Who Or What Motivated You To Start The Learning Process?
What Was Your Emotional State?
How Would You Describe The Obtained Result?
Repeat The Exercise With Three Situations In Which You Have Learned Something.
Choose a Situation In Which You Couldn't Learn Anything Even Though You Tried Hard. Then, Go Through The Same Procedure As In Exercise 1 And Repeat It Three Times.
Finally, Compare The Results Of Both Situations And Think Them Through By Answering The Following Questions:
What Has Facilitated The Learning?
What Has Made The Learning Difficult?
What Conclusions Have i Drawn For Future Learning Processes?
Was i In a Fit State In All Those Situations? What Was My State In The Situations In Which i Did Not Acquire The Knowledge Properly
One of the core objectives that often characterize the process of learning is the desire to gain knowledge and achieve maximally based on the individual objectives and goals. The knowledge, experience and skills become essential elements in the professional arena where individuals are expected to showcase their expertise in the areas of specialization. Among the various avenues of showcasing experience and skills is in the area of leadership. As a highlighted by Schmidt (2013) organizational performance is often a function of the leadership qualities and strategies exhibited by an individual or a group of people. At the same time, it is a fact worth noting that the leadership approach embraced by an individual is often determined by their personalities and cognitive abilities. For instance, effective communication to employees creates the right platform for the development of the desired culture within a professional work place. Leadership can also be attributed to other innate personalities such as self-control, self-awareness, concern for others, integrity and handwork just to mention but few. It can therefore be deduced that emotional intelligence is the other essential function of successful leadership. According to the trait theory of leadership, leaders are born and based on this belief, those with the correct qualities become leaders. In this argument, behavioral characteristics of individuals as well as traits determines their suitability for leadership. Consequently, it is inevitable to explore leadership without addressing the aspect of personal traits. The traits in one way or the other influence individual capabilities and hence the extent to which they can deliver when in a leadership position. Strength-based leadership theory views leadership as function of the core competencies as exhibited by the leader. This theory therefore lays emphasis on the essential place of positive traits in enhancing proper leadership. As a result, the efficient execution of responsibilities as a leader depends on the extent to which the individual uses their strength to create the right platforms for the desired delivery. Although the trait theory bases leadership on inborn capabilities
Theoretical Evaluation of Positive Traits as a Function of Effective Leadership
Development of positive traits to enhance effective leadership is important for professional growth and competence. Over the past years, this has been a major concern hence the need for personal development on the same. As a personal vision, it has always been my biggest desire to scale the highest level of leadership through effective communication, conflict management, decision making and the precise management of group dynamics. This vision has been challenged by a number of factors in the process of learning and development in the professional areas or responsibility. A score card on personality and attitude especially in a corporate setting has revealed a gap in the ability to maintain effective and constructive conversations. In a number of occasions involving group sessions, I have often been faced with challenges bringing the people together especially when in a leadership position. Due to a relatively closed in personality, it has been a major challenge having a good grasps of the dynamics within the immediate environment and their influence on my qualities as a leader. The choice of this topic was well informed by the individual desire to identify, learn and apply the positive traits that enhance individual effectiveness as a leader.
In a bid to identify the areas that require the necessary adjustment, comparative analysis was applied. In this strategy a list of effective against ineffective was established. The outline included the activities, processes, and experiences in which there had been relative effectiveness during execution (Austin & Bartunek, 2014). The effective aspects of the comparison would therefore involve the actions which brought about positive response among the audience. For instance, the analysis emphasized the fact that I am a keen listener which brings out the impression that I give a lot of meaning to what people say. This is an appropriate recipe for good leadership. However, the ineffective side of the list revealed that I am never keen on the response of individuals when I speak to them. The list therefore revealed a major gap in my level of multicultural awareness. In order to be successful as a leader, it is essential to have a good understanding of the differing personalities, backgrounds, orientations as well as the experiences of the people we lead. A low level of multicultural awareness there hinders effective transmission of leadership goals and ideologies from the leader to the subjects. Additionally, the comparative analysis confirmed inadequate communication skills as an impairment to effective leadership. A complete cycle in communication involves transmission of information and effective reception of the desired feedback. While I am keen on effective delivery, I have a weakness when it comes to deducing tacit conclusions based on the feedbacks. Since communication is another essential area of leadership, the analysis revealed a learning need which would be effectively addressed using the strategy outlined in this paper (Austin & Bartunek, 2014)..
Taking a long period of time to adapt as well as inconsistency in both behavior and the execution of responsibilities is another negative trait that hinders effective leadership. At the same time, giving little attention to the need for leadership development and low self-esteem equally have negative impacts on the quality of leadership. By identifying the areas of weakness as a leader, it was possible to derive a training and learning need (Ashforth & Kreiner, 2012). The outcome of this experience would be aimed at developing the necessary traits for effective leadership. The topic was therefore significant due to the fact that successful achievement of the stated objectives would leave me in a better position as a leader. The topic on developing positive traits for effective leadership would not only be important at an individual level but also corporately. This is because the ideas and experiences gained in the process of learning, when implemented in a real organizational set up, would trigger positive responses from individual hence leading to a motivated environment. As noted by (Merrill, 2012), an environment which is characterized by effective leadership approaches becomes productive in terms of performance. This leads to overall organizational growth and increased competitiveness in the market environment. The details above therefore illustrate why the topic would be an important area of consideration. Learning leadership qualities equally creates a platform where individual can develop professionally in other essential areas such as decision making, communication, conflict management and achievement of organizational objectives. Leadership qualities is therefore an extensive area that encompasses other essential avenue of interrelationships.
To further explore the significance of the topic, the justification can be made from a theoretical point of view. The transformation theory of leadership depicts the process of a leading as the interaction or connection between the leader and the followers in a manner that enhances motivational levels. It can therefore be deduced that effective approaches in leadership trigger positive outcomes among the followers (Barr, 2015). On the other hand, leadership approaches that are based on authoritative models and strategies have a downward impact on the level of motivation of followers’ hence diminished performance. With respect to the transformational theory, it would be important to note that personality gaps that tend to hinder effective execution of leadership responsibilities ought to be addressed through effective learning models. It therefore implies that an individual can identify the areas of ineffectiveness before proceeding to address them through learning and personal development. Borrowing from the cognitive theory, the immediate environment, organized pattern and experiences have a role in influencing our behavior. While the immediate environment may be present in its natural existence, it is possible to adjust the immediate surroundings to achieve experiences which lead to positive impacts on behavior development. Behaviors are exhibited through elements such as communication styles, show of compassion and empathy, integrity, commitment to goals and visions, concern for others, honesty and empathy just to mention but few. Even though some of these traits may not be naturally inborn, the environment can be adjusted to enhance positive experiences leading to behavioral development characterized by the elements mentioned above. In other words, through the establishment of an environment of learning and development, an individual can acquire the desired traits and skills that are necessary for effective leadership. This argument therefore rules out the notion that leaders are born and not made. Positive behavior change through training can be implemented as an effective tool for making a leader (Barr, 2015).
Lastly, the ethical theories of management call for execution of responsibilities in a manner that is aligned to the desired ethical and moral standards (Anderson & Anderson, 2011). Effective and successful leadership requires core ethical characteristics such as honesty, integrity, loyalty, fairness, trust-worthiness and respect for others just to mention but few. Although it may be practical impossible to acquire such characteristic through training alone, the environment can be adjusted to give room for interactions that enhanced the development of ethical soundness among individuals. It would be important to point out that some of the ethical characteristics are the very traits that are necessary for successful leadership. Consequently, these traits can be achieved through interaction with others. Such avenues are best created through training programs. In additional to the instructional sessions, the interrelationships and exchange of views and ideologies increase the scope of knowledge acquisition. This in turn has a positive impact on the behavior of individuals.
In summary, the transformational, trait and strength-based theories of leadership offer insights on the central place of positive traits in enhancing effective leadership. At the same time, the cognitive theory and models of ethical leadership emphasize the need for acquisition of desired attitudes, characters and traits which improves the quality of interaction between the leader and the followers. The illustrations above further justify the choice to develop a training program that is aimed at developing positive traits necessary for successful leadership. Low self-esteem and a relatively laid back approach to issues and challenges is the other component of the current state which ought to be adjusted appropriately. There is also the need for development of conflict management skills, a state which can be achieved by learning better communication skills.
Present or current state involves the level in which an individual is and the weaknesses which when addressed could enhanced the achievement of the desired state. At the present level, one of the notable areas is the need to improve communication skills. Based on the comparative analysis, it was deduced that there is an inevitable need for learning and training to enhance personal communication skills. Secondly, the inability to adjust quickly or adapt to changes in the organizational environment is another unwanted current state. Inability to effectively executive group oriented activities was also noted as another unwanted trait which has negative impacts on the effectiveness of leadership. There is also the aspect of minimal interest in individual development as a leader. A state which hinders positive change in behavior which is an essential recipe for effective leadership. Lack of multicultural awareness is the other gap in the current state which could be addressed through effective mitigation approaches
Based on the current state, the desired state would be the acquisition of the necessary skills through the use appropriate resources and avenues. One of the desired levels would be improved communication skills. It would be a great achievement to effectively receive and interpret feedbacks in a bid to ensure the communication cycle is not only efficient but also complete. Secondly, the training program ought to enhance the development of skills necessary for effective group management. Effective leadership requires a good understanding of the various parameters of group dynamics. This is because a leader has a number of followers who must be kept focused on the common goal and vision despite their different backgrounds. In line with the same, developing a higher level of multicultural awareness would be another component of the desired state. With a good understanding of the variations in personalities based on different backgrounds, life experiences, values, and cultural orientations, it is possible to lead effectively. This can be done by using strength-based approaches where the leaders capitalizes on the opportunities that accrue from a multicultural environment.
The main goal of the training program is to acquire a constructive change in behavior by developing positive traits that are essential for effective and successful leadership.
- To use training and personal development to acquire communication skills which is essential for effective leadership and other dynamics of management such as conflict management and decision making
- To develop a better understanding of group dynamics and be able to effectively execute leadership responsibilities that are group oriented.
- To achieve a higher state of multicultural awareness, self-confidence and a rational approach to leadership that elicits positive response among the followers.
In order to achieve the desired state, the concept of Neuro-Ligusitic Programming shall be applied. The intervention strategies aimed at achieving the training goal involved the application of various NLP techniques (Marquis, 2013). This approach was taken because of the wide scope of techniques and options which can in turn be applied to vary experience in a manner that enhances the achievement of desired goals. NLP involves the study of human behavior using a set of techniques which reorganizes subjective experience with the core objective of a goal that is not only specifically designed but also established and attainable. While designing the action plan for the intervention process, it is essential to consider the argument that all the information that we have about the external world reaches us through the sensory organs. These senses include touch, sight, hearing, smell, and taste. The information which travels to the brain through the nervous system is perceived, interpreted and eventually processed (Bentley & Whitten, 2012). The NLP techniques are therefore important as they guide how we organize the information that reaches the brain and also how we tend to perceive the world through the interpretations. It is also a fact worth noting that the nature of interpretation of information differs from one person to another based on both environmental and physical factors. One of the goals which is intended to be addressed through the intervention strategies is ineffective communication skills which hinder the successful execution of other related leadership duties. How then can be integrate the need for better communication skills and the NLP techniques? How we receive information from the surrounding and how we interpret it influences the form of feedback we give. A complete cycle of communication involves the correct transmission of the message, the desired interpretation and eventually the expected feedback. It therefore implies that the correct interpretation of information leads to the delivery of correct feedback. This does not only complete the cycle of communication but also makes it effective, positive and constructive (Dubin, 2013). It is further stated that the senses of hearing, seeing and touch in case of non-verbal communication have a massive influence on the nature of interpretation. Consequently, the NLP techniques provide the much needed guidelines which can be implemented during the intervention procedure to reorganize experiences by conditioning the senses to perceive and interpret information in the desired manner. Despite the fact that the illustration above only picks on the development of communication skills as one of the objectives of the program, it can be deduced that the NLP techniques are applicable in any form of human interaction and also in any contexts. As result the techniques could be applied to address the other secondary objectives of the program (Edens, 2010).
Timeline approach is an NLP technique in which variations in individual experiences is influenced by their perceptions with relation to the past present and future time. Individual development emanates from an innate understanding of the concept that life is a journey from the past into the future. Through the use of language, it is therefore possible to deuce how the brain deals with time. By reviewing facts about the past, an individual is able to identify the gaps and hence yearn to address them in a bid to achieved better outcomes in future Farley (2015). This technique organizes time into a series of images which are arranged in a chronological order and observed from an external perspective. Consequently, the technique when applied as an approach of intervention creates the right atmosphere for realistic, organized and analytical way of thinking. Because of the ability to identify and establish discrete outcomes, the timelines technique was picked for use in the case study. It is a useful tool when it comes to developing skills associated with meeting of deadlines, setting of goals, rational approaches in decision making and most importantly, improved communication skills. It would also be important to note that one of the core goals of the training program is to develop communication skills which in turn enhances better decision making and conflict management (Kirschner, 2013). Each of these parameters are important functions of successful leadership. The other reason behind the selection of this technique is the simplicity of the instructional approach which it supports. The steps are easy to follow and the outcomes can be deduced through interpretation of variation of events based on the period of occurrence. At the same time, the technique involves procedures which can be accomplished within a short period of time which reduced the time taken to receive the feedback. In order to improve the scope of learning, an individual is therefore able to make the necessary adjustments aimed at attracting positive outcomes in future.
The goal of this procedure is to identify the gaps in communication that result in effectiveness when handling group oriented activities.
- Recall how you would communicate to your group members five years ago. Recall their responses both in terms of words and body language as well as the outcome of these conversations.
- Think about your group demeanor and communication approaches a week ago. Remember how you introduced yourself, your ideas and how you dealt with the responses of the group members. Recall how your communication skills and approach influenced the achievement of the group goals
- Now think how you would a group discussion at the moment. Putting in place the gaps noted from the past experiences
- With the adjustments and improvements to achieve the desired income, think about how you would handle a group meeting in a week.
- In the last procedure, visualize how you would handle the same meeting in the next five years. Reflect on your communication skills and visualize the improvements you would make to your approach in order to enhance the effectiveness of the meeting.
- The last step in this procedure can involve listing the things you would do differently in the future meeting to enhance the desired outcome.
- To achieve this, view and rearrange the images in the form of a film. By imagining that the arrangement has been messed, try placing each image in its year. The following questions should guide the individual conclusions on the images: their size, the level of focus, their place in space, and whether they are bright or faded.
According to Schmidt (2013), the swish pattern a technique in NLP where the brain is caused to take a given cognitive direction due to changing key sub modalities. This technique effectively compliments the timelines approach as it creates a platform for learning by allowing passage from a current state to the desired state. It would therefore be important to note that the process of cognitive transition from the current state to the desired level is not only enriching but is equally enlightening. Just like most NLP techniques, the swish pattern enables an individual to identify the key areas of incompetency and the necessary adjustments which can be applied to unblock the transition to the desired state (Ashmos & Huber, 2014). The technique was selected as an intervention approach because it basically promotes learning and development by pointing out the issues or aspects which block the change process a current state to a desired state. Based on this model, it is possible to achieve a desired state by undoing the identified barriers. One of the core benefits of the technique is the fact that it does not only identify the barriers to learning but also assists in replacing the unwanted emotion, skill or behavior with a different and more useful one. The technique was also picked on because it helps the practitioner to overstep blocking boundaries and overcome fears. By having a discrete image of the desired situation, an individual gets to face a situation they thought they would not due to limited resources. The techniques is also powerful and useful when it comes to curing phobias (Loyens, 2012). Due to the fact that one of the secondary goals of the training program was to achieve enhanced self-esteem and confidence, this technique would be a useful tool. With an improved self- esteem and confidence, it is possible for the executive the other leadership responsibilities with renewed focus and objectivity.
- Identify the current state which needs to be changed and the desired state which needs to be achieved. The step also involves unveils the internal trigger for the current state. In this case the current state is low self-esteem which causes lack of confidence and nervousness before a meeting involving more than three people.
- Construct an image of the trigger in the mind in order to discover what sets off the unwanted behavior.
- Create a detailed visual image of the desired state where you are completely dissociated from the fears that trigger the unwanted habit. This step may involve adding objects such as people, movements, colors and smells to the desired state
- Hold the two images in your mind. With the picture of the current state enlarged and in front of the eye. On the other hand the picture of the desired state is small and diminished at a corner of the mind.
- With a swish of the hand, simultaneously switch the pictures by shrinking the current state and enlarging the desired state to a bold and colored piece at the center of the mind
- Repeat this procedure as many times as possible until you are unable to get the current or undesired state. Open your eyes and prepare to test the new behavior.
This is an NLP that allows the practitioner to view a situation of an experience from multiple points of view. The technique is useful especially when an individual desires a different perspective to relationships or a challenging circumstance. This approach is also importance in helping an individual to obtain the right alternatives especially when they feel blocked and lose the ability to be flexible. By taking this procedure an individual gets to have a better understanding of interpersonal relationship hence gains awareness on why other people tend to behave the way they do. The technique would therefore be a timely intervention tool in addressing one of the learning objectives which involved the desire to develop better multicultural awareness in order to interact with people effectively as a leader (Merrill, 2012). Due to the fact that the second perceptual position involves putting oneself in the shoes of others, the technique is a vital tool in improving communication. It enable the practitioner to adapt both the verbal and non-verbal communication approaches to the needs of others while also opening doors for flexibility. Eventually, effective communication goes a long way in improving the power of leadership. The techniques was therefore chosen because its usefulness is aligned to the core objective of the training which involved acquisition of positive behavior change to enhance effective leadership.
- Recall a situation and see it from your own eye while paying attention to the internal sensations, emotions and responses.
- Put yourself in the point of view of another person and trying to see, hear and feel like the other person
- Take a detached view point of the same situation by looking at yourself and the other person without getting emotionally involved.
- The change in senses and feelings represent what others would feel.
This is a NLP technique in which an individual imagines himself in future with relation to a given desired situation. The given desired state is often a function of a current challenge of problem which ought to be addressed by suppressing the barriers between the current state and the desired state. The technique is essential as it enhances the establishment of positive expectations among individuals. It also enables the practitioner to identify the adjustment that can be made in the current situation to achieve the desired future state Sweller (2010). This creates the right environment for personal development which is not only important for effective execution of leadership responsibilities in the present but also in future. It also allows an individual to feel resourceful in situations where they previously felt less resourceful. The technique was selected as an intervention tool due to the fact that it effectively prepares individuals for future challenges by instilling positive attitude and behavior change. These are essential elements for successful leadership (Knippenberg, 2010).
- Identify a current situation that comprises unwanted habit or a behavior which triggers negative responses
- Imagine this situation in future by eliminating the triggers to unwanted habit and integrating more elements into the desired state
- Repeat this procedure severally until you create a bright and colorful picture of the desired state.
The training program comprised an integration of the NLP techniques and other experience based approaches. By using the action plan, it was possible to get the necessary direction on the right technique to apply to enhance maximum outcome. Based on the plan, the program involved a total of four sessions per week. In the first session, the timeline NLP technique was used and outcomes listed. The second session involved the swish pattern technique where the outcomes were also recorded. Perceptual positions was used in the third session while future pacing was the NLP technique of the fourth session. The results in each of these sessions were recorded. In order to enhance the effectiveness of the training program, the sessions were repeated and for a duration of four weeks hence stretching the application of NLP techniques to a period of one month.
In addition to the NLP techniques, this period was followed by recovery activities where the skills gained over the period of one week were applied in real life scenarios. The strategy in this case involved the use of simulated group activities and variation of environments and topics of discussion. This approach was not only aimed at developing further learning but was used as a tool to monitor the effectiveness of the NLP techniques in enhancing positive behavior change for effective leadership (Anderson, 2013). Due to the fact that the NLP sessions involved interacting with training experts, the process of training was also escalated by incorporating coaching and mentorship programs.
A diary was used to keep detail of the experiences and activities during the period of learning. This was an essential inclusion as it provided a point of reference when deducing the findings of the training program. The diary was also essential in ensuring adherence to the action plan and hence maintaining focus on the basic objectives of the training process.
Based on the learning theory of constructivism individuals tend to construct their own perspective of the world and situations depending on both internal knowledge and individual experiences. As a result learning occurs based on how individuals interpret their experiences. It would be important to highlight that knowledge acquisition is unique for each individual based on their experiences. Through the application of the NLP techniques, a number of aspects were recorded as outcomes which indicated a positive change in behavior (Tricia, 2012). To begin with, the timeline technique brought the gaps in communication and the aspect of prejudgment as a negative attitude which hinders effective communication. By connecting the current state with the desired state, it was possible to establish that effective communication skills are developed when we uses our senses to interpret the received information in an appropriate manner. Through correction reception and interpretation we therefore give the desired feedback which therefore enhances the effectiveness of the communication process.
Secondly, the training program revealed that positive behavior change can be enhanced by replacing the unwanted emotions with more useful ones. For instance, anxiety and low self-esteem was identified as the core triggers of individual inability to successful lead group operations. Using the Swish model the images of the current state and desired state were simultaneously switched seven times during every session. The strategy was to reinforce the image of desired state while diminishing the size of the current state to right into oblivion. The resultant outcome was enhanced confidence when approaching group related activities. This achievement was also enhanced by improved communication skills developed majorly through the perceptual position NLP technique. Through the developmental process, it was possible to deduce that the anxiety as a negative trigger could be replaced with confidence as a positive trigger in order to achieve the desired state. This achievement was monitored through simulated group activities in which an overall positive response was recorded. The results revealed a positive improvement in communication skills over the period of the training (Tricia, 2012). This outcome can be used to predict enhanced levels of communication skills especially if the focus is retained on achieving the desired state. It could also be deduced that NLP techniques play an essential role in enhancing one’s understanding of interpersonal relationship. With a better understanding of why people behave the way they do, it is possible to adjust our leadership approaches to their needs. Finally, future pacing as an NLP technique revealed that training established positive expectations and attitudes among individuals. This in turn renews an individual’s sense of focus and determination to achieve the desired state.
Successful leadership is often a function of various traits and behaviors. Effective communication skills and ability to handle other peoples’ needs in an appropriate way are important elements of good leadership. Additionally self-confidence and proper management of group oriented activities are the other elements of good leadership. Through a comparative analysis of individual strengths and weaknesses, issues such as poor communication skills, low multicultural awareness, and low self-esteem were identified as the learning gaps hindering the achievement of successful leadership. Through the use of NLP techniques in addition to mentorship and coaching, the training program was useful in enhancing a positive change in behavior and the acquisition of appropriate traits necessary for successful leadership. The program involved training sessions whose outcomes led to improvement in communication skills, self-esteem, enhanced multicultural awareness and the ability to successfully lead groups. It can therefore be deduced that successful leadership requires positive change in behavior. In addition to the fact that some of these traits are inborn, leadership skills can be enhanced through conditioned training such as the use of NLP. The techniques offer an appropriate avenue for individuals to identify their areas of weakness and hence note the need for adjustment. At the same time, the use of NLP techniques enables the practitioner to identify and hence remove the barriers that hinder the smooth transition from a current state to the desired level.
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