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Question:

Discuss about the Personal Development Paper.
 
 

Answer:

Introduction

Present report illustrates the growth and validation of personality development traits. Three traits have been self assessed to validate the personality trait which is required to be developed. Smart goals relating to same have been presented with manner of implementation. The major contribution of this paper lies in the development of a valid and reliable personality instrument to be use in corporate and personal world. The paper also aims at further refinement of the analytic–intuitive personality style which seemed to be lacking in me. 

Self Assessment: Cognitive Style Indicator

For establishing traits, that I would prefer to develop throughout my semester I examined myself on the basis of three self-assessment quizzes which I undertook to find out the traits which were applicable to my personality. I started with completing the quiz for Cognitive style indicator. This assessment was aimed at evaluating the psychological thinking style. According to Blatt & Bless (2013), cognitive style indicator indicates the ways in which an individual perceives and remembers information. The cognitive style is a different concept that the cognitive ability. The ability of cognition is measured by aptitude or intelligence tests which reveal the capacity of a person to grasp information. Cognitive style reflects huge and deep rooted dimensions of human personality (Specht & et.al. 2014). This trait of personality has huge uses in the fields of education and management. According to the study of Sternberg & Zhang, (2014), the cognitive styles can be measured by judging a person on various models.

The Multi Dimensional Model test is a computer- compiled and presented test which measures position of individuals on two dimensions which are orthogonal. These are Wholist-Analytic (W-A) and Verbal-Imagery (V-I). The former reflects the manner in which individuals arrange and structure information (Sutin, Stephan & Terracciano, 2016). Individuals who are Analytics will sort out information by arranging them into component parts and individuals who are described as Wholists retain information through a global or overall view of information [De Vries, R. E. & et.al. (2013)]. I found that I am a wholist type of person. For example- when a lecture is being conducted I try to perceive the total meaning and conclusions of the topic. As per  Donnellan, Hill & Roberts (2015), if a student has similar cognitive style with that of his teacher, it is possible that the student will be able to learn things better and can have a positive learning experience. Similarly if in a group, all the members have similar learning styles it would be easier to work in a team. Similar cognitive styles make people more comfortable in learning while working together and the outcome can be guaranteed success.

I order to improve the quality of the analytical part of my cognitive style, the quiz advised me to grasp everything that I come across in my daily life and try to retain them in parts rather than as a whole. The quiz outlined my creative and flexible thinking style and also outlined ways to improve all aspects of thinking. After taking the quiz and applying the solutions I have now found that I am eased with retaining information in components.

 

Communicating Styles

After the first assessment, I proceeded to assess second trait of my personality. This assessment was aimed at identifying different styles of communication one posses and also recognizing the use of them in different spheres of life.  The quiz highlighted five communication styles, namely assertive, aggressive, passive aggressive, submissive and manipulative. According to the study of Funder (2015), being assertive in communication means that one respects themselves and also other people. This will impart a sense of satisfaction of handling well the situation and also eliminating the ill feelings between parties involved. The aggressive style emphasizes on winning at the cost of someone else (Westenberg, Blasi & Cohn, 2013). Aggressive people focus on their needs only and are concerned with their own rights than other people. This style is considered to be ineffective as it may lead to loss of the content of the message because of people’s non cooperative behaviour. The passive aggressive style is similar to this style, the only difference being that people seem to be non aggressive at the superficial level but from inside they follow an aggressive approach (Wrzus & Roberts, 2016). The submissive style is aimed at avoiding conflict by compromising personal needs for fulfilling other’s wants (Kozhevnikov  & Kosslyn, 2014). This type of communication style too is not being considered as fair in the corporate environment. The manipulative style is the one in which the content is manipulated to suit one’s own advantage. Hence, out of all the styles only assertive style of communication was considered to be most important.

The details of how I gained the skill of communicating assertively are given in the paper below. The skill took time and practice to develop as I was not used to such type of communication. The quiz recommended ways in which the technique can be mastered through regular practice you at home in own time.

Creativity scales

This personality trait aims at assessing creativity using self-report scales. As per the study of Luyten & Blatt (2013), the four promising scales are-: the Creative Achievement Questionnaire, the Biographical Inventory of Creative Behaviors, the revised Creative Behavior Inventory, and the Creative Domain Questionnaire. For assessing the level of each scale, evidences for reliability, validity, and structure were reviewed Evaluation of each item-level scale should be done using classical test theory and item response theory (Zaenuddin, Paramita & Fathoni, 2016). The quiz was based on based on the latest generation tools. Creativity assessment is undertaken based on few classes of measurements which are creative thinking and creative behavior [McFadden (2014). A quiz assessed all these aspects through a series of questions and an innovative scoring approach. I found at the end of the quiz that I was quite creative in my thinking and behaviour. For example I always devise some newer ways for doing a particular work. I have also been awarded in my school for creativity in many projects.

 

Trait Focus and Personal Traits

After accomplishing the quizzes on self-assessment and getting my results, I have decided to focus on the trait of communication styles for further improvement. I have chosen this trait for further development as this characteristic has significant impacts in daily life as well as my career.  I believe that I am an individual who easily drops on communication and suffer loss due to low communication style; therefore I want to devise some ways to master the trait. I found through the quiz that I follow a submissive style. For example- once I had an argument with one of my classmate and in order to avoid conflict I did not clarified my part, in spite of knowing that I was not wrong. It is the aptitude to express thoughts and feelings clearly through an open, direct and honest communication. Being assertive does not means that one will always get what they want but the style can help one to achieve a compromise state. Therefore, after that incident I started losing my confidence and was not able to keep my view in front of other in appropriate manner. According to Mroczek & et.al. (2014), confidence is the main factor through which one communicate easily and keep his views in front of others. Another example was I had never participated in debate competition, due to lacking in same factor; even after having all the skills. But as I was not able to communicate and keep my own opinions in front of other, I avoided these competitions and even give excuses to my teachers when they encourage or force me to participate.

Furthermore, I assessed few article relating to the topic and address the importance of communication skills and the manner in which the same can be improved. A student who is not having efficient communicative skills is not able to achieve his desire goal; even after having all the qualities. According to Richard Branson, billionaire entrepreneur who is a student of communication and successful in his life as well “Communication can be said as a kill that can be learned if practiced well and if one efficiently works on it the quality of every part of life can be rapidly improved.” By making appropriate efforts, it is possible to present oneself in the best required way. Communication is more “art” than science, as it requires skill and the same can be developed through practice only (Parikh, Snee, & Schall, 2014 ). In article written by Joseph Grenny and  David Maxfield relating to  the book “Influencer” which was relating to influencing people with exceptional skills such as effective communication skills which other nourish change in relating factors. It focuses on the manner of being able to induce the change and the leader’s ability to manipulate and make a major change. Nonetheless, the author focused on the methods through which communication skills can be improved and to attain confidence for accomplishing the objective or task. The author states that practice is the only way through which this skill can be developed. As their many forms of communication, aggressive; patient, bold; in form of a leader and many more; thus the same cannot be replicated and can be learned over a period of time through practice (Pennycook  & et.al. 2014).

 

Desired Outcome

According to views of Ross & et.al. (2016), communication is one of the most import factors for a student such as mine, as the manner I think it is the utmost necessity to assess this topic and attain methodologies for improving the same. In according to my communication skill quiz outcomes, I am below an average capable person able to communicate in efficient way and put my opinion in front of others. However, by practicing and making efforts such as practicing in front of mirror to judge the manner how  communication and increase confidence; I was able to improve the manner of communicating and presenting oneself in front of others. In short, I would like to ascertain the main qualities needed and evaluation method for improving communication skills in order for being efficient in them.

Specific Strategy for developing trait

SMART Goal Plan

  • Aim

My aim is to improve and develop communication skills.

  • Specific

I would focus on the manner in which I communicate with each and every one; rather with my teacher, family or friends every time. For same, I will practice the method of communication and learn the manner in which one should communicate with other at specific circumstances. I would also gain knowledge about body texture; which should be presented and the tone which is to be applied while communicating. For the next one month I will assess myself and to ascertain whether the necessary steps taken for improving are correct and working or not.

  • Measurable

For being assured regarding development od communication skills, keeping a daily log could help a lot (Schmeck, 2013). In same manner I noted reaction of people with whom I talk and on certain intervals ask my teachers that whether they have assessed any difference in me. Additionally, I will also ascertain the area which is required more focus for improving on daily basis.

  • Achievable

I will achieve the specific aim through communicating with confidence and making efforts to put my opinion in front of others in appropriate manner. I would also reward and treat myself in order to continue and not to get off from my track.

  • Relevant

Assertive Communication style is a characteristic that I have always had difficulty in developing and practicing. This is the reason I decided to try and improve this trait, as this attribute is very important in one’s career. I preferred improving this skill and gaining efficiency in it for successfully implementing this style of communication in future. I will try to incorporate the strategy to effective communication in my day to day life as well as alter my communication style to fit to the requirements of assertive communication style. I will b really overwhelmed if I will become proficient in the trait.

  • Time- consideration

I will begin implementing the tactics of effective communication from today and will be continuing these till one month. Every weekend, I will review my progress by overseeing how many conversations I ended successfully. I will record my daily conversations with my friends, my classmates, my mates in my music sessions and any debates in which I participate in school. I will create a list of my strengths and weakness in communication style based on my daily records which will help me in indicating my future course of direction. At the end of the month I will be able to judge my growth in the path of communicating effectively.

 

Implementation of the strategy

The following section does the evaluation of my advancement in communication strategy over the month.

Was I able to communicate assertively and keeping my point in various conversations?

This month I experienced that I lost some of my debates in school due to submissive style of communication. However later in the month after 20th I was able to master the style effectively.

Was I motivated to communicating effectively?

Yes, according to my progress reports I thing I was motivated towards learning and improving my communication style.

Did I successfully manage all the conversations?

According to me I successfully managed all my communications and did not feel hesitant in any conversations.

What were my strengths and weaknesses?

My strength was my patience to listen to the other party and weakness was that I often felt lack of putting my words into language. The same have been explained in detail in Appendix A.

Conclusion

In the end I can conclude that I have learnt a lot during my practice sessions. My skills of communication has improved a way ahead from the one which I possessed previously before the taking the quiz of self assessment. I have also observed that now I am much more confident during my conversations and the same have been presented through graph in Appendix B. I have also learnt the ways to communicate without words. Overall, my experience through the session was an exceptional one.

 

References

Books and Journal

Blatt, S. J. & Bless, R. B. (2013). A Dialectic Model of Personality Development. Development and vulnerability in close relationships.

De Vries, R. E. & et.al. (2013). The Communication Styles Inventory (CSI) A Six-Dimensional Behavioral Model of Communication Styles and Its Relation With Personality. Communication Research. 40(4). 506-532.

Donnellan, M. B., Hill, P. L. & Roberts, B. W. (2015). Personality development across the life span: Current findings and future directions.

Funder, D. C. (2015). The Personality Puzzle: Seventh International Student Edition. WW Norton & Company.

Kozhevnikov, M., Evans, C. & Kosslyn, S. M. (2014). Cognitive style as environmentally sensitive individual differences in cognition: A modern synthesis and applications in education, business, and management. Psychological Science in the Public Interest. 15(1). 3-33.

Luyten, P. & Blatt, S. J. (2013). Interpersonal relatedness and self-definition in normal and disrupted personality development: Retrospect and prospect. American Psychologist. 68(3). 172.

McFadden, D. (2014). Culture, Business Negotiation and Mediation: Understanding Cultural Differences, Communication Styles and Finding Mutual Understanding. Asian Dispute Review. 16(3). 132-136.

Mroczek, D. K. & Little, T. D. (Eds.). (2014). Handbook of personality development. Psychology Press.

Parikh, A., Snee, R. D. & Schall, S. (2014, August). Creative thinking. In Six Sigma Forum Magazine.  (Vol. 13. No. 4). ASQ.

Pennycook, G. & et.al. (2014). Cognitive style and religiosity: The role of conflict detection. Memory & Cognition. 42(1). 1-10.

Ross, R. M. & et.al. (2016). Analytic cognitive style, not delusional ideation, predicts data gathering in a large beads task study. Cognitive Neuropsychiatry. 21(4). 300-314.

Schmeck, R. R. (Ed.). (2013). Learning strategies and learning styles. Springer Science & Business Media.

Specht, J. & et.al. (2014). What drives adult personality development? A comparison of theoretical perspectives and empirical evidence. European Journal of Personality. 28(3). 216-230.

Sternberg, R. J. & Zhang, L. F. (Eds.). (2014). Perspectives on thinking, learning, and cognitive styles. Routledge.

Sutin, A. R., Stephan, Y. & Terracciano, A. (2016). Perceived discrimination and personality development in adulthood. Developmental psychology. 52(1). 155.

Westenberg, P. M., Blasi, A. & Cohn, L. D. (Eds.). (2013). Personality development: Theoretical, empirical, and clinical investigations of Loevinger's conception of ego development. Psychology Press.

Wrzus, C. & Roberts, B. W. (2016). Processes of Personality Development in Adulthood The TESSERA Framework. Personality and Social Psychology Review. 1088868316652279.

Zaenuddin, M., Paramita, P. D. & Fathoni, A. (2016). Effect Of Communication Styles, Personality And Relationship Tocustomer Satisfaction Of Mediation By The Professionalism Of Employees At Indo Perkasa Rainbow Tour And Travel Semarang. Journal of Management. 2(2)

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