The purpose of written this paper on continuous professional development was as per the requirement of the Executive Development Project module. In addition to that it was a thirst to know how to improve and broaden my knowledge and skills in order to develop a respectful quality personality in my personal and professional lives.
This report will exhibit and define the conscious updating of my professional knowledge and personal characterises.
Limitation of the Report
The following are some of the limitation faced while doing my Continuous professional Development project.
The fact some of my friends, relatives and workmate are working on rotational bases, therefore it took me a lot of time to arranging face-to-face interview.
Some of the Questionnaire feedback were received late.
Emotional embedded feedback from others.
The samples represented in this study were gathered during the period between April and September, 2007. Questionnaires, Interviews, visits, Electronic Mail and SMS were used to obtain the required information from a mixture of Family members, relatives, friends, classmates, and workmate. Fifty completed questionnaires were returned out of fifty, 10 SMS were received, forty face-to-face interviews, ten phone interviews were conducted in addition to 7 home visits.
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An interview is an intentional interaction between persons in which one person seeks information from another person. Interviews can take place face-to-face or by other modes of personal interaction (York, 1998). As mentioned previously forty face-to-face interviews and ten phone interviews were conducted. Usually when I needed to obtain information from managers, supervisor and people whom I do not know very well I used to do Face-to-face interviews. As well as there sometimes could be non-common question, that you can not ask everyone. The fact that I would be on the opposite rotation (field employee) with others colleagues I used to call them and carry on the interview via the phone. I did interviews, because some of my friends, relatives and family do not speak or read English.
English and Arabic questionnaire were used due to the reasons presented earlier. Close-ended questions were used as this provided cooperation and more likely to get responses rather then the open-ended structures. Even though answer choices were made available, respondent had the option of offering their own responses at the end of the questionnaire as there were some of the open-ended questions.
Well you my wonder how did I used this method to gather the necessary information. Speaking the fact, samples I illustrated above you can not get all data that you need or they may have thought of at that moment or by filling questionnaire. There could be missed points, so what I thought of is that whenever someone remembers or something pup up in his mind S/he would send me SMS, well indeed it worked.
As it being an easy way of distribution, I used E-mail for the purpose of distributing and gathering the questionnaires feedback.
The below lines are not an evaluation of my personal, academic or professional career, it is just a background or an overview of myself as per the requirements by the module.
Due to the crises occurred in Oman, prior Sultan Qaboos bin Said crowned as a Sultan of Sultanate of Oman, many Omani travels around the world (India, Pakistan, Iran and East-Africa) for the sake of living a good life and business as well. My father and my grand father (mother side) were one of the people, who moved to Tanzania and got married there. There I was born; I am Saud Ali Saleh Al-Omairi, born in 28th August, 1978 in East Africa- Tanzania in a small village called ‘Sikonge’ – one of the six districts of the Tabora Region”.
My mother says that, I was named “Nasser”, but unfortunately everyday I was a non-stop crying machine, so they thought of changing my name to “Saud” due to that! Well it’s their myth, and I can’t argue with that, because indeed I stopped crying. Another story that I could remember been told is that, when I was born I was so fat, that there was a competition, where I got the second fattest babe award.
I get two sisters and I got four brothers, where I am the youngest of all. The fact of being the youngest of all, I been called “Mother spoiled boy” where everything I wanted it I could get it. We stayed in Tanzania till I was five years old, when my father decided, that it’s the time to get back to Muscat in the year of 1983.
Well we leaved in Athaibah-Muscat, in a rental wooden house for a couple of years, and then we moved to Maabelah-Muscat in 1985. One of the things I could remember, that is there used to be only one school, where my sister used to study in the morning and I used to go to school in the afternoon. Well that was only for a couple of years, and the government built another school just near by our house. Considering the school was near by, at break time I used to jump the school walls and get back home for a fast meal and get back to school again. One thing made me stop doing that, is that one day I was wearing light shoes, so on my jump, underneath there was a broken bottle of coca cola or red wine I don’t recall, what I do remember is that I was at the hospital and my foot was stitched and a slap.
Prior 1990 my father slipped in the toilet and felled on his back and got paralysed, and died in 1990. By that time I was eleven years old, just four years later my eldest brother got an accident, just 2km away from home and died due to internal bleeding. So now I get three brothers and two sisters. I graduated from college in 1999 and directly started my first career with National Bank of Oman. One year later, in 2000 I got married to my classmate; well my eyes were spotted on her since the first day she walked into the classroom.
For the time being I get one daughter, she is four years old and a son who is one year and half. Well our first child was a boy, but he died on the delivery.
I finished my secondary school grade in 1996, but my grade was not sufficient enough for my to go in university, so I entered Muscat Technical Industrial College (High Technical College (Now)) in Information Technology major, where I met my lovely wife. When I entered the college my first ambition was to graduate with high grade and join the university as the first ten in all college over Oman (5 colleges) were given opportunities to complete their study at the university. Well I did what I was into it I graduated with distinction and got the second place. Looking to the fact where my family needed help I stopped dreaming about university and joined the work force in 1999. Well the opportunity came back again to join the University as a part time study, so in 1999 I entered the university and graduated in 2000. Now am doing my MBA program at university of Bedfordshire.
Talking about my professional career, I have joined several companies during my professional career. First during my study at the college I worked at a Shell petrol Station as a petrol station man and the next year I worked at Burger King, where my duties were preparing sandwiched, cleaning and customer services. When I graduated I joined the National Bank of Oman in 1999 as a programmer.
Two years later I joined Schlumberger Oilfield Company, where I challenge myself and professions as being an IT graduate to work in a totally different discipline and became an oilfield specialist. Well the plan did not go well, I had an argument with our manager due to our contract agreement, and so two years later I resigned and stayed jobless for three month. After that as part time job I worked for a Forex Trade Market, where we used to trade on currency in the international market, another professions change for me.
Well two month later I joined a public sector (public authority for Social Assurance) as a Computer Technician. Things did not go well too as my approach was a private sector relation, where in Oman it is totally different in public sector it is all about who is in control and commend. I did not like the situation over there, so I got another opportunity at Gulf business Machine (IBM Distributor-Gulf region). Now am working at Occidental Oil and Gas (Oman) Ltd. is wholly-owned subsidiaries of Occidental Petroleum Corporation an international oil and gas exploration and production company based in the United States and headquartered in Los Angeles, California.
Critical Events, Activities and Experiences
Prior commencing analysing my characteristic, behaviour, previous and current career position and planning my career development, first I thought to underline some of the facts and most significant event happened in my life in my opinion, that altered my career and life.
Looking for better opportunities
Resigning from Schlumberger, where I did not have another job
Getting married at earlier age, 21.
Choosing between joining universities and joining the work force.
Joining the Karate Club.
Working while studying, Studying while working.
Doing the MBA program.
Analyse of Critical Event and Personality
A continuous professional development log consists of a list of issues in my point of view that is related to my progression in development. This log later is used to create a development agenda. Therefore in order to create my CPD log I followed steps as suggested by Megginson and Whitaker, 2007, which I founded convenient for me to analyse some of the facts, my characterises, personality, professions and my personal life.
There is always constraint in everyone’s career progression and life; there could be some rear cases, where the path is widely opened.
Being short in skills was not a wall which stood against my development progression, am a self confident and I do believe in my skills capability.
A good example illustrated by Megginson and Whitaker, 2007 in Big Rock Story, it’s about the order I put the things into my life, put the big things first, so the little ones can fit later. When I was studying in school I did not have a proper plan for myself the only things that were on my agenda were as follow:
- Joining University
- Join Work Force
- Getting Married/Kids
- Build a house
- Now my Agenda is:
- Build a house
- Completing My Study – PHD
- Professional Development – Management
- Professional Development – Supervision
- Completing My Study – MBA
“Our attitude towards life has a great impact on our professional progress. We can change through choosing our attitude, attitude are learned and can be changed over time.” ” ( Megginson and Whitaker, 2007)”.
100% of the responses indicated that am an arguer in most of the discussions especially non-work related issues. This attitude always drives me toward a defensive communication habits in most of the times.
Priorities first and Preventing procrastination
Our religion encouraged us to do changes in our self first then others, how you can change someone else if you don’t change yours first. Going back on my career development I did delay my university study to join the work force that was due to family needs. Well somehow I managed to carry on my studies while working, because I committed my self and still toward a target that is planned.
Succeeding for self
I do not usually seek for someone opinion to know if am successful or not, or look what someone has achieved. I do consider my self successful if I do what is supposed to do frankly and in proper way, as well if I meet my plan agenda. My parents did not draw my path so I would be a pilot, doctor or an engineer. They gave me the choice to do what I believe in, I achieve my definition of success not someone else’s definition.
Well in seeking the opinion on the above, 70% responded that am rarely influenced by others, 20% always, 30% not at all.
Living the presents
In interviews I wanted to know how often I talked about the happy and bad moments in my life. Without been surprised by the answers, 95% replied that I always mentioned the happy moments and hated discussing on bad ones. 5% replied that I talked about it equally. I do believe in one thing, letting go bad moments we can give full attention to the present. If our time is spent on regrets and we are focused on the past, we have less attention and energy to explore our future development and to ask ‘what can I do today that will enhance my future career?’ solutions-focused approaches to development help us to get away from a deficit-oriented approach to the past and are increasingly used in coachng ( Berg and Szabo, 2005) and in change management (Jackson and McKergow, 2002).
Developing An ‘Extraordinarily Realistic Self-Image’
The priority that we give to any issue depends on how relevant that subject is to us.
In order for me to identify where I need to put energy into my own development, its necessary to develop what (Inglis, 1994) calls an “ERSI”. The output of this consideration of where I stand now will be my development needs to be addressed.
As defined by (Megginson and Whitaker, 2007) colleting data to create ERSI will need my attention to the following sources:
- Work itself
- Reflection by self
- Feedback from others
- Individual psychometric and self-diagnostic measures
- Organizational metrics
- Professional metrics – the CPD scanner.
This will assist me to assess how much I enjoy my current role and to explore how I see my career at the moment.
Pinch points at work
Viewing the current position where am I now, I can underline some of the issues that are faced.
It is very rear for me to get feedback or guidance from my superior, unless there is critical situation needed to be resolved. Sometime I would spend the whole weeks at my office desk without a visit by my superior or a call.
Our assessment is usually done ones a year and it is a very short amount of time I spend it with my superior and discuses issues as well as my development plan, which is unfortunately just words in paper. Since my last assessment which was on February, 2007 till now nothing was discussed between me and my superior about my development which was plan in my assessment sheet in year 2007.
Utilizing my knowledge and skills is another aspect where it is missed. I could say in my current position am only utilizing 50% of my skills and knowledge.
Can these be resolved?
Well speaking the fact it is the fact that am being living it for two years now, and other employees as well. In my opinion most of the above issues is related to management line, and changes could be done I do not mean by changing management, but enhancing the way things are carried out is the most convenient way to solve issues.
Fizzing in the stretch zone
Exercising activity on fizzing in the stretch zone by (Megginson and Whitaker, 2007) to identify my career plateau. My score was 18, which indicated that am in need to identify what can I do differently to increase my work self-esteem. Am at the comfort zone, where I am on daily work routine nothing is exciting. It’s been long time since I been in the stretch zone where I felt work excitement, thus a need for a change will be significant. A weekly review progress will be helpful.
The best Metaphor that could describe my career is ‘Nomad’ or ‘Bedouin’ or what we call them in Middle East ‘Badu’. Bedouin travel by camel from oasis to oasis, following a traditional way of life. This metaphor represent they way my career was, I tend to frequently change my professional career from one position to another, that in my opinion helped me in gaining more skills and experience.
Changing professions always excite me, where I tend to do what I was not doing before. As previously mention in my life background I had a series of highs and lows in my career. I used to be a programmer then a Field technician, where I used to be in higher position and earn much higher then when I was in the public sector.
Although that is the cause of changing professions where you tend to try new things, but my rewards are the experience I have gained, which lead me to better earning. Now I feel that am in need of a steady career development in upward progression.
Development issues emerging from reflection
Johari window is a psychological tool created by Joseph Luft and Harry Ingham in 1955, used to help people better understands their interpersonal communication and relationships. It is used primarily in self-help groups and corporate settings (wikipedia). In 2006 I attended a course on Leadership; one of the things was as an exercise for us to work on Johari Window. The following were on the blind area:
- Team Contributor
- Short Temper – written 3 times
- Defensive attitude
What’s stopping me from being magnificent? I believe the following are the constraints that limit me performance, that stop me from being magnificent.
Not being able to utilize all my skills and experience
Not being able to show my capabilities.
Working environment – Mural is Zero
Short vision of my current position by the management.
Purpose and values and Self-actualisation
My main purpose and value are distinguished between home and work the progression toward superior or line management path is my work purpose. Establishing a respectful and friendly family relationship is my home value. They are my principle points along my development all the way.
It is unclear where am I heading toward my development career. There is nothing excite me that indicate a progression. Currently in my position am a Sr. technical engineering assistant, where I have reached the maximum allowable grade in this position, therefore my intentions would stop over here if I continued my career at the same position. Am spending time doing what is expected for me to do achieving one task after another.
(Maslow, 1943) came with the notion of ‘self-actualisation’ – the state at the top of his hierarchy of needs where a person is so engaged in an activity that they lose all track of time. Now I feel like am losing my purpose, which lead to work stress.
Reflection is an opportunity to check out our personal and professional congruence ( Megginson and Whitaker, 2007). Through out my career time, I have experienced moments (mention previously), that turns the way I used to think. It made think twice and wisely before I could make a decision, that’s why the habit of hesitation in making decision is always in me.
Reflection had an impact in my life as well as my career the following summarize this:
Looking for better opportunities – Frequently Career Change ( Job Change ) through out where I have gained more skills and experience, that allowed me be capabilities of handling various organizational positions and tasks.
Resigning from Schlumberger, where I did not have another job – Here I learned how to take responsibilities and make well thought-out of my decisions. Learned to judge the consequences of my actions , that could affect my career and life as well.
Religious Believes – kept me away from being enrolled into gangsters and drugs issues, as of I lived in a very corrupted area (Maabelah), where two of my friends died as they were involved in drug business.
Getting married at earlier age – lead me to be more accountable in my actions, decision making, and responsibilities.
Choosing between joining university and joining the work force – Achieving my goals is not always should be someone’s else goals, although I did joined the work force to help my family, but that was my choice not a family request, as I believed that I there would be another opportunity to join the university.
Joining the Karate Club – taught me self discipline, order, self confidence, and team work.
Working while studying, Studying while working – guided me to be more self commitment toward my tasks and responsibilities.
This mirror fulfilment with personal feedback, especially information workers receive about their performance and how they are being judged.
Gaining appropriate feedback
In our organization feedback on our career development and performance is a paper-based employment formal procedure called the annual appraisal “Enhancement Organizational Performance (EOP)”, no certain study has been carried out by the organization to verify if it’s work or no, or is it really applied as per the requirement. I don’t feel like am getting the right feedback on my development from my superior, it’s like a Christmas only happens once a year.
That was about my professions feedback, regarding my life and personal feedback I intended to interview and questioning people who know me well, and have experienced lot of things with me, like colleagues, friends, family and relatives.
Questionnaire and Interview Feedback
It’s really surprised my how sometime you don’t know about yourself, people may see things on you that’s you aren’t aware of. I think I would continue explore my self through this techniques as it get some of the facts and reality am missing. The following summarized the collected feedback from questionnaire and interviews
Arguer, defensive attitude and Hard to be convinced
Sensitive, emotional and short temper
Hardly decision maker
Open mind and Out going
Friendly, kind, helpful and Cheerful
Hard worker, Team Player, Clever and Talent person.
Great Karate Player
Care about others more than himself
Never say ‘No’ if he can do something
Metrics can enable us to know more about ourselves, to understand others better and to a limited extent can help us set an agenda for personal change in building a realistic picture of my self, metrics can be useful.
Personality frameworks, however, do not present a direct agenda for change. Additionally, it is very difficult and largely fruitless to strive to change our personality. Therefore to analyse my personality I shall need to get feedback from others, to do so I will give you some of the feedback from my family, relatives, friends, colleagues, workmate and managers. In addition to that I have done a well know Dr.Phill Test as well as another test called “Jung Typology Test – ENFJ ( Extraverted, Intuitive, Feeling, Judging)”, the results were as below:
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Dr. Phil Test
My result was 38 and as per analyse of the results indicate that others see me as sensible, cautious, careful & practical. They see me as clever, gifted, or talented, but modest. Not a person who makes friends too quickly or easily, but someone who’s extremely loyal to friends you do make and who expect the same loyalty in return. Those who really get to know me realize it takes a lot to shake your trust in your friends, but equally that it takes me a long time to get over if that trust is ever broken.
Mostly I do agree with Dr.Phil, this really describe my characteristic and my personality analyse, but some how there is something I don’t feel like applies to me which is the way I do make friends, well in my opinion I feel I get very quickly or easily with people. Going back to my questionnaire and interviews I did ask about how do they think about the way a get along with people. Responses were 95% responded that am a social man, 3% solitary and 2% not sure!. 100% responded easily can get along with me, 0% hardly.
Jung Typology Test
This test is based on Carl Jung and Isabel Myers-Briggs typological approach to personality. The results showed that my personality type is slightly expressed extravert 22% , moderately expressed intuitive personality 25%, distinctively expressed feeling personality 62%, which is same is Dr.Phil analyse as well as my findings. And last am slightly expressed judging personality 1%.
Personality theorists suggest, to come to terms with how we are and to recognize what our type can bring to our chosen work.
This is where we assess our own needs and aspirations in terms of professional standards and organizational expectations
The core capabilities required and which defined in EOP- Enhancemnet Organizational Performance are as follow:
Understanding the organizational objectives and goals – In terms of Production (Oil, Gas, Water)
Enhancing the overall performance using business operational tool and techniques
Our personal Agenda as predefined for us:
New operational tools introduced to the field.
Awareness of the available resources and their capabilities.
Training is required.
Leadership is the achievement of a goal through the course of human assistants. The man who successfully gather together his human team-mate to achieve particular ends is a leader. A great leader is one who can do so day after day, and year after year, in a wide variety of circumstances.( Harvard Business Review, 2004).
Most leaders believe in short terms about own leadership style. To develop your leadership ability, however, you need to be more aware of how you lead.
A leader is someone who influence others. We all have an image of a leader. you may have heard the myth that “Leaders are Born, Not Made!” However, numerous leadership studies and programs have shown that individuals with a desire to do so, can take steps to learn, practice and improve their leadership capabilities and develop into leaders.
The following highlights on my leadership competences, through out the leadership style test I did.
Test 1. Leadership
Leadership Style Questionnaire can be found at (www.exsel.mtu.edu).
A Well representative test on leadership style, the test is divided into section
My score were 12 P: Concern for people and 4 T: Concern for Task. By drawing a straight line to illustrate an intersection where my shared leadership style is. The point was 8 where it indicate as of being an autocratic and Laissez-Faire leadership style, by mean a high morale and productivity leadership.
What Kind of Animal am I? (Lion, Otter, Golden Retriever or Beaver)
My highest visual point was 29 Otter and 29 Golden Retriever that concluded:
Understing the Key O (Otter) and I (Golden Retriever)
Influencing and steadiness style
My basic Motivation: recognition, approval, relationships and appreciation – this really reflect the need which am missing.
Desires situations allow: opportunity to help others, opportunity to motivate people, platform to verbalize ideas, having clearly defined goals and the steps to reach them and being part of a team.
Responds best to other who: allows them to work at their own pace, provide personal support, democratic and friendly and provide recognition of abilities.
Needs to learn that: time control helps, deadlines are important, change can provide opportunity, you can be :best friends” with everybody and listening to others is great, but sharing their own needs and feelings is important.
Optimistic and people oriented
Socially oriented, emotionally energetic
Motivated by: loyalty, social recognition: need companionship and group support.
Basic Fear: rejection, disapproval in relationships, task criticism( I often interpret this as personal rejection), and loss of stability
Limitation: unorganized in accomplishing tasks, possessiveness and adherence to code of order and desire for tranquillity limits my ability to act decisively or face difficult situations.
I do strongly agree with the test as it really reflect my leadership behaviour and personality
Test 2. Leadership
Leadership Style Questionnaire can be found at (http://ocha.unog.ch); http://ochaonline.un.org/ ; United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.
This test illustrate the way I do apply my leadership style (directive, democratic, and non-directive/Delegative) which reflect my trend in a specific situation.
As pervious test illustrated it’s seems like I am keen to democratic “concern for people” in my leadership style, beside to non-directive/ Delegative style
Here I found out that I am mostly democratic or emergent, this is an indication for me to work harder on developing my other side of style – Directive Style.
Considering previous analyses pointing on SWOT analysis, this will spotlight on my strengths and weaknesses as well as the opportunities and threats.
- My positives aspects in being
- Experienced and Educated
- Team work, good technical (computer, oil field) and administrative skills.
- Talented, good contact network.
- My negative aspects in being
- Short temper and arguer
- Fear of rejection.
- Lack of directive leadership skills
- In process of enhancing my academic education and profession skills (opportunity for progression)
- Lack of training provide by my employer.
- No further grade in my current position unless I change the post.
Prioritising needs and Selection
World class me
World class me is the consideration of all aspects of life including work-related and personal-related areas as well. Things outside work can influence indirection or directly to our work and the other way around too. My world class is not perfect, as my direction is toward accomplishing things only, I need to progress my profession. In addition I need to settle my family at our own house not rental, where there is always a chance of movement from one place to another, by which my family got fed up. There is mess somehow, need for focus is required (profession and personal).
My ideal job is working for an organization which cares more about staff development, ideal working environment(recreation, social activity, entertainment). These are simple needs a field employee requires as of being working in desert away from the family.
Goals and Plans
Some people love plans and other hate it, some people are planners and other emergent. By exercising the activity ‘Planned or Emergent Learning’ my scores were Planned:23 and Emergent:25. This placed me at Sage, that illustrate my ability to find my own development.
My CPD Log
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