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You must 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. 

  2. Write two separate critical incidents to reflect upon the findings and implications from two self-analysis toolkits.

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.

Summarise your major strengths and weaknesses and comment on any patterns of behaviour that have emerged from your self-analysis. Identify no more than three areas of personal development as a (future) manager that you can work on in the next year

Self-Awareness

Leadership is defined as the ability of an individual to influence, motivate and enable an individual to contribute towards the productivity, profitability and success of an organization (Showry & Manasa, 2014). Effective leadership enable a leader to bring together diverse people and motivate them to work efficiently in order to achieve common goals (Hart, 2017). In order to develop effective managerial skills it is highly crucial for the leaders to understand the importance of self-awareness as well as continuous self-development. While self-awareness helps the leaders to understand their strengths and weaknesses, continuous self-development helps the same to eradicate the weaknesses and strengthens the qualities. In this report, a detailed analysis of the importance of self-awareness and continuous self-development in leadership and how it can enhance my own personal ability to come a successful leader will be discussed. Along with that, this report will also contain two of my critical self-analysis review with the help of two self-analysis toolkits , namely, Belbin and MBIT.

Self-Awareness

The term self-awareness can be defined as the potential of an individual to deeply understand his or her strengths weaknesses and emotions (Ramesh & Kulkarni, 2018). Self-awareness is highly crucial for developing effective leadership since it provides the leader with the ability to access his own behavior, acts and skills and amend the same if needed. It allows the leaders to identify the gap they possess both in their managerial skills as well as professional behavior and thus helps them to uncover the areas where they are most effective and where additional work is needed. This understanding, in turn, allows the leaders or managers to make an effective decision along with motivating employees through a positive outcome.  Hence, a successful manager is likely to have an appropriate understanding of their own behaviors, skills, emotions, strengths and weakness in their workplace.  According to Hart, (2017), self-awareness helps a leader to keep their mind open to other possibilities.

Leaders with high self-awareness are always open to new ideas and welcome thoughts that are unique. This openness not only helps the leaders to develop innovative strategies but also makes the followers feel valued and supported Cooper, (2016). Secondly, leaders who are possess self-awareness acknowledge both their strengths as well as weakness. Leaders who are self-aware know the area in which they are strong at and those which needs further improvement. Being honest about their strengths as well as weaknesses helps them to work for their further improvement. This quality of the leaders also encourages their followers to access their own weaknesses and work on the same. Thirdly, self-awareness helps the leaders to develop a keen awareness of the business environment (Caldwell & Hayes, 2016). A leader who is self-aware will understand the areas of distraction and eradicate the same so that the whole concentration can be given on the aspects that need attention to gain success. According to Hart (2017), leaders that are aware of their behavior skills possess excessive control over stress. Even the best leaders sometimes get rattled in stressful situations. A leader who is emotionally aware possess the ability to identify the situations that possess the potential to cause strong consequences (Rubens et al., 2018).  Besides that self-awareness also enhances the connection of the leaders with their intuition. Leaders who are successful in businesses possess a strong connection with their intuition. They always trust their feelings which enable them to make appropriate decisions.

Self-Development

When it comes to continuous self-development, it can be referred to the term where individuals commit themselves for improvement of their knowledge as well as understanding throughout their careers (Rosenbach, 2018). While self-awareness helps the managers to identify their own strength and weaknesses, continuous self-development helps the same to develop their professional skills and behavior so that the weaknesses can be eradicated. According to Bolden (2016), the rapidly changing structure of organization along with high competition between them has enhanced the necessity of continuous self-development in order to enhance the efficiency of the managers(Vaynerchuk, 2016). A manager who is unaware of his or her weaknesses often leads the organization to a disaster. Hence it is crucial for the manager to invest their time in continuous self-development. One of the best ways of achieving self-development is by seeking feedback from relevant individuals including colleagues and subordinates and uses feedback in a constructive way (Leung, 2015). The feedbacks help the manager to have a better understanding of themselves and thus set a definite goal and measure the progress towards the goals.  In the majority of cases, leaders are found to be working of development that includes practical activities like developing better networks or attending valuable seminars that can enhance their self-confidence (Day et al., 2014). Self-confidence leads the leaders to explore self-identity, self-knowledge which in turn helps them to develop their full potential with the view of fulfilling the criteria of a successful manager.

Considering the fact that I aspire to be a successful manager in the near future, possessing self-awareness will allow me to understand my own strength and weaknesses and act on the basis of my understanding. Besides that, this managerial quality will make it easier for me to establish an effective relationship with my subordinates. It will help me to have control over my own emotions so that I can control and experience depression under high pressure and professional stress. Not only this, this quality will enable me to make effective decisions. I personally consider that self-awareness and continuous self-development are interlinked. Thus, while self-awareness will be able to prevent misunderstanding, continuous self-development will help me to minimize my incapability (Wagner, 2016). As a manager, it is highly crucial to improving continuously in order to keep pace with the constantly changing micro and macro environment of the business. Hence, continuous self-development will help me to enhance my professional skills and behavior so that I can manage the business effectively, develop and maintain effective communication with my colleges as well as subordinate and motivate the same. This is crucial to me since in the future; I will certainly encounter individuals with a different style, different values and different perspective from me.  

My chosen toolkit is: Belbin Team role

My results for this toolkit are: shaper, plant, resource investigator, monitor investigator, implementer

Summary of critical incident: explain how the critical incident arose and why it is significant to your learning and development

During the task named “Archway”, I had been told that in spite of the fact that my display was sharp, it did not show this feature in task 6. Considering the fact that one o the major rules of the Archway game was “no talking” once the game gets started, I had mistakenly broken the rule. This fault of mine had resulted in losing marks of our team. Unfortunately, the sequence of the building was wrong initially. However, with the help of the group members I was able to correct the sequence and finally our team had successfully completed “Archway”.

How does your behaviour (thinking, feelings and actions) in this critical incident reflect the findings of your chosen self-analysis toolkit? How has the toolkit enabled you to understand why you think, feel and behave in the way that you do?  What have you learned about yourself that you didn’t know before?

As per my opinion, the findings of my chosen self-analysis toolkit have most accurately my behavior in this critical incident. As per the Belbin report, I tend to be a Shaper, plant, resource investigator and monitor Evaluator. Among the nine chief team roles identified by Belbin, shaper as well as the plant is two of the top team roles.

Firstly, when it comes to the shaper, the term refers to a task-focused person who pursues his objectives with dynamism and is always driven by a need for achievement and tremendous energy. As an individual, I always consider that winning is the name of the game. During the Archway, I used to provide the necessary drivers in order to ensure that the team is kept moving. As a shaper, I always focused on preserving the momentum of our team. As per the Belbin theory, shapers are dynamic as well as extrovert individuals who are shows enthusiasm in stimulating other team members, question norms and find the best approaches for solving the issues. During the above mentioned critical incident, I was the team member who used to shake things up in order to assure that all possibilities have been considered and used to prevent the team from becoming complacent. Thus as per my opinion, the result of the Belbin test appropriately matches my personality, feelings and other characteristics. As per the Belbin report, my orientation I towards high achievement which is fueled as well as driven by determination. As per the test result my enthusiasm, in the right atmosphere is capable of drawing a huge amount of admiration, both for getting things done and for stirring other people for the actions. However, this characteristic of mine also poses some of the disadvantages as well. At the time, a propensity to be direct and blunt posses the potential to cause friction and lost potential allies. Besides that shapers often posses the risk of demonstrating aggressive as well as bad humored in their attempts of getting things done. Thus, in future I have to be careful when it will come to application of my strengths so that no adverse effects may not take place.

The second team Role that was predominantly evidenced in me was plant. Plants are referred to those individuals who are relative, unorthodox as well as generators of innovative ideas. Plant is the person in the team to whom team member should go in case of innovative ideas to an issue is a need. During the above mentioned critical accident, I was the one who was suggesting innovating ideas to my team members for enhancing our building speed and complete the task as soon as possible. According to Belbin, plants are generally bright as well as free thinking. However, plant posses the tendency to ignore incidentals (Tu et al., 2018). This is true in my case since one of my major weakness as an individual is that I am highly absent-minded and often experience a hard time while communicating ideas with others. Moreover, another disadvantage of being a plant is that in a team where multiple plants are present conflicts may take place. Along with that I also agree with the fact that plants often face issues with the timing of their ideas. During the archway activity I had faced issues due to my timing.

Thirdly, as per the Belbin report, I lack the competencies to be a team worker, specialist and completer finisher which mean that I lack the ability to perform as a team and finish the complete task with utmost perfection.  

Identify how you will use this learning in the future to become an effective leader, manager or team-worker

Both my strengths as well as weaknesses that have been detected in the Belbin test have enhanced myself awareness. Considering the fact that I am aware of my strengths as well as weaknesses, in future it will help me behave and lead my team keeping the same in my mind. After going through the result of the critical incident, I realized that I should make some changes in the future in order to become an effective leader. Firstly, I should enhance my communicating skills so that I don't end up forcing excessive pressure on my team members in order to get the assignment done within stipulated deadline.  I should be aware of the fact that each and every individual in a team posses different ability and pushing every team members in order to get something done can ruin the relationship between the leader and the follower and hence is considered to be one of the most crucial reasons behind employee attrition (Leung, 2015). Another aspect of my behavior that was detected in the mentioned state was the lack of versatility in my behavior. For instance, I find it easier to be in the chare of something instead of following instruction (Bolden, 2016). However, I understood that for being an effective leader, it is important to be an effective follower. Thus in future, I will work on developing the ability to follow my leader‘s instruction effectively. In future, I will use my enthusiasm ass well as energy to help my team gain better momentum by focusing on something that will inspire the team members within the team or by emphasizing on the importance of achieving the goal. As a plant, I will enhance the innovativeness of the team by using logical analysis or precious expertise to find the solution of an issue.

My results for this toolkit are: Introverted, Observant, Feeling, Prospecting, Turbulent

Summary of critical incident: explain how the critical incident arose and why it is significant to your learning and development

During the gridlock activity, initially I was not able  to understand how the activity needs to be performed. However, noticed that majority of my teammates had started to play the game and voiced out their own opinion and suggestions to the solution.  While the majority of the team members were shouting out their opinion, I noticed that, one of them , X, who was highly introvert was failing to share his idea due to ignorance. I felt sympathetic and hence tried to listen to his opinion. I found out that according to him it will be easier to communicate with each other if we were to label each of the grids numerically or alphabetically. After appreciating his idea I explained to him that the process suggested be him would be a little time consuming and hence lacks practicality given the task needs to be completed within a stipulated time.   

How does your behaviour (thinking, feelings and actions) in this critical incident reflect the findings of your chosen self-analysis toolkit? How has the toolkit enabled you to understand why you think, feel and behave in the way that you do?  What have you learned about yourself that you didn’t know before?

Being an introvert individual, I prefer to concentrate to my own work instead of chasing for the spotlight. However, I like to communicate with individuals especially when they require communication for better understanding of a specific concept. In spite of the fact that I don’t prefer unnecessary communication, I like to energize other people. Being a turbulent, I like moving into action and making things happen. I am highly independent and prefer to solve a task all by myself instead of seeking help from other individuals. Due to my explorer nature, I prefer to select innovative procedures over the already proven ones since I found it more challenging. The MBIT test defines my feeling type as an individual who is highly sympathetic as well as appreciative and tactful. Individual with the Feeling (F) trait follow their hearts and emotions and care little about hiding them. From their perspective, an individual should not be afraid to listen to his or her innermost feelings and share them with the world. As per my opinion this test has truly described my personality.

Identify how you will use this learning in the future to become an effective leader, manager or team-worker

Like the previous critical incident, this incident will also guide me in my future. After the test , I am aware of the fact that as a leader I will demonstrate a charming warm and “ live and let live” attitude. Besides that I am highly sensitive towards others. As a manager, I will need to deal with different kind of people and thus this characteristic of my personality will enable me to gain better  reorganization by being more sympathetic, appreciative and tactful when dealing with others so that we are able to work with harmony. On the other hand, this test also made me aware of my weaknesses that includes unpredictable, easily stressed, overly competitive and fiercely independent.

Toolkit

My  Result

Advantages

Disadvantages

Shaper

Energetic and driving

Rude

Belbin

Plant

Highly innovative

Have the tendency to pressurize

Resource Investigator

High enthusiasm

Over-optimistic, loses interest once initial enthusiasm has passed

MBTI

Prospecting

Flexible

relaxed

Easily Stressed 

Unpredictable

Feeling

Sympathetic

Fiercely Independent

Overly Competitive


Based on the reflective results that have been provided by the two toolkits, my strengths include highly energetic and driving, highly creative and innovative, highly enthusiastic and sympathetic. According to the MBIT test, two of my major strengths are prospecting and feelings. Prospecting being one of my strengths, I am highly flexible as well as relaxed. This attitude of mine will help me to stay relaxed at adverse situation and make effective decisions. Considering the fact that as a leader I will have to communicate with a huge number of individuals, I believe that this quality of being sympathetic will help me build an effective relationship with them and gain their trust as a leader. Secondly, as per the Belbin test, I am highly enthusiastic and driving. This strength of mine will help me to encourage my team members and provide them with the enthusiasm s that more and more challenging assignments can be completed by the organization within a stipulated time. Considering the fact that I like to innovate new ways of solving a stressful issue, this act of mine will be beneficial for the company I will be working for. Secondly, my involvement and creativity will encourage by peers as well as subordinates to think in a different manner and go for something creative.  

The above mentioned toolkits have also made me aware of several of my weaknesses. In order to become an effective leader, I will need to be aware and eradicate them. One of my major weaknesses includes the tendency to pressurize fellow team members. This can be high devastating for my future career since excessive pressure often results in employee attrition and thus impose a negative impact on the company. Besides that this weakness of mine poses the potential to impose a negative impact on my reputation as a leader. Another major weakness of mine includes being over-optimistic and losing interest in a task once initial enthusiasm has passed. This weakness will also impose adverse impact o my  carrier since over-optimism may lead to devastating failure which in turn will result in loss of revenue of the company. Besides that constant failure may lead to depression which will impose a negative impact on both my personal as well as professional life.  

References

Bolden, R. (2016). Leadership, management and organisational development. In Gower handbook of leadership and management development (pp. 143-158). Routledge.

Caldwell, C., & Hayes, L. A. (2016). Self-efficacy and self-awareness: moral insights to increased leader effectiveness. Journal of Management Development, 35(9), 1163-1173.

Cooper, M. (2016). How self-awareness impacts leadership success.

Day, D. V., Fleenor, J. W., Atwater, L. E., Sturm, R. E., & McKee, R. A. (2014). Advances in leader and leadership development: A review of 25 years of research and theory. The leadership quarterly, 25(1), 63-82.

Hart, J. B. (2017). Development and Application of Self-Awareness in Project Leadership: A Multiple Case Study of Department of Defense Project Managers.

Ramesh, R. S., & Kulkarni, M. (2018). A STUDY ON IMPACT OF SELF AWARENESS ON LEADERSHIP DYNAMICS IN A LARGE PRIVATE ORGANIZATION. GLOBAL JOURNAL FOR RESEARCH ANALYSIS, 7(1).

Rosenbach, W. E. (2018). Contemporary issues in leadership. Routledge.

Rubens, A., Schoenfeld, G. A., Schaffer, B. S., & Leah, J. S. (2018). Self-awareness and leadership: Developing an individual strategic professional development plan in an MBA leadership course. The International Journal of Management Education, 16(1), 1-13.

Shamir, B., & Eilam-Shamir, G. (2018). “What’s your story?” A life-stories approach to authentic leadership development. In Leadership Now: Reflections on the Legacy of Boas Shamir(pp. 51-76). Emerald Publishing Limited.

Showry, M., & Manasa, K. V. L. (2014). Self-awareness-key to effective leadership. IUP Journal of Soft Skills, 8(1), 15.

Tu, M. H., Bono, J. E., Shum, C., & LaMontagne, L. (2018). Breaking the cycle: The effects of role model performance and ideal leadership self-concepts on abusive supervision spillover. Journal of Applied Psychology.

Vaynerchuk, G. (2016). # AskGaryVee: One Entrepreneur's Take on Leadership, Social Media, and Self-awareness. Harper Business.

Wagner, W. E. (2016). Leadership for a better world: Understanding the social change model of leadership development. John Wiley & Sons.

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