors in developing me as a successful manager with good understanding of oneself and others which increase managerial effectiveness and satisfaction in my future career.

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 residential weekend, I am pleased that I have given the opportunity to work with people from different parts of the world. From every task given at the weekend, I faced communication and cultural difficulties that I have not encountered in my own country. As most of teammates' first language is not in English and have diverse cultural background, this has created understanding barriers within my group. Especially in the Gridlock activity, I have personally assumed that everyone in my groups acknowledge the appearance of the Chinatown gate and the Taoism symbol which they appeared in my card. I was trying my best in explaining the entire Chinese symbol I have but I did not realize beforehand that my teammates do not understand Chinese culture and symbols. Due to the miscommunication, our group had failed the task of completing within 45 seconds. From this activity, I have learned that I need improve in my cultural awareness and communication skills although I came from a multi-racial country which is Malaysia.

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

From the cultural intelligence self-assessment, I have shown that I am lack of cultural mindfulness as I have strongly agreed on the fact that my cultural background had fully influences my thoughts and actions. This has fully reflected on the Gridlock task where my Chinese background has prompted me to explain the gate in a way which my teammates without any Chinese experience could not understand my statement. Therefore, I have also failed to avoid using jargon when interacting with my group mates with diverse background.

Secondly, due to the language barriers which occurred throughout the weekend, I have tried to emphasise on my non-verbal communication by drawings as I am not able to express myself well on figures provided in the Gridlock task. Besides, I have also adjusted my speed on my verbal communication when I was explaining the task to some members which did not understand the task rules well enough. The mentioned actions I performed during the weekend have mostly adhered with my findings from the toolkits where I need to improve my cultural awareness and knowledge to avoid misunderstanding and cultural frictions.

Identify the key strengths and weaknesses identified within this critical incident

From the interaction between my diverse teammates, I have appreciated the chance of meeting new people from cultural backgrounds which have increased my knowledge on other culture. In addition, due to my multi-racial country background, I have the advantage of communicating in more than two languages which help other teammates in explaining the task and rules given in different languages. Besides, based on the numerous travel experiences I had before, I understand the difference in culture, language and religion views. These experiences have help me to minimise the cultural shock occurred during the interaction and have taught me to avoid bringing up sensitive religious topics which might be offensive to some people.

Through the self assessment question on international orientation, I have attained low scores on the section of comfort on difference. This has portrayed a weakness within this critical incident where I have understand but not comfortable with the difference culture views of my team members as I am surprised that most of the people have not seen the Chinatown gate before. For the past twenty years, I have lived mostly around people with similar cultural characteristic as mine. My circles of friends have almost similar ethic background, first language and religious affiliations as mine. This has also reduced my exposure and restricted my learning to different cultural views. In additions, due to the language barriers, I have increased my use of non verbal communication with my teammates which I have doubted on as I might offence others with my behaviour unconsciously.

What are the implications for future career or personal development?

In future, I will be exposed to a greater diverse group of colleagues in my career life. As current and future organisation will get more competitive and globally oriented which increase the complexity of manager in working multinational teams and work setting, I need to increase my cultural awareness and perceptions to adapt the diverse employment environment. I should appreciate the opportunity given to me to work with classmates with diverse group by increasing the interaction and communication in my postgraduate year. Besides, I need to increase my general knowledge on cultural of different country as Earley and Peterson (2004) have pointed out that the most common method of breaching the cultural barrier is to gain more knowledge on different culture. Triandis (2006) have also said that people from around the world has different perceptions and behaviour. By exposing myself to people with diverse background will help me to increase my knowledge against distinctive culture. Furthermore, Triandis also stated that it is hard to control false consensus effect which one will assume the majority of people believe what he or she beliefs. This has precisely occurred on me during the residential weekend. To overcome it, he suggested that human requires placing oneself in shoes of people of different culture which the area I need to greatly enhance on.

My chosen toolkit is: ___ Belbin____________________________________

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

During the task on Pyramid of Giza at the residential weekend, due to my shy personality, I have not fully contributed my thoughts and ideas to my group members. I am the one who constantly listen and give allegiance to my group leader. During the feedback session at the end of the task, I have expressed myself as the one who did the least contribution to my group members. Surprisingly, in return, I received good feedbacks from my team leader and teammates such as paying attention to minor details of the task which significantly affect the result of the task. I did not realise that my small contribution had facilitate my entire group in a constructive way.

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

From my Belbin profile, it showed that my preferred roles are being a Plant, a Monitor and Evaluator and a Teamworker. During the task, I have recommended myself to work with the relocating of pyramid blocks which requires a significant amount of critical thinking. This demonstrated the characteristic of a Plant would do at task. Moreover, I was given credits by being a Monitor and Evaluator who pay attentions on options offered and rules set by the task. However, during the task, I was too pre-occupied with my own thought and have neglected my other teammates. In addition, due to my shyness, I have some difficulties presenting my stands to my teammates which in turn created a non-effective communication barrier. These have exhibited the allowable weaknesses of a Plant person.

Identify the key strengths and weaknesses identified within this critical incident

As mentioned above, being a Plant in my group, I have offered myself to do the critical thinking of the relocating block task as I like to challenge myself to solve difficult problems. However, I was too pre-occupied with my thoughts on the task which seriously neglected the other teammates and this has made me guilty as I created a communication barrier within my group. Nonetheless, I am pleased that we have a good leader in our group who promotes an environment that encourages us to share our ideas among each other and finally completed the task. Furthermore, I am the only Monitor & Evaluator of my group which has increased my responsibility to see all option offered and to pay attention on details. My teammates have given me a constructive feedback on the contribution because I have written down the rules as a reminder which greatly benefited my group in avoiding penalties. Besides being the only monitor and evaluator, I am also the only Teamworker in my group. As a Teamworker, I have been very much co-operative with members among the group. I have participated in almost sub-task allocated by the leader and listened to ideas generated by members. However, during the ending of the task where time is running out, one of my teammates confronted me asking questions about the exchange rate of the tender proposal. At the moment, I am indecisive to answer the question which this portrayed as an allowable weakness of a Teamworker.

What are the implications for future career or personal development?

In my future career, I would like to develop my teamwork spirit to build an effective team for the organisation. Developing team skills are important as they have increase amount of data researched by Hamilton et al. (as cited in Whetten & Cameron, 2007) showing improvements in productivity, morale and quality of organisation when team works are utilised. Besides, I would like also to increase my confidence level to eliminate shyness in order to able to express my ideas and thoughts to my team which may be constructive. Being the blocking roles in the team will inhibit the team from achieving what they could have achieved. By consistently engaging in discussion, clarify my role and responsibility within my group would assist me to develop a high teamwork skills in future.

My chosen toolkit is: __Emotional Intelligence________________________________

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

During the residential weekend, I have a few moments where I could not handle my emotion well. Particularly in the introductory session, I have had an emotional breakdown when I was introducing my grandmother who has been my biggest influential person in my life. Her life experiences with hardship and advices have always impact me emotionally. Besides, during critical moment in task where time is running out, not only I am not able to think clearly and stay focused to complete the task, but also at the edge of throwing tantrums to teammates who do not listen to others' constructive ideas.

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

The emotional intelligence toolkit has identified 6 competency areas which I need to prioritise to improve my overall rating. I have attained low score on the self control session where I am not able to keep disruptive emotions and impulses intact. This has fully reflected my behaviour during residential weekend which I could not stay composed, positive and unflappable even in trying moments. In addition, I have demonstrated a low self esteem where I am indecisive under uncertainties and pressure which reflected in the findings of my chosen toolkits. Besides, a lacking in leadership skills has failed me to influence forceful teammate to hear constructive ideas from other teammates.

Identify the key strengths and weaknesses identified within this critical incident

Based on the toolkit, I have identified my strengths on conscientiousness where I feel a sense of responsibility of ensuring my group achieving a successful task but in turn I have not able to suppress and manage my emotions when teammates are restricting the progress of the task especially when there are time constraint. In result, I do not put my own feelings on hold to enable mutual understanding between teammates and shown poor ability to handle tense situation appropriately. This has portrayed a major weakness which greatly influences the effectiveness of the team in completing a task. Nevertheless, I have given my apologies and offered constructive feedbacks at the end of task to my teammates who I think I have offended. Due to my behaviour, I have not able to respect and communicate well to teammates with diverse background.

What are the implications for future career or personal development?

I would like to improve my ability to determine, understand and control my emotional indication. As I will be exposing to greater opportunities in meeting diverse people in my future career life, I need to be able to regulate my emotion to deliver professionalism in work ethic. Mayer and Salovey (1995) have stated that there are three emotional regulatory frameworks which made up of non-conscious, low-level and high-level consciousness. They have stated that through exercising of good judgement and increasing environment sensitivity in emotional reaction may improve emotional intelligence. Besides, they also found out people with good emotional intelligence is able to communicate feelings and general openness to others. By practising the regulatory mechanism as mentioned, I presumed an increase in my emotional intelligence will be forseen.

Reference Lists

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Atwater, L. & Yammarino, F. (1992). Does self other agreement on leadership perceptions moderate the validity of leadership and performance predictions?. Personnel Psychology, 45(1), 141-64.

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

Boyatzis, R.E. (1982). The competent manager: A Model for Effective Performance. New York: Wiley.

Chen, C. (1998). Understanding Career Development: A Convergence of Perspectives. Journal of Vocational Education and Training, 50(3), 437-61.

Church, A. (1997). Managerial self-awareness in high-performing individuals in organisations. Journal of Applied Psychology, 82(2), 281-92.

Earley, P. C. & Peterson, R. S. (2004). The Elusive Cultural Chameleon: Cultural Intelligence as a New Approach to Intercultural Training for the Global Manager. Academy of Management Learning and Education, 3(1), 100-115.

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

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

Goleman, D., Boyatzis, R. & Mckee, A. (2002). Primal Leadership. Cambridge: Havard Business School Press.

Judge, T. A., Erez, A., Bono, J. E. & Thoreson, C. J. (2002). The Core Self-Evaluation Scale: Development of a Measure. Personnel Psychology, 56, 303-331.

Knowdell, R. (1996). Building a Career Development Program. California: Davies-Black Publishing.

London, M. & Smither, J. W. (1999). Empowered Self-Development and Continuous Learning. Human Resource Management, 38(1), 3-15.

Mayer, J.D. & Salovey, P. (1995). Emotional Intelligence and the Construction and Regulation of Feelings. Applied & Preventive Psycholog, 4, 197-208.

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.

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Triandis, H. C. (2006). Cultural Intelligence in Organizations. Group & Organization Management, 31(1), 20-26.

Timothy, A., Thoresan, C., Pucik, V. & Welbourne, T. (1999). Managerial Coping with Organizational Change: A Dispositional Perspective. Journal of Applied Psychology, 84, 107-122.

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

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