1 Write a personal reflection that explains how you would go about managing your work priorities and professional development. In the personal reflection you should ask and answer these questions:
This project will attempt to highlight the actions I would undertake in specific areas of managing work priorities and professional development. 1. What makes a good role model and how would I ensure that I acted as a role model for employees I supervise?
A role model is a person others look up to and admire. They display certain qualities and behaviors to emulate, to learn from and to pass onto others. Qualities of a good role model in the workplace is respect of others, dedication to their job; illustrated by their hardwork and achievements, listening to people without judgement, providing credit to others where it is due, provides a positive and encouraging work environment, uses logical and rational thought when decision making and allows others to provide their viewpoint. To be a good role model in the workplace to the employees I manage I can firstly adopt the attitude of leading by example; by doing this I will gain respect I require from my employees.
Secondly, I need to be aware of my behavior and its impact on others. I also need to project positive energy to the work environment and constantly provide encouragement to staff. To be a good role model means I have to be diplomatic and treat everyone the same; there can be no prejudices or preferences for people. It is important for me to respect people and their viewpoints, always listen to people and make people feel valued and lastly always act with integrity and professionalism. 2. What are the traits of an effective leader? Do I have these traits? How would I develop these traits?
To be an effective leader requires certain traits that are either inherent to a person or can be learnt. The traits that make an effective leader first begins with respect; a leader will treat all people with respect irrespective of their position within the organization. Secondly, a leader will empower their team by encouraging people to push their boundaries further and further for success. Effective leaders will also display
accountability for their actions and those of their team; they never make excuses when something goes wrong. Nonetheless, when something does go wrong a leader will take corrective action immediately by attacking the root of the problem and not just the symptom. Next, a leader will always listen to ideas and be respectful no matter if the idea is good or bad. A leader should also convey sincerity, not only when dealing with work matters but also on a personal level.
Rewarding team members with words or deeds is also a trait of an effective leader as this shows recognition and appreciation of hard work. An effective leader will demonstrate discipline amongst their team – Discipline to work but also knowing when to appropriately discipline staff. Leaders will not get involved in anything that garners or honors credit for themselves; any credit received will be credited to those who did the work. Finally, leaders will harbor integrity and courage; integrity to do what is the right thing to do not matter what and courage to tackle any challenge. I believe the traits that make an effective and natural born leader are ones people inherently harbor, however, these traits can still be learnt. I believe I have some of the
traits of a leader such as accountability of actions, respect for all people, rewarding people, not claiming credit of actions for myself and integrity. I could develop my effectiveness at being more courageous in situations and challenges and view these in a positive light rather than feeling burdened. I could also improve my listening skills by allowing people to provide their view and not judging. Also, disciplining people is always a hard trait to follow through and is also something I can work on improving by not allowing people to get away with breaking workplace rules; no matter who they are. 3. How would I ensure that my work goals and plans reflect the organisation’s goals and plans?
It is important for a manager to set work goals and plan work effectively, especially because these must reflect that of the organizations. To ensure work goals and plans are created accordingly I must have insight into the organizations long-term vision strategy as well as my own role and responsibilities within the organization. Organizations also set strategic and operational plans therefore as a manager I would need to examine and keep up-to-date with these to ensure my goals and plans are inline with the organizations. Referring to the organizations long-term vision strategy, plus their strategic and operational plans when goal setting, will ensure I create accurate goals, plan work effectively and produce results when carrying out work activities. 4. How would I ensure that I meet my job responsibilities?
Working within a team environment means working interdependently, therefore, my ability to get my job done is dependent on others and others depend on me to get their work done; as each independent role contributes to the overall function of the organization. So, working effectively in a team environment to meet responsibilities requires communication, flexibility and meeting deadlines. To ensure I meet my job responsibilities I can regularly review my job description to identify whether my goals remain inline with my job responsibilities; these can change over the course of employment. Other actions and techniques I can undertake to ensure I meet my job responsibilities are effective communication, organization, create a “to-do” list for each day or week and include time frames to complete each task, when faced with multiple tasks write up a plan and tackle these tasks in increments – check off tasks once completed, check the calendar each day to recognize when deadlines are approaching and manage time effectively. All of these skills and techniques will improve my likelihood of meeting my job responsibilities.
5. How would I measure and maintain my personal performance?
The best way to measure and maintain personal performance is by creating a personal Balanced Scorecard which is a performance management tool. Key Performance Indicators are also a very useful tool I can utilize to measure personal performance and therefore maintain effectiveness or observe problem areas that require improvement. If there is an area of my performance that requires improvement I need to revisit my goals, the organizations goals; plus strategic and operational plans, and create a strategy to improve
performance. 6. How would I prioritize work?
Prioritizing work is very important because a managers work is always messy. Messy in the context that they have a lot of responsibilities and are easily distracted by external factors. Therefore, prioritizing work effectively will ensure tasks are carried out successfully. As a manager I would need to set aside time to regularly review my goals and that of my staff and ensure that personal, team and organizational goals remain relevant and realistic, and that they are adjusted when circumstances change. It is important to create a “to-do” list of items and tasks that are required to be accomplished. I can create a list of questions to ask myself when deciding what I should be doing and when. It is essential to ask myself “what is the most important task to complete right now?”, “what approaching deadlines do I have?”, “is it important?”, “is it urgent?” and “do I have to do this?”. Once an order is established, I can create a system that lists the tasks and their priority in different categories that are colour coded. Lastly, and importantly when prioritizing work is to ensure the workload is really for me to do. If it falls outside my responsibility as a manager then I will delegate it to another person. 7. How would I use technology to organise and manage my work?
In todays society there are many uses of technology that can assist in organizing and managing work priorities. Technology can be a real friend to managers as they juggle their many demands. Firstly, the computer offers many functions to organise and manage work. I find the computer very useful to set up electronic “to-do” lists as well as using an electronic calendar with an alert system to record and notify me of approaching deadlines. The computer also provides video conferencing that would become useful for a manager who needs to communicate with people nationally or internationally; something that could be useful to me depending on the organization. The emailing system available on computers is also necessary to assist me with organizing and managing work. It provides a medium of quick communication that can usually generate a prompt response.
Using the telephone is a useful tool to organise and manage work as the use of mobile phones makes contacting people much easier than needing to phone an office number; as many executives spend a lot of time out of the office or in meetings. My apple iPhone is also very useful in assisting me with managing my priorities due to its ability to download apps, allowing me to have a reminder app so I can input a reminder and set an alarm as notification. The computer acts as a technological source that can be used to record and store data and information thereby eliminating the time and paper required to record and file documents. 8. How would I ensure that I maintained a work/ life balance?
Maintaining work/life balance is challenging in any job but there are a few things that can be done to achieve a balance that is right for me. Firstly, knowing what I want from my work and life is important to establish, as this will influence the line of work I choose. Secondly, I need to draw a line between professional and personal life. Also, I can set personal goals that I can refer to regularly to ensure I keep my work/life according to these. Lastly, I need to priorities my daily tasks, be consistent with annual leave and have an outlet to deal with stress. It is important to set aside time with family, friends and myself to maintain a work/life balance. I can plan to spend a couple of hours at the end of each week doing something that I enjoy whether that is reading a book, watching a movie, drinking a few glasses of wine or cooking some delicious food; it is important for me to have my own down time.
Following on from this, it’s imperative to set aside time to spend quality time with loved ones. This could be getting together with friends for a dinner party or having a date night with my partner, either way it allows me to escape the responsibilities and stress of work so I can be rejuvenated for the following work week. There are some people who thrive off being workaholics but for me it would drive me to exhaustion. The stress of work can burden our personal lives and therefore it is important to get work under control. By setting accurate and achievable goals and prioritizing work effectively I can essentially leave work behind at the end of the day or week and enjoy quality time away from the job. 9. How would I ensure that my personal knowledge and skills meet required competency standards?
If an industry I was in had certain competency standards I was required to uphold then I would need to keep up-to-date with these requirements through a membership or continuing professional education scheme. I would draw up a professional development plan to assist me in finding and undertaking continuous professional development in order that my skills grow and develop. In establishing a professional development plan I would start with considering my strengths and weaknesses, and the requirements of my job – both current and for the next level of responsibility – and organization and identify any gaps that appear between these two areas. These gaps represent training and developmental opportunities.
It is important that the developmental opportunities meet the competency standards for the occupation, industry and organization as well as meeting the needs of myself, the learner. I need to first set short term goals, prioritize my goals, set objectives and put a plan to paper. There are some questions I can ask myself in order to determine the correct choice of development for me; questions such as “What are the learning outcome(s) for this section of the training?, What mode is the delivery (distance, workshop, lecture, on/off job)?, What training framework would work best with this course?, What assessments have been decided?, What timeframes are available?, What resources are available? And What opportunities will learners have to practice the new learning at the workplace?”. 10. How would I determine my developmental needs? To determine developmental needs I first need to review my job responsibilities as well as analyze whether the job has changed from the original position description.
Next, I need to analyze my current skills and knowledge in relation to my job description and responsibilities. I can create a document to combine information gathered on my current and future skill requirements and identify any gaps or shortfalls in my existing skill set. I can set developmental goals and create a plan to ensure I have a balance of goals that cover technological skills as well as specific competencies for my occupation. Keeping a balance within my development will allow me to become a well rounded individual and thus increase future opportunities taking me to a higher level of employment. I need to review my goals and plans often to ensure they are up-to-date and appropriate for my occupation and job responsibilities. I would mark off the goals and plans I have achieved allowing me to have a clear visual on those that are outstanding, as well as adding new targets ensuring all of these reflect any changes in circumstances. When creating my developmental goals and plans I need to analyze where I am and where I want to go with respect to my career. I need to plan short, medium and long-term goals and remain flexible with these as my situation could change in the medium to longterm future. 11. What is my personal learning style and how would I ensure that I took advantage of learning opportunities?
My personal learning style is very much visual with a kinesthetic component. I do notice that auditory learning for me is very much a downfall so, if ever I am faced with a situation that isn’t directed to my personal learning style I try to adapt the way I receive the information to suit my learning style. To learn effectively it is important for me to know my personal learning style and to recognize situations that do or don’t appeal to my learning style; only then can I begin to learn. When assessing a developmental opportunity I need to have a clear understanding of what is involved and have an understanding of the best ways I can access and internalize the skills and knowledge required – this will increase my chances of successfully learning. As mentioned above, If a learning environment isn ‘t delivered in a style that suits my learning, I will adapt the information I receive to suit my visual and
kinesthetic learning style. This can be a challenging task, and I may not be 100% successful, but at least it provides me with an increased opportunity of effective learning. 12. How would I gather feedback from others about my personal performance and how would I use this feedback to improve my competence? Gathering feedback is a vital component to improve standards and competencies in the workplace. Feedback received from employees, colleagues and clients is useful when determining opportunities for improvement. There are a few effective ways to gather feedback from employees in the workplace such as: formal or informal performance appraisals, feedback from supervisors and colleagues, feedback from suppliers, feedback from internal and external clients/customers via surveys or questionnaires, personal reflection and self assessment, data derived from organizational monitoring and control processes, observation and measurement of end products and finally, measurements related to mistakes; rework and waste.
Feedback highlights the areas which I am working well so I can continue to perform in these areas. However, feedback also highlights areas where I am not performing well; and this should’t be viewed as a negative. Feedback can be perceived as positive to my future development as It identifies areas I can improve my competence thus ultimately improving my work performance and outcome results. When I have obtained my feedback I need to think about and plan how I can improve. I can review my developmental goals and plans and make necessary adjustments to include areas of improvement my feedback has identified to then research the learning I require to improve my competencies. 13. How would I use networks to increase my knowledge, gain new skills and develop relationships? Networking is a term commonly used in business referring to mutually established relationships with other business people, potential clients and/or customers. There are benefits in belonging to a professional network group or association and these include opportunities to gain further knowledge and skills but also provide opportunity for career improvement.
Essentially, when apart of a network, I would be advertising my skills and knowledge and this is beneficial to career development as it can open up doors for subsequent jobs or the ability to work with an industry great to gain new skills, knowledge and experience. By being apart of an industry network or association it can provide me with insight into any industry changes, industry and market information, experiences by other business people in the industry as well as providing insight into competitor behaviours. An industry association usually offers developmental opportunities that can contribute to improving my competencies and had I not been apart of this network I would miss out on these opportunities to improve my knowledge and skill set. Events set up by networking groups or associations provides a friendly environment where I can get together with peers and meet industry competition that can be beneficial to me.
Having work oriented networks is important to build for support, information and resources. All my work oriented networks will come from different areas within the organization and this is beneficial to work performance and achieving outcome results. 14. How would I ensure that I acquired new skills to maintain my competitive edge? It is imperative that I continually grow and develop in todays business world to remain current and competitive. To remain competitive means I need to have an advantage over my competition, be it people I work with or people from other organizations in the same industry. Building professional and personal goals and plans will assist in ensuring I acquire the skills needed to maintain my competitive edge. To gain an advantage I need to have a strategic plan built from information about the industry, taking note of any changes and what is required of me to remain competitive. By assessing my competitors it will provide me with necessary information to develop a competitive edge. I also need to be aware any challenges or changes that could be on the horizon and assess how this will impact my work either directly or indirectly.
If I have become aware of a change that will negatively affect my work then I need to be creative in adopting a new way of thinking or doing something. I need to be aware of the threats to my competitive edge such as; technological changes, economic trends, global impact, environmental changes and alterations to government policy or legislation. Not only do these pose a threat to my competitive edge but so to does my personal life. I need to regularly assess whether any change to my personal situation will positively or negatively impact my competitive edge. Overall, the qualities, traits, skills and actions I’ve addressed all lead to me becoming an effective manager in the workplace. There are certainly areas I am required to address to improve my effectiveness such as skills of an effective leader, and there are certain areas I’ve gained insight into to positively assist my development as a manager and remain current and employable in a managerial position.