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Description of the Reflective Cycle

Question:

Discuss about the Reflective Strategy and Reflective Practice.

Reflection through learning is one of the most important approaches which a student can undertake to develop skills and enhance knowledge in his field of expertise. Reflective practice helps an individual to dissect different his own experiences into a number of aspects and evaluative the positive and negative outcomes associated with it. Gaining knowledge from experiences helps in growth of the individual in the fields of the external abilities as well as the internal traits as a human being (Roseman and vom Brocke 2015). It mainly helps the students to develop a habit of liking linking their knowledge with the experiences and thereby constructing the meaning form their own experiences. In the field of business and commerce, reflective practice has been found to be helpful in providing the brain with an opportunity to take a break amidst the different chaotic situations that occur while maintaining teamwork. It also helps in  developing ethical relationship with team members and also with consumers. It also helps to  untangle different adverse events and thereby sort through observation and experiences (Jones and Reckers 2014). In the intense competitive world of business, considering the multiple possible interpretations in effective teamwork, creating the correct meaning out of it and applying newly enhanced skill in similar future situations help to get success in work. For effective leadership, this learning from ‘meaning making’ helps in ongoing growth and development and thereby helps in reaching the peak of success. In this assignment, similar reflective strategy would be used where I would try to link the knowledge gained in my university class lectures to my present experiences in the various teamwork I had been a part of. In this way, I would be able to understand the negative aspects of the experiences I had and would also get scopes to enhance my skills in the future.

The reflection would mainly be written in the framework provided by Gibbs. The first step of the reflective cycle is called the description step where the events and experiences are noted down in details. While I was engaged in teamwork, I noticed several flaws in me which was affecting my teamwork and also hampering the outcomes of the team performance. I often had mood swings which affected my teammates as they were unable to communicate with me effectively. On a condition I engaged in an argument with a team member where I shouted on him with high voice. Later I got emotional about the situation and was feeling guilty about it. However, the incident resulted in development of negative feelings in team members which affected relationship building. Besides, I also have inefficient communication skills which included my inpatient listening skills and also my feedback giving and receiving skills. One day, when my team members were describing how things can be modified for better outcomes to me, I cut them down stating that I already knew them. This act of cutting them in between made them feel humiliated which affected their feelings for me. Moreover I am also introvert and do not have proper social skills with empathy, conflict management skill, relationship building and others which resulted in improper work output as a team. I was thinking of my own benefits rather than the team’s benefits.

Feelings and Emotions Regarding Teamwork and Communication Issues


The next stage is called the feelings stage. In this stage, an individual needs to open up about the feelings he had when the events took place. After the experiences, I noticed that all my team members were trying to avoid any communication with me. I felt they were being apprehensive about how would I behave as they were not sure about how I would react. Such feelings which they developed about me saddened me as I felt that I was not being able to make them understand my real self. They perceived me to be a bossy and negative, their perception about me affected me and I was gradually losing confidence from work. At a point of time, I was feeling so low that I decided to withdraw myself form the teamwork as I had nothing to look forward to. My self esteem was affected and I could not gather courage to carry forward with these situations.

The next stage is called the evaluation stage. For evaluation of my experiences, I tried to go through the work of Zimmerman who had helped students like us by giving an idea about how self learning is extremely useful in academic courses. Without taking extensive help from professors, guides, teachers and others, every individual should try to initiate and direct their own efforts personally for enhancing their skills and knowledge and then utilizing them for re-correcting their attitudes. Zimmerman is of the opinion that a student who undertakes self regulated learning is more successful than others. This is because they get the scope to fight out their own flaws and disabilities and develop strategies which help them to handle any adverse situations. Knowledge which is spoon fed do not have long lasting effect as they tend to erase away from the mind. Rather gaining knowledge by self research and then applying them in reality stays with an individual for long. Zimmerman (2002) has stated three important steps which should be considered by an individual to develop the practice of self regulated learning. The first step is the self regulated learning strategies which include incorporating specific actions and processes which involve proper purposes, agency as well as instrumentality actions and processes (Zimmerman 2002). For these, the information collected form classes should be first organized and then arranged. This should be then transformed followed by self-consequating them and then seeking information. Then the students should use memory aid and rehearse them to get acclimatized with them. Another aspect which Zimmerman has paid importance is the concept of self efficacy. This can be defined as the capability of an individual which when developed properly will help him to organize and implement actions independently which are important to attain designated skills. The last aspect is the achieving of academic goals which include social esteem, trying for better grades, proper post graduation employment opportunities which need to be attended on time. I decided to follow the Zimmerman’s procedure of self regulated learning so that the issues which I have faced in my teamwork can be resolved by me. I will do this by effectively linking the theory studied in class with my practical experiences and developing skills and knowledge.

Application of Zimmerman's Self-Regulated Learning Approach

The next stage is called the analysis stage. In this stage, I applied the principles of Zimmerman and tried to reflect upon the courses which I have studied in the class and link the learning in my present workplace. As I had been poor in team communication, the lectures I attended in class on communication topics helped me develop my communication skills. My self-regulated learning and researches helped me to go through the importance of following the five important steps of teamwork which was proposed by Tuckman and Jensen in 1977. I believe the steps like forming, storming, norming, and performing, adjourning and next steps, if followed properly by me will help me maintain proper teamwork skills. Moreover, I was also able to connect my classes on ethical working in business with the experiences I had. I realized that I was engaged in ethical egoism which was actually preventing me to care for the entire team work and making me more concentrated on the individual result. Moreover, the emotional intelligence classes also made me understand that I did not have proper self control over my activities. I also had no proper social skills like empathy, relationship building and others and proper strategies to overcome them were also understood by me form the classes. The class also taught how Johari window is helpful in making individual realizes about the various skills which he posses, which he is unknown about, which others know or do not know. This acts a as communication diagnostic tool for self evaluation and betterment of skill (Gul and Mehmood 2016).

The next stage is called the conclusion phase. The above steps have helped me to understand Zimmerman’s self regulated learning approach and how to use the approach in connecting experiences with the learning developed in class. The knowledge which is provided in the class is very specific and is immensely helpful in understanding the mistakes made by me in the teamwork (Delaney et al. 2017). Not only that, it had also provided me with strategies about how I can link the theories and develop proper teamwork skills. The information about different business attributes like teamwork, interpersonal communication skills, ethical working styles and others provided in class have can be used by me to overcome the barriers that I am facing now. This would help me to empower myself and develop confidence again. This would ultimately make me a smart business professional providing me with a bright career in future (Hodges et al. 2015).

The next stage is the action step. Form the various experiences, I understood I have negative aspects in my communication skills, emotional intelligence skill, as well as also issues in self control and management. Therefore, I would be using Zimmerman’s self regulated learning approach from now on. I would try to connect the theories and learning of the university and link them with the present experiences. I would take up initiatives that would help me overcome my negative aspects and emerge out as a positive minded business professional.

References:

Delaney, Y., Pattinson, B., McCarthy, J. and Beecham, S., 2017. Transitioning from traditional to problem-based learning in  management education: the case of a frontline manager skills development programme. Innovations in Education and Teaching International, 54(3), pp.214-222.

Gul, F. and Mehmood, N., 2016. A Study to Assess Relevance between Content of Business Courses and Development of Entrepreneurial Skills in Technology Education Institutes. Journal of Social Sciences & Humanities (1994-7046), 24(2).

Hodges, N., Watchravesringkan, K., Yurchisin, J., Hegland, J., Karpova, E., Marcketti, S. and Yan, R.N.T., 2015. Assessing curriculum designed to foster students’ entrepreneurial knowledge and small business skills from a global perspective. Family and Consumer Sciences Research Journal, 43(4), pp.313-327.

Jones-Rikkers, C.G., 2014. Using Social Media and Professional Development Programs to Enhance Student Acquisition of “Soft Skills”. M-PBEA Journal, p.9.

Rosemann, M. and vom Brocke, J., 2015. The six core elements of business process management. In Handbook on  business process management 1 (pp. 105-122). Springer Berlin Heidelberg.

Watson, G. and Reissner, S. eds., 2014. Developing skills for business leadership. Kogan Page Publishers.

Zimmerman, B.J. 2002 “Achieving Academic Excellence: A Self-Regulatory Perspective” in Ferrari, M. (ed) The Pursuit of Excellence Through Education. Lawrence, Erlbaum Associates, Mahwah NJ. Pp.85-110.

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