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Demonstrate your critical understanding of the need for self-awareness and continuing self-development. This will be achieved through the completion of the following tasks:

  1. Using a range of relevant literature, explain how self-awareness and continuous self-development will help you to fulfil your role as a successful Leader or Manager in the future. 
  1. Using the attached templates, write twoseparate critical incidents to reflect upon the findings and implications from two self-analysis toolkits from the module (e.g. Belbin, Emotional Intelligence, Management Competencies, Personality tests). 

Please note you must:

Provide two clear and specific critical incidents. The first critical incident should be based on an incident from your Residential weekend and must relate specifically to working in culturally diverse groups and teams.

Include a summary of the toolkit results you have chosen on each critical incident template e.g. if you have used your Belbin profile you should make a note of your key results/themes.

Identify how you will use this learning in the future.

The Significance of Self-Awareness in Leadership

Introduction

Self-awareness is an inwardly focused analytic procedure used by people to derive standard comparisons with the aim of a more definite improvement and self-knowledge (Ashley & Roni Reiter-Palmon, 2012). Human beings can improve their behaviours and ways of life. This capacity is dictated by the ability to predict a better future, analyse alternatives, and evaluate weaknesses and eagerness to perform towards an ideal. Covered are the approaches of self-examination, self-reflexive thinking, and introspection (Steffel, Williams, & Permann-Graham, 2016). Self-analysis entails an ability to pay attention inward and establish a self-study.

The significance of self-awareness on leadership cannot be overrated. Besides Hollenbeck, Beersma, & Schouten (2012), insist that the self-reaction capacity may have been one of the drivers of human civilisation 40000-60000 years ago. As can be discerned from the explanations given by Buelens, Sindig, & Waldstrom (2011), self-awareness process was considered to be cognitive. It was also believed that apart from cognition, it was also essential to consider the emotional and motivational influences of self-awareness.

Nair (2017) cited a large body of contemporary research proposing that high self-awareness levels can paradoxically result in either bad or good outcomes. On the positive side is that a strong self-awareness has proved to have psychotherapeutic impacts and makes people able to adjust adequately to their environment. This is particularly important for a leader who needs to adjust to the operational environment and embrace diversity in the workplace.  

Furthermore, Buchanan & Huczynski (2013), notes that self-awareness is an essential element in the creation of an authentic manager or leader. Through self-awareness, leaders can gain consciousness of how their thoughts and feelings shape their behaviour and actions in the workplace (Amanda, Dana, & Stacy, 2012). This helps in keeping the employees motivated and encouraged to work.

Self-awareness is also an essential competency linked with workplace emotional intelligence. Okpara & Edwin (2015), explains that the initial step in developing emotional intelligence is gaining self-awareness. The development of emotional intelligence enables leaders to understand their employees in the organisation and be able to address their needs and feelings.

Honestly, self-awareness consists of abilities and emotions that enable leaders to be more efficient and form outstanding relationships with the employees in the workplace. Research suggests that people who are aware of their feelings tend to be more effective in their jobs (Bauer, Park, Montoya, & Wayment, 2014). This is because they understand and recognise their moods, needs, and emotions, and can predict the impacts of their actions on others. Besides, individuals with excellent knowledge concerning their emotions can take control of their lives and direct their positive emotions towards completing their work (Vago & David, 2012). The self-awareness competencies that a leader can have include specific self-awareness, emotional self-awareness, and self-confidence.

Emotional Intelligence and Self-Awareness

Leary & Tangney (2011), expounds that emotional self-awareness demonstrates the significance of acknowledging one's emotions and the way it impacts on performance. For leaders, accurate self-assessment encompasses knowing one's inner resources, limits, and abilities (Whiteside & Barclay 2014). Leaders with this competency are aware of their weaknesses and strengths, learning from experience, reflective, open to candid feedback, continuous learning, can voice views, have presence and self-development.

Self-awareness enhances self-confidence, especially in leaders. This can be viewed as the development of a sense of one's growth and capabilities. Therefore, people who rise to leadership positions with self-confidence can understand their unique capabilities and use them to improve the organisational performance (Zambonelli, Bicocchi, Cabri, Leonardi, & Puviani, 2011). They can also voice their concerns and go out on a limb for what they consider as right.

Indeed, self-awareness promotes decisiveness. Going by the argument presented by Tao, Songwathana, Isaramalai, & Zhang (2014), these individuals can make accurate decisions in the firm without any doubts. Besides, various studies conducted in America, some parts of Asia and Europe have proved that self-awareness, as a section of emotional intelligence, contributes to organisational performance.

According to Coaching Positive Performance (2017), continuous personal development involves people committing themselves to enhancing their knowledge, skills, and understanding. In 1982, W.S Howell developed the four stages of constant self-development- unconscious incompetence whereby the individuals are not even aware that they lack a particular competence, conscious incompetence whereby individuals want to learn something, but they are incompetent, consciousness competence, whereby individuals can perform a specific job but feel conscious of everything they do, and finally,  unconscious competence, whereby the individuals have fully mastered the steps of handling a task (UCL, 2015) . These stages are also critical in professional development.

The  (CIPD) Chartered Institute of personal and professional development explains that an active continuous personal development enhances commitment to professional development (Beddoes-Jones & Swailes, 2015). A commitment to personal development is a show that the individual has taken steps to ensure that they attain the required knowledge and skills to satisfy the challenges of a continually changing world.

The continuous personal development also entails self-commitment a person may not always achieve the desired goals but the experience gained is essential in promoting a more productive and more rewarding life. Dweck (2013), explains that personal development starts with self-awareness, whereby people get to know who they are. Personal development also enables people to use the power of contrast adequately to identify areas for personal development (Cottrell, 2015). Furthermore, it helps individuals to know what to achieve in the firm.

Continuous Self-Development

Conducting a continuous self-development and awareness will enable me as a leader in future to succeed in my endeavours. I must be aware that I am entirely responsible for developing and updating my skills throughout my career. Continuous self-development is an ongoing process of assuming control of oneself, skills and personal knowledge (Brown, 2014) It will also enable me to utilise any opportunities in the workplace effectively. To be successful as a leader, I will set clear objectives by defining my level of competence. Through studying self-development as a topic, I have realised that it is impossible for me to do all my learning from the beginning of my job and then use my knowledge from school throughout my career life. This is because the world, ideas, and technology are fast-changing, hence the need to conduct a constant self-evaluation to identify my training needs, knowledge gaps and my level of skills and competencies. As explained by Di-Fabio, Palazzeschi, & Bar?On (2012), it is critical for a manager to conduct a continuous self-evaluation to develop a portfolio of skills, knowledge, and competencies.

My chosen toolkit is: Emotional Intelligence & Belbin team role test

During the ‘Archway task’ on the residential weekend, I was performing the role of a team player in a group whereby we had to build a tower using six colours different sticks. We were not allowed to talk while executing a task. However, we could talk only when giving explanations relating to the task. During the process, I noticed that two members had deviated from the instructions and were doing the task differently. The two members also kept involving themselves in unnecessary conversations even after our group leader had made it clear regarding talking in the group.  This frustrated me most as I knew that we would be unable to accomplish the set goal due to lack of group uniformity I, therefore, got angered and shouted at them to keep quiet and follow the guidelines. After a few minutes, I realised my situation and cooled down. Truly, I had not considered how my emotions could affect my relationship with others in the team. I, therefore, apologised to the two members and explained to them the correct way of doing the task through gestures. By adhering to my instructions, they were able to adjust and do the task correctly. I, therefore, received positive recommendations from my facilitator for being supportive, concerned and focused on the team’s objectives.  

My results for emotional intelligent toolkit are: out of ? for Self Awareness; 57/ for Self-regulations; 53 for motivation; 63 for empathy and 65 for soft skill (Overall 214) As per Belbin profile, I am Resource Investigator and Completer Finisher.


How does your thinking and behaviour in this critical incident reflect the findings of your chosen self-analysis toolkit?

Going by the results from my Belbin profile, completer finisher scores the highest. With regards to this, I have realised why I got frustrated when the other members of the team were doing the wrong task. My main aim was to complete the task as fast as possible and in the right way. Perhaps, this is why I was frustrated to see some members doing the wrong task that would subject the team results to errors. Resource investigator scored second in my Belbin Profile. According to Belbin Associates (2018), the role of a resource investigator requires someone who is outgoing and enthusiastic. However, a significant weakness of a resource investigator is the tendency to lose interest. For instance, I almost lost interest in the group task when I saw some members doing the wrong task. This is because I was overoptimistic and needed the task to be done as perfectly as possible.

My Chosen Toolkit and Results

Also, perhaps my emotional intelligence comes in at the point I was able to evaluate my emotions, calm down and show the two members on the right way to handle the task through gestures. Emotional intelligence entails an evaluation of personal emotions and the emotions of other colleagues (Hao & Yazdanifard, 2015). From the results of my emotional intelligence analysis, I have realised that this is my greatest ability.

The results from my Belbin profile has also enabled me to identify my key strengths and weaknesses. On the strengths' side, I have an excellent eye for detail and ability to do a careful and sustained work. I am amazed how this strength coincides with my behaviour during the team role. I was keen to identify the mistakes done by other members and even correct them, using gestures. Another strength of my Belbin profile pertains to my ability to be drawn to perform tasks where I can concentrate on a subject and focus on its inner details. I provided the utmost attention in my task during the team role.

Conversely, I have realised that my main weakness is the possibility of becoming uninterested in spending more time to mobilise others to drive things forward. Maybe this weakness has been depicted by my initial behaviour during the group role. I got frustrated and kept blaming the team members for doing incorrect tasks.

Identify how you will use this learning in the future.

My behaviour during the critical situation and the results from my personal analysis provides the basis for my future behaviour in the workplace and while performing other team roles. I will use my key strengths in my future tasks to ensure my team achieves success. For example, as a resource investigator, I will develop an inquisitive attitude and strive to find new ideas to ensure my team operates effectively to achieve the desired goals.

I have also gained some insights concerning my weaknesses. In future, I will try to improve on these weaknesses to escape their negative impacts on my performance. For instance, A leader should not be over-optimistic, but instead be realistic about his or her expectations. A leader should also be persistent and avoid losing interest whenever the desired outcomes are not being attained.

My chosen toolkit is: Belbin Team Roles Toolkit

My results for this toolkit are: I am Resource Investigator, Completer Finisher

This report has given a reflection from a group learning experience. During my final year of undergraduate studies, we were asked by the lecturer to form groups of ten students each and conduct a MEGA business simulation. The simulation was to be conducted by the students from October 2013 to December 2013.  It was to last for ten weeks- two weeks for practice and eight official game weeks. During this period, I experienced a negative critical incident. An argument erupted among the group members since some of the members were not clear on their roles in the group. This resulted in a replication of work, whereby some members replicated the works of their colleagues. As a result, I got angered and made it clear to every group member that they should stick to their roles. However, I later calmed down and took it as my responsibility to clarify the roles of each member of the team. After listening to me, the team members were able to settle down and perform their activities appropriately.I also went ahead and assumed the roles of other group members who were unable to complete them and did them myself.

Reflecting on My Chosen Toolkit and Critical Incidents

How does your thinking and behaviour in this critical incident reflect the findings of your chosen self-analysis toolkit?

During the group work, I noticed that there was a confusion in the group due to the inadequate definition of roles in the group. Although I got frustrated, I later calmed and helped in clarifying roles in the team. I am amazed how my behaviour during this incident is reflected by the results from my Belbin profile report. According to the report, I am a completer-finisher, an attribute which scores the highest in the profile. Perhaps, this is why I took it as my initiative to clarify tasks in the group to eliminate any errors so that the results are of high standards. Another attribute of a completer finisher that I exhibited in the team was my ability to polish and perfect the work of others. I realised that some members were unable to perform as required and therefore assumed their roles and perfected the tasks they were given. During the teamwork, I was outgoing and enthusiastic. I tried to understand the problems experienced by each group member and solved them. Surprisingly, this is one of the roles of a resource generator as explained by Belbin.

The self-analysis has also enabled me to discover my strengths and weaknesses. My primary strengths include my ability to maintain an excellent eye for detail and be able to do sustained and careful work. Perhaps, this is why I took it as my responsibility to monitor the works of other team members and explain to them the right way of handling their tasks. Another strength that I hold is that I can be taken to work where I can delve into a task and concentrate on its finer details. I demonstrated this strength during the teamwork as I was able to understand the instructions and techniques for handling the designed tasks and even explain them to other team members.

However, I noticed that my Belbi profile scored very low in the Shaper role, which may depict that I may not have a drive and courage to overcome difficulties in a team. My primary weakness as presented by the results fro my Belbin profile is that I may develop a tendency of not being interested in spending the time to bring other team members together to drive things forward. This may be their reason why at first, I felt frustrated and specified my roles to other group members.

Identify how you will use this learning in the future.

As explained by Antonakis & House (2013), leadership involves influencing others to handle specific tasks and acting as a role model to other employees. A leader must be cooperative, decisive and influential. Therefore, in future, if I rise into a leadership position, I will play my Completer Finisher role to strive for high-performance standards in the team. For instance, I will strive to discover a subtle way of solving problems and confusions that may result between the team members and communicating the importance of observing the quality and performing tasks as stipulated by the group objectives to the team members. I will also exercise my resource investigator role to find new ways of handling different tasks in the team. I will try to improve on my weaknesses by motivating and cooperating with all the team members to ensure that they contribute positively to the aim of the team.

The two critical incidents have enabled me to identify some of my key strengths. Strengths refer to the unique capabilities held by a person. As a completer-finisher, I have realised that I have a keen eye for detail and that I can strive to reach the highest standards possible in my goals. I can, therefore, execute tasks that require careful follow-ups, close concentration and high levels of accuracy. With this strength, I can also act as a quality controller in a team identifying errors made by the team members and correcting them appropriately.

My second strength is that I can do a careful, sustained work. This strength comes from my ability to concentrate on my tasks and identify any errors that may arise. This is my key strength as a resource investigator. Furthermore, I can mobilise resources and bring the team members together to achieve an objective, as a resource investigator.

My last strength from my analysis is emotional intelligence. Even though I first became angered in the two incidents, in every incident I was able to reflect back, calm down, try to understand the problems of the team members and assist them to adjust. In my future careers, I am certain this strength will enable me to always control my emotions and the emotions of other employees and team members and motivate them to be dedicated to attaining the specific objectives of a team.

However, I have also identified some personal weaknesses from my self-analysis. These weaknesses act as my areas of improvement to efficiently execute my future career life. One of these weaknesses is that I tend to become over-optimistic. This can be shown by my behaviours during the critical incidents whereby I got annoyed whenever I saw other team members doing the wrong tasks. This weakness may make me get frustrated easily and lose hope in teams especially when I realise that the members may not attain the set aims due to confusions or doing the wrong tasks.

Another weakness is that I tend to get uninterested in spending the time to mobilise team members together to achieve the set goals. This is a weakness I specifically realised when I almost lost hope in the teams in the two incidents when I saw some members deviating from the laid procedures.

Furthermore, as a resource investigator, I have realised that I can thrive on the excitement of novelty. While this may enable me to respond rapidly to new developments in a team or organisation, my enthusiasm may quickly fade away especially when I experience difficulties or realise that my efforts are not bearing fruits. This is a major weakness that I should improve on.

The above weaknesses serve as my areas of improvements. To improve my tendency of losing interests in the following year as a leader, I will ensure that I don't become overly optimistic. I will set realisable goals which can be achieved and even if the team fails to achieve the set goals, will treat the failures as lessons for future improvements and not as sources of demoralisation.

As a resource investigator, my weakness is that my enthusiasm may fade away. To maintain a spirit of enthusiasm in my future role as a manager, I will strive to abide by the group objectives and work within the set standards and avoid setting exceedingly high personal expectations.

Finally, as a future manager, I should realise that I need to be self-motivated and able to encourage and inspire others to execute the group goals. Therefore, by next year, I will improve on my tendency of becoming uninterested in spending time to mobilise others to accomplish set team goals.

References

Amanda, E. M., Dana, H. L., & Stacy, H. (2012). The Application of Ethical Decision-Making and Self-Awareness in the Counsellor Education Classroom. Journal of Counselor Preparation and Supervision, 4. doi:10.7729/42.0029

Antonakis, J., & House, R. J. (2013). The full-range leadership theory: The way forward. In Transformational and Charismatic Leadership: The Road Ahead. Emerald Group Publishing Limited.

Ashley, G. C., & Roni Reiter-Palmon. (2012). Self-Awareness and the Evolution of Leaders: The Need for a Better Measure of Self-Awareness. Psychology Faculty Publications, 1-17. Retrieved April 16, 2018, from https://digitalcommons.unomaha.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1006&context=psychfacpub

Bauer, J. J., Park, S. W., Montoya, R. M., & Wayment, H. A. (2014). Growth motivation toward two paths of eudaimonic self-development. Journal of Happiness Studies, 16, 185-210. doi:10.1007/s10902-014-9504-9

Beddoes-Jones, F., & Swailes, S. (2015). Authentic leadership: Development of a new three-pillar model. Strategic HR Review. 14(3), 94-99.

Belbin Associates. (2018). Belbin Team Roles. Retrieved Apil 20, 2018, from https://www.belbin.com/about/be` lbin-team-roles/

Brown, J. D. (2014). Self-esteem and self-evaluation: Feeling is believing. Psychological perspectives on the self, 4(8), 27-58.

Buchanan, D., & Huczynski, A. (2013). Organizational behaviour (8th ed.). Harlow, England: Pearson.

Buelens, M., Sindig, A., & Waldstrom, C. (2011). Organisational Behaviour (4th ed.). London: McGraw Hill Higher Education.

Coaching Positive Performance. (2017). Core Benefits of Personal Development. Retrieved April 16, 2018, from https://www.coachingpositiveperformance.com/6-core-benefits-personal-development/

Cottrell, S. (2015). Skills for success: Personal development and employability. Palgrave Macmillan.

Di-Fabio, A., Palazzeschi, L., & Bar?On, R. (2012). The role of personality traits, core self?evaluation, and emotional intelligence in career decision?making difficulties. Journal of Employment Counseling, 49(3), 118-129.

Dweck, C. S. (2013). Self-theories: Their role in motivation, personality, and development. Psychology Press.

Hao, M. J., & Yazdanifard, R. (2015). How Effective Leadership Can Facilitate Change in Organizations Through Improvement and Innovation. Global Journal of Management and Business Research: Administration and management, 15(9). Retrieved April 20, 2018, from https://globaljournals.org/GJMBR_Volume15/1-How-Effective-Leadership.pdf

Hollenbeck, J., Beersma, B., & Schouten, M. (2012). Beyond Team Types and Taxonomies: A Dimensional Scaling Conceptualization for Team Description. Academy of Management Review, 37(1), 82-106. doi:10.5465/amr.2010.0181

Leary, M. R., & Tangney, J. P. (2011). Handbook of self and identity. Guilford Press.

Okpara, A., & Edwin, A. M. (2015). Self Awareness and Organizational Performance in the Nigerian Banking Sector. European Journal of Research and Reflection in Management Sciences, 3(1), 53-70. Retrieved from https://www.idpublications.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/Self-Awareness-and-Organizational-performance-Full-Paper.pdf

Steffel, M., Williams, E., & Permann-Graham, J. (2016). Passing the buck: Delegating choices to others to avoid responsibility and blame. Organizational Behavior And Human Decision Processes, 32-44. doi:10.1016/j.obhdp.2016.04.006

Tao, H., Songwathana, P., Isaramalai, S. A., & Zhang, Y. (2014). Personal awareness and behavioural choices on having a stoma: a qualitative meta-synthesis Journal of clinical nursing, 23(9-10),. 23(9), 1186-1200.

UCL. (2015). Continuing Personal and Professional Development at UCL. UCL HUMAN RESOURCES ORGANISATIONAL AND STAFF DEVELOPMENT, 1-26. Retrieved April 16, 2018, from https://www.ucl.ac.uk/hr/od/resources/continuing_prof_dev_guide.pdf

Vago, D. R., & David, S. A. (2012). Self-awareness, self-regulation, and self-transcendence (S-ART): a framework for understanding the neurobiological mechanisms of mindfulness. Frontiers in human neuroscience, 6, 296.

Whiteside, D., & Barclay, L. (2014). The Face of Fairness: Self-Awareness as a Means to Promote Fairness among Managers with Low Empathy. Journal Of Business Ethics, 137(4).

Zambonelli, F., Bicocchi, N., Cabri, G., Leonardi, L., & Puviani, M. (2011). On self-adaptation, self-expression, and self-awareness in autonomic service component ensembles. In Self-Adaptive and Self-Organizing Systems Workshops.

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