In this portfolio, I will reflect on what I have learnt and experiences while I am undertaking BSB124, which is Working in Business. I will also look at the area that I would like to improve. I will do this in three sections. First section is about intrapersonal effectiveness and The Big Five Model will be explore and discuss how it assist me for my future career. Second section is interpersonal effectiveness, Belbin’s Self-Perception Inventory (1981) and SPARK will be discussed. The last section is about organizational effectiveness and networking and mentoring will be discussed. In these three sections, I will explore my own strength and weaknesses.
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2. Intrapersonal effectiveness
2.1 The Big Five Model (NEO IPIP)
“Personalities at work are like cars in the city: They often can keep us from our destination.” Pierce J. Howard, The Owner’s Manual for Personality at Work, 2001.
Personality assessment is important in a variety of ways, from education to our future work. Psychologists have found a lot of methods which we can found on the internet or any other places to classify our personality dimension; however, The Big Five Model (BFI) is the one stands out as the most statistically robust. The Big Five Model has five factors which include extraversion, agreeableness, conscientiousness, emotional stability (or neuroticism) and openness to experience (Costa & McCrae, 1992). Extraversion characterizes people who are outgoing, talkative, sociable and assertive; agreeableness characterizes people who are courteous, good-natured, empathic and caring; conscientiousness characterized people who are careful, dependable and self-disciplined; neuroticism characterized people who are anxious, hostile and depressed; and lastly openness to experience characterized people who are imaginative, creative, curious and sensitive (McShane, 2010, p.51). This research is very important to me because I aim to work as a hairdresser after I graduate from QUT and the Big Five Model can help me to have a better understanding of my own personality and therefore can improve my weaknesses.
From the result that I get from the Big Five Model, as refers to the appendix 1, it has shows that I am low neuroticism, agreeableness and openness to experience. This has mean that I am calm, appetite for new ideas and can easily accommodate the wishes and needs of others but I will easily get bored for everything and easily unaware of problem. I personally think that the result is fairly accurate because as what I had experience at the past in BSB124, I found that I can easily accommodate my group members when we have meeting, for example, anytime will do for me to meet them to discuss the assignment we have, however, I will easily felt bored when we met up and will easily unaware some of the problem that my group members have.
Therefore, from the Big Five Model, I can explore my intrapersonal strength and weaknesses and this will help in my future work which is hairdresser. From the result I get from the Big Five Model, agreeableness and openness to experience are my intrapersonal strength because as a hairdresser, you must be creative enough to design the hair style and you must also accommodate to your company culture. In fact, not only hairdresser requires agreeableness, most of the jobs also require you to have this personality. However, low neuroticism is my intrapersonal weaknesses. Why? This is because it has a big impact to my future career of hairdresser. As a hairdresser, it requires you to always aware the problem that the customers have. But, according to Costa & McCrae (1999), low neuroticism means that insensitive or unaware of problems. This is a big issue because if I am unaware what the customer’s problem, then I would not be able to become a professional hairdresser. Therefore, I aim to improve the weakness that I have to ensure that I can develop my career goals.
How am I going to improve my weakness which is low neuroticism? In our next group assignment, I will try to pay more attention to my group members and see whether they need help or not. I will spare no effort to help them. This is one of the opportunities that I can improve my neuroticism. Another opportunity is keep a diary to see whether my weakness got improve or not.
3. Interpersonal effectiveness
3.1 Belbin’s Self-Perception Inventory
Firstly, what is a team? A team is a group of people who work together interdependently to accomplish a goals. Then, what make a good team? According to Belbin’s self-perception inventory (BTRSPI), a good team must include several important mixes which are plant, resource investigator, co-coordinator, shaper, monitor evaluator, team worker, completer finisher and implementer. These can identifies which roles are you in and therefore you can use the information to know your contribution and weakness.
From the result that I get from the BTRSPI, as refers to the appendix 2, it shows that team worker is the best respondent team role for me and resource investigator is the second highest scores which mean that it can be denote as my back-up team roles. The strength of team worker is about helping individual members to achieve and maintain team effectiveness, however, team worker always indecisiveness at moment of crisis. While the strength of resource investigator is exploring new resources, but it liable to lose interest once the initial fascination has passed. The results are somehow accurate but do have a little bit inaccurate. By comparing the result to the previous section, they actually have a little bit of relevance. For example, from the previous section, the result from the Big Five Model shows that I will easily get bored for everything and resource investigator is liable to lose interest. This is very accurate because I do easily get bored and lose interest once the initial fascination has passed. The reason I feel that this is a little bit inaccurate is because from my opinion, I am not good at helping individual members to achieve and maintain team effectiveness as what team worker state. Therefore, what I think is either this is my strength that I haven’t discovered yet or the result is a little bit inaccurate.
According to SPARK (2010, para.2) ‘group projects aren’t fair’ is a frequent student response in higher education. What is SPARK? SPARK (self and peer assessment resource kit) is a tools that enables students to rate their own and their peers contributions. It will then automatically produce two factors which are the self and peer assessment (SPA) and the self assessment to peer assessment (SAPA). According to Spark (2010, para.7), SPA is a weighing factor determined by both the self and peer rating of a student’s contribution while SAPA is about the ratio of a student’s own rating of themselves compared to the average rating of their contribution by their peers.
My overall SPA is 0.91 and my SAPA is 0.99. 0.91 of SPA is very low which mean that I did not contribute well in my group. This may due to because I did not aware the problem and maybe because I am English second language (ESL) students, therefore they gave me some easy job to do and thus I did not contribute much to the group. As my SAPA score is 0.99, it is slightly lower than 1, but still consider that I rated myself fairly accurate compared to the average rating that I received from my group members. Even though my SPA is low, but the feedbacks from my peers are still positive. For example, ‘Good energy – good to work with’ shows that I can easily accommodate to my group (this result is accurate by compared it to section 2.1); ‘Huey was organized and cooperative throughout the group process. Even though English was not his first language, he successfully communicated ideas and gave a confident oral presentation which effectively conveyed his efforts in developing our presentation’s recommendations.’ (Once again, this had shows that agreeableness is my intrapersonal strength.)
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In my group, most of my group members came from other country, for instance, England, Malaysia and etc. Therefore, we all got a very different cultural background. However, since most of them are good in English, only I am the only one who is English second language (ESL) student, the problems occur when we need to discuss something and provide some new idea because I am poor at communicate by using English. Luckily, my group members are awesome. They help me a lot to finish up the part that I need to do. Therefore, I personally rate them all on SPARK higher than me.
I have learnt a lot from the group. One thing that I have learnt from this group is respect. Why I say so? This is because they never discriminate against me even though I am ESL student and they respect me and will ask me what my opinion or ask me to decide something. However, according to Belbin’s model, I am poor at indecisiveness at moment of crisis. Therefore, most of the times I just ask them to decide. Thus, I learnt respect in this experience and I found that I need to improve my weakness (that is deciding on something and improve my English). As our group is multicultural group, this experience will help me for my career goals because as a hairdresser, you will come across with any type of customer and team members. Thus, I aim to improve my weakness to develop my career goals.
4. Organisational effectiveness
4.1 Networking and Mentoring
What is networking? It is actually a system that sharing information and services among individuals or groups. Then why is networking important to everyone? According to Tamowska & Singleton (2010), “networking can be key to both personal and professional growth, but you have to be diligent about keeping in touch with your contacts and sharing information.” There are four types of networking style, which are the loner, the socialiser, the user and the builder. The loner likes to do most things by themselves but they will not worry about other. The socialiser always tries to make friend with everyone they meet but they are not a good listener. The user tends to be collecting the business cards but they will not contact them again while the builder always listens and learns from other people carefully.
According to Singleton, “Networking is worth Millions”. As I am first year business student, I did not have much experience about networking. Therefore, I aim to increase my networking experience by joining the student associations such as Business Advantage at QUT. Thus, I can build up a network with students, colleagues and also professionals before I graduate. What I will do is then keep in touch with them (not like user who just collect the business cards but didn’t contact anymore but is the builder who will keep in touch with them and listen to them). This will affect my career as previous stated because as ‘the builder’, what am I suppose to do is always listen to the customer and learn new stuff from other people because customer like the hairdresser listen to them. When the hairdresser listen to the customer, they build a network between them and therefore the customer will go back to find the hairdresser again. That why networking is so important for my career.
Then what is mentoring? According to Dessler, Griffiths & Lloyd-Walker (2004), “mentoring involves linking a more experienced member of staff with a less experienced member of staff to enable sharing of experience, knowledge and skills.” Mentoring is a very powerful tool that we can share our skills and knowledge to each other, for example, as what I experience in BSB124, my tutor share her experience and her knowledge to me. Mentoring also important for my career because when I graduate and looking for a job, let say I am junior hairdresser, then I will need to find an experience senior hairdresser to share their experience to me therefore I can do the job better. To get mentoring success, I plan to meet my mentor at least every week to share our new knowledge or skills or experience.
As the conclusion, I have reflected on what I have learnt and experiences while I am undertaking BSB124. In section 2 which is intrapersonal effectiveness, I aim to increase my neuroticism and I had plan on how to improve it. In section 3 which is interpersonal effectiveness, the Belbin’s model had stated me that I am always indecisiveness at moment of crisis. Therefore I also aim to improve the weakness that I had explored in section 3. Finally, in section 4, I would like to be ‘the builder’ and I do have some plan to build up my network.
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