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Reflective Writing: Introduction To Management

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Question:

Critically reflect upon the role you have played during the project. In your observations, comment upon the team dynamic, the role that you played and how performance could be improved on your team next time.

 

Answer:

It is essential to keep on connecting concepts learned in the class with the personal experiences. Reflecting upon our past experiences helps us to develop professionally. Reflection also helps us rectify the mistakes that we identify in our past practices as well as in improving and develop our skills and abilities. Reflection creates self-awareness, self-improvement, and empowerment. Recalling the experiences that I gained from the simulation that we carried out in groups helped as practical gain skills that would be essential in our career development. In this paper, I reflect the experience that I gained from my role in the group. I will also analyze how our group performance which was good. Comments on team dynamics and recommendations on improving a future simulation activity.

Our team consisted of five members. Each member was given a specific role to ensure that we had a successful presentation. I was given a role in managing the team; my responsibility was to ensure that the group was well coordinated and ensure that all member was performing their duties as delegated. Marilyn (2013) effective leader should know how to balance, traits abilities, behaviors, the source of power which determine their ability to influence the followers. Killian (2007) argues that interpersonal power has a great influence in an organization as it helps in building strong relationships and loyalty in a team. In my role, I had challenges in communicating with the team members and also I found it difficult to manage some of the team members who were non-corporative. These were the major challenges that I faced in my role as a manager. However, as we continued working together, I gained confidence and developed better relationships as we interacted during this period in which we were involved in the simulation. I was able to improve my management skills from this activity. I also developed a good experience of working in a group which enabled us to interact meaningfully as well support each other to ensure that we delivered good work. Reflecting on my experience in the management role of the group I was able to discover that working as a team helped in making better decisions. This is because every member of the team would provide different perspectives and we could question the opinions given which resulted in better solutions. Teamwork produced better results than individual work. Reflecting upon my role as the manager helps me improve my leadership skills and it has also built confidence in me. 

Wiemels (2014) defined group dynamics as a process of interaction between people in a group or a team. It is essential to consider group dynamics and their influence on the performance of the group. Positive group dynamics help the members of the group to work together and make collective decisions, and all members are accountable for playing their roles to meet the objective of the team. On the other hand, poor group dynamics disrupts the functioning of a team by hindering effective decision making, damages morale, reduces productivity which results in the failure of the whole team. According to Tuckman as cited by Wiemels (2014) while forming a team the members tend to be dependent, and they are more concerned about how they can be accepted in the group as well as figuring out the roles they have to play in the group. Tuckman noted that the most challenging stage in the team management is the storming stage where the team members make their contributions. For example, our team comprised of people with different personalities some of them like myself could feel disconnected from the group because of the interpersonal challenges that I had. Other members were not cooperative and could not accept the roles given to them.

 

According to Oasis (2007), positive dynamics can be developed by ensuring that communication is made in a clear manner. I ensured that any arrangement involving team activities such as meetings was announced on time and ensure that every member of the team has access to the information. Our team comprised of members with different personalities backgrounds and experiences. Reflecting on the challenge that we were facing at the beginning we were able to work together and eliminate them. For instance, it was difficult to cooperate well with time we were able to interact and developed better interpersonal relationships that enabled us to work as a team. Organizing our schedule was also difficult to as because every member had different commitments. To ensure that every member was committed to the activities of the team we delegated roles to the every member. Therefore, every member had to remain accountable should he or fail in his or her role. According to Oais (2007) giving responsibilities to all members of a team ensures that all members of a team can fully participate in the activity and it also helps in saving time. In conclusion, our team performed well because we were able to develop positive team dynamics throughout the simulation program.

Simulation helps students develop and improve leadership skills. Reflecting on my experience during the simulation process I learned a lot, and I was able to eliminate some of my weaknesses such as poor interpersonal relationships. According to Vohra et al. (2015 p.16), leadership can be learned by creating conditions that can help students learn about leadership. Hoover et al. (2010 p.194) acknowledge that participant learns leadership skills when they are well engaged and are willing to participate in the learning process. In our group, we were able to ensure that everyone was involved in delegating roles to each member. We were also able to coordinate our activities well, and we accomplished our tasks on time. By the time the program was coming to an end, we had developed a more cohesive and cooperative team. Simulation is essential developing self-awareness.   According to Sibthorp et al. (2007), experiential learning programs are effective in helping participants develop leadership skills. Riggio (2008) notes that by reflecting on the critiques that we get from our trainers our peers and even self-critique helps us in developing our leadership skills. In summary reflecting upon the experiences that we had while working as a team I can acknowledge that simulation was effective and gave us the opportunity to develop our personal abilities of leadership.

By reflecting on our performance and the way how we carried out our activities, it enables us to identify mistakes that we did that need to be improved for better performance in the future. Lelyer (2015) active reflection fosters innovation that helps us make improvements continuously to enhance our professional experience. Working as a team has its challenges, and cooperation is essential in eliminating these challenges. In the beginning, we had a challenge in organizing our activities since everyone had different preferences and schedules. This could affect our time management, and in some cases, we failed to accomplish our tasks on the agreed time. Reflecting on this challenge we had to think about how we could develop cooperation in the group. Blecksmith, et al. (2008 p.7) to develop cooperation in a team it is essential to give everyone a chance to participate in the activities of the team and also give support to members who have difficulties in carrying out their tasks. We decided to delegate duties in a more specific manner. We also agreed that we could set aside some time for our meetings to communicate our progress and challenges so as to help each other. In this way, we were able to involve each member of the team. In our team, we also faced the challenge of personal differences which if not well managed can negatively impact the performance of the team. Swanson & Holton (2009) acknowledges that there is need to come up with interventions to solve personal differences in our working teams as it improves learning and performance. Deriving from this experience, we can conclude that in a team we need to be aware of the challenges that we face and therefore, come up with interventions on time to ensure that these challenges do not hinder us from meeting our objectives.

In conclusion, by reflecting on the role that I played on my team during the project I acknowledge that it was an important session for me. It gave me an opportunity to develop and improve my personal abilities that will help me become a better leader. By discussing team dynamics while referring to academic literature has helped me in understanding better what I have been learning throughout the semester. This has helped me greatly to improve my knowledge as well as equipping me with practical skills that have aided growth and development in my profession. I acknowledge the importance of reflective thinking as it has been essential in helping and individual develop self-awareness. Practicing reflective thinking can also help in identifying personal strengths as well a weakness which is critical in professional enhancement. 

 

References

Blecksmith, R Levin, A Shahyerdian, J & Steele, D 2008, Women in calculus: The effects of a supportive setting. Journal of College Reading and Learning. Vol 39,  no 1 p7-34. 

Hoover, J Giambatista, R Sorenson, R & Bommer, W 2010, Assessing the effectiveness of whole-person learning pedagogy in skill acquisition. Academy of Management Learning and Education, Vol. 9, no. 2, pp.192 

Killian, S 2007, The ABC of effective leadership: A practical overview of evidence-based leadership theory. Australian leadership development center. 

Leer, R 2015, Learning through reflection: The critical role of reflection in work-based learning. Journal of Work Applied Management. Vol.7, no 1. Pp. 15. 

Marilyn, V 2013, Characteristics of the effective leader. St Louis Missouri.

Oais, F 2007, Enlightening advantages of cooperative learning. Malaysia: UiTM Malaysia University.

Riggio, R 2008, Leadership development: The current state and future expectations. Consulting Psychology Journal: Practice and Research. Vol 6o, no. 4, 384. 

Sibthorp, J Paisley, K & Gookin, J 2007, Exploring participant development through adventure-based programming: A model from the national outdoor leadership school. Leisure Sciences, Vol. 29, no.1, 1–18. 

Swanson, R & Holton, E 2009, Foundations of Human Resource Development, 2nd ed.,Berrett-Koehler, San Francisco, CA. 

Vohra, N Rathi, N & Bhatnagar, D 2011, Developing leadership skills among EMBA students: Innovations in design. Journal of Decision Makers. Vol 40, no 1. Pp. 16.

Wiemels, L 2014, Group Dynamics: How to Successfully Work in Groups. NASPA Press. Magna Publications.

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