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Reflective Journal: Health Policy

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Qustion:

Discuss about the Reflective Journal for Health Policy.

 

Answer:

Introduction about Myself

My name is [] and I am enthusiastic about documenting every aspect of my life. In this reflective journal, I ponder about the things that I have learnt and I keep learning every single day. I must admit that before starting this unit, I had high expectations of learning about leadership and management. Fortunately, the course did not disappoint as I got to understand the differences between the two, the importance of teams and the characteristics of teams. Besides, I have understand the various schools of thought that talk to individual change. In this account, I shall look to give the reflection of the learning that took place, what that means to me and how I will use the new found knowledge in my future career and life.

 

Individual Change Account

The session provided me with an opportunity to assess myself and get to understand which aspects of my academic life needed to change in order to benefit me in the long-term. I also got to comprehend the different approaches that can be used to implement individual behavior. The first theory that we learned in class was the behavioral approach, which basically associated with rewards and punishment to either encourage or discourage the reoccurrence of the behavior (Robbins, Chatterjee, & Canda, 2011). I realized that this method is often used in almost all forms of life. for instance, I remembered when I was young, my parents used to buy me gifts every time I performed well in school and get grounded from watching T.V and staying indoors when I did something they did not approve. At an individual level, it involves having the right priorities and upon achieving the desired goals, one can reward themselves with a holiday for example. For this approach to be effective, some stimulus that may have been pleasant but contributed to the undesired behavior need to be removed and punishment instituted for the unwanted behavior to reduce the frequency of display of such behavior (Robbins, et al., 2011).

 

The Cognitive Approach

This is a brand new week and I cannot wait to share about the cognitive approach, which is a quite different from the behavioral approach that I shared last week. The cognitive approach, on the other hand, is an approach based on the assumptions that our thought processes have an impact on the way we behave. The approach is based on the principle that behavior arises from external stimuli and through the thought processes, we exhibit an appropriate response. I learned that by influencing the thought about self by use of affirmations, breaking patterns and performing a rational analysis and using positive visualizations, one can achieve individual change (Neisser, 2014).  Perhaps the approach that I found to be intriguing was the psychodynamic theory, which proposes that how we behave is influenced by the subconscious mind and other impulses that we may not be aware of. However, this approach contradicts the common understanding that we can control behavior by using our own free will as opposed to attributing it to our earlier experiences (Weiner, 2013).  

The Humanistic Approach

This week I have been pondering about the humanistic approach that I learned during the last session in the past week. The humanistic approach appealed to me most because it explains human behavior because of the observer and the person performing that behavior. This approach suggests that how people behave is connected to the self-image and the inner feelings (Seligman, & Csikszentmihalyi, 2014).  We can, change behavior by having a positive regard for self, upholding genuineness and congruence and empathic understanding. Besides the approaches to individual change, I also have to enhance my knowledge on the Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs and Herzberg’s two-factor theory, which also contributed to my understanding of individual change.

Team and Change Reflection

This was another fun and full of learning new things as I got to, for the first time, to differentiate the differences between groups and teams. I must honestly say that I have always been using the two interchangeably, but after this session, I am more aware of the distinct differences between the two. Teams take a collaborative approach and mutually or individually become accountable for the actions of the team. Leadership is also different because groups have a designated leader whole in teams, leadership is shared. Besides, we also learned the benefits of working in teams including attainment of creativity due to the diversity of the members, gaining new expertise and participation of members with certain knowledge about various issues. Interdependence of teams is critical and there are various forms in which members can depend on each other like pooled, sequential and reciprocal interdependence (Buljac-Samardzic, et al., 2010).

I realized that working in teams requires that certain factors are undertaken to improve the effectiveness. For instance, when we formed our group, we had to lay down the mission and goals in addition to allocating roles to individuals. We established the rules and procedures, the inter-team relations to guide the team. We also became aware of the drawbacks that may hinder cohesion in a team like rationalization, self-censorship, direct pressure and morality among others (Shaw, et al., 2011). Another important area where I added knowledge is the types of individuals in a team and how they perform their roles. 

 

I Learned how to use the Belbin Team Roles Template

I had quite an experiential moment learning how to use the Belbin team roles template. Using the Belbin team roles template, there are nine kinds of people in teams and I think I placed myself in the resource investigator. Enthusiasm and an over-communicator extrovert who explores all opportunities and develops contacts characterize this type. However, the main weakness of such individuals lies in their over-optimistic and loss of interest once the enthusiasm initially held has been passed (Shaw, et al., 2011). The good thing is that the nine different persons are able to bring the strengths of each to the front and with proper planning, effective communication and having mechanisms for solving conflicts; the team can achieve the goals for which it was formed. Some of the available strategies for dealing with dispute include preventing ignition of the conflict, setting limits on the type of conflict, eliminating the underlying issues and helping parties to develop strategies to cope with the conflict.

Leadership and Skills

Leadership and management are two terms that most people, I include confuse to mean one and the same thing. In my case, it was until I completed this session. While the explanation of a manager and a leader possess profound similarities, it is also clear that some managers can be leaders but not all have qualities associated with leadership (Derue, et al., 2011). I now understand that the primary difference between the two concepts lies in the manner in which they motivate their subordinates and followers. Most people are both because they have management responsibilities, but also realize that they cannot buy or borrow the hearts of people to follow them especially during times of difficulty (Nahavandi, 2016). To be successful, the manager must, therefore, perform the roles of leaders. 

 

I was Confused as much as I Learnt

I felt a significant level of confusion while trying to differentiate between managers and leaders. Managers in an organization have distinct roles and responsibilities, which include the four functions of management: planning, leading, controlling and organizing. Since leading is one function of management, it could imply that theoretically, all managers ought to be leaders (Northouse, 2012). I got confused here too. However, it was explained that managers can only be leaders if they have the ability to perform all the roles of leadership including inspiring, communication, motivating and encouraging employees to achieve productivity and efficiency. A manager is considered one by virtue of holding a position where the subordinates follow his/her instructions because they are demanded so. The concern of the manager is to achieve the set goals of the organization and achieves this by concentrating on the effectiveness through the laid down systems, controls, and structures.

I Gained Clarity and Understanding

At the end of the session, I clearly understood what leadership was all about and I can clearly cite theories and literature clarifying the concept. I learned that leadership is an activity that is primarily based on communication. The leaders continuously dedicate their time creating tailored messages that are communicated to the followers and stakeholders alike. Hackman and Johnson (2013) suggest that with increased leadership responsibilities given to an individual, the more communication is expected of them. They further argue that the communication styles employed by the leaders can be sued to determine the leadership style (Hackman, & Johnson, 2013). There are various theories that I learned during this session including transactional leadership, transformational leadership, charismatic leadership, servant leadership, and visionary leadership (Giltinane, 2013). We also discussed moral leadership and courage as well as stewardship.

My Concluding Remarks and Key Learning

I believe that after analyzing the various styles of leadership, I have strengths in effective communication among the diverse parties. I have learned that I do exercise flexibility and have the ability to recognize the type of audience and exercise categorization in the determination of the communication technique to employ. In our team meetings and activities, I was focused on the ‘we’ as opposed to ‘me’. This ability to grasp the audience and function, as noted by Giltinane (2013) allows the effective communicator to choose between analytical, functional, personal and intuitive communication techniques to ensemble the setting.

I believe in a leadership style that is able to focus on the bigger picture and delegate minor tasks to heads of groups. To achieve this, the leaders must be effective communicators. I have developed the ability to create my personal vision and motivate myself and my fellow friends and colleagues in school and at social settings to set and meet the goals while drawing gratification and satisfaction which I believe puts me into the category of transformational leaders. I intend to carry these qualities into my future professional career where I would be at the forefront of forming teams and encouraging for both personal development and institutional improvements to increase productivity.

 

References

Buljac-Samardzic, M., Dekker-van Doorn, C. M., van Wijngaarden, J. D., & van Wijk, K. P. (2010). Interventions to improve team effectiveness: a systematic review. Health policy, 94(3), 183-195.

Derue, D. S., Nahrgang, J. D., Wellman, N. E. D., & Humphrey, S. E. (2011). Trait and behavioral theories of leadership: An integration and meta?analytic test of their relative validity. Personnel psychology, 64(1), 7-52.

Giltinane, C. L. (2013). Leadership styles and theories. Nursing Standard, 27(41), 35-39.

Hackman, M. Z., & Johnson, C. E. (2013). Leadership: A communication perspective. Waveland Press.

Nahavandi, A. (2016). The Art and Science of Leadership -Global Edition. Pearson.

Neisser, U. (2014). Cognitive psychology: Classic edition. Psychology Press.

Northouse, P. G. (2012). Leadership: Theory and practice. Sage.

Robbins, S. P., Chatterjee, P., & Canda, E. R. (2011). Contemporary human behavior theory: A critical perspective for social work. Pearson Higher Ed.

Seligman, M. E., & Csikszentmihalyi, M. (2014). Positive psychology: An introduction (pp. 279-298). Springer Netherlands.

Shaw, J. D., Zhu, J., Duffy, M. K., Scott, K. L., Shih, H. A., & Susanto, E. (2011). A contingency model of conflict and team effectiveness. Journal of applied psychology, 96(2), 391.

Weiner, B. (2013). Human motivation. Psychology Press.

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