What is the core skill to develop?
The core skill I have chosen to develop is;
4. Assertiveness/ Conflict Resolution
Why is this core skill important? Why did I select this skill to reflect on? (use relevant theories and concepts to support your answer)
Communication is one of the essential key skills to be business ready. These skills help you to express your feelings, emotions and desires. Having impressive communication skills it is easier to persuade others through the processes of logic, emotion and other ethical arguments. Therefore communication is an inter-personal skill.
A large part of having immaculate communication is by understanding the role of emotional intelligence. This is the ability to sense, understand and effectively apply the power and acumen of emotions as a source of human energy information, connection and influence. This was researched by Cooper and Sawaf (1997).
Goleman(1998) suggested the 5 Dimensions of Emotional Intelligence.
This consists of :
1. Self-awareness- understanding moods, emotions and drives
2. Regulating feelings- ability to control disruptive moods and feeling
3. Motivation- passion to work for reasons beyond money and status
4. Empathy- ability to understand emotional makeup of others
5. Social skills- effectiveness in building and managing relationships
He also then argued that emotional intelligence is more crucial to career success than having and developing more on technical and rational intelligence.
Some qualities and skills that can be found in high emotional intelligence are ambition, drive, strong will and decisive. However an individual with low emotional intelligence will be aggressive, demanding, egotistical, bossy and confrontational.
This can be used in a work atmosphere to firstly identify talent through the recruitment process and internal talent benchmarking.
Secondly to develop talent, by increasing skills in self-awareness, understanding others, personal resilience and the ability to influence others.
A case study named IBM which looked at leaders Emotional intelligence and employee engagement showed that there is a lot of literature showing that high levels of employee engagement and a greater experience of positive emotions among employees define high-performing workplaces.
However on the other hand there are a lot of barriers to communication such as physical , language, message ambiguity, different levels of knowledge, hierarchy, different beliefs and listening skills.
Also some barriers such as liking and disliking a person by prejudice formed earlier due to other reasons, interest, fear, suspicions and mood. Also It barriers such as mobile phones and email can tell us that we are communicating faster and better but it lacks the human nature of face to face communication involving body language and so forth. Furthermore the impact of culture can relate to organisational or group culture caussing a barrier.
This particular skill requires a lot of confidence and self-belief. To be able to speak in public allows you to express your view such as political, social or presents a more generic perspective. Having this very special skill enables you to be noticed and stand out amongst others making you someone unique between a group of people. Your strong views can influence and motivate people changing the thoughts of people and making it similar to yours which can lead to success.
The definition of Assertiveness in the English dictionary is
‘expressing personal rights and feelings’
‘an attitude and a way of acting in any situation where you need to such as’
1. expressing your feelings
2. asking for what you want
3. saying no to something you don’t want or don’t like
In this form of communication, respect is to be given to all stakeholders including yourself.
There are many styles of communication such as
2. Passive aggressive
As Dalley (2013) researched , assertive behaviour is to be honest with yourself and everyone else around you. It also means to be able to freely express your opinions but not at the expense of another person. Additionally is also means being able to negotiate and reach workable compromises.
As he concluded he believed that assertion is based on the belief that the needs, wants and opinions of both people matter , no matter what situation.
This communication is not expressing your needs or concerns. This would mean you are disrespecting yourself and are not prioritising your needs and feelings.
When using aggressive communication such has harsh language, rude body language or being manipulative then this means you are disrespecting the other persons feelings and needs and not giving them any importance.
Both these methods of communication are deemed as wrong and the starting point of destroying a relationship between two people. You needs and interests should be respected as well as the other persons. This continues to become a healthy relationship with the upholding of respect and manners.
A conflict model was suggested by Thomas-Kilmann.
He gave us 5 responses to conflict
This line graph was presented by him. As you can see all the 5 responses are there along with the showing of how as each response accelerates the assertiveness also changes.
Competing is assertive and uncooperative. A individuals own concerns are at another person’s expense.it is a power filled role where one uses whatever power he thinks is worthy to win the position of higher rank. However it can also mean standing up for yourself or defending what you believe in.
Accommodating is unassertive and cooperative. This is the opposite of competing. In this response an individual neglects their own concerns to satisfy the concerns of the other person. It has a elements of self-sacrifice and compromise. It can take the form of charity, love, obeying and respecting especially when not proffered to.
Avoiding is unassertive and uncooperative. The matter is not resolved straightaway or even confronted in some situations. This could be done by diplomatically sidestepping an issue or postponing yourself from the situation.
Collaborating is assertive and cooperative. This is the opposite of avoiding. It involves an attempt to resolving the problem by having both parties satisfied by the end of it.This can involve a lot of researching to identify the concerns of both parties and then come up with a solution that can be suitable for everyone involved.
Compromising is intermediate in both assertiveness and cooperativeness. The goal is to find some mutual grounds that can then help to come up with a solution which will partially or completely satisfy both individuals. This falls in the middle of competing and accommodating. It could mean splitting the difference, letting something go as realising git is not worth it or making decisions keeping both parties needs and concerns in mind.
All these responses have reasons behind it. Depending on a individuals day or even mood responses can change
Team-work as its defined by the business dictionary is most often the crucial part in a business. It is the known work of a combined group , especially when effective and efficient.
Why you must ask? Well along time working in groups has become a part of a motivating and instigating influence on the individuals . This draws the best out of each individual enabling them to accomplish above and beyond their expectations. This is a theory pitched by Hampton 1999.
Another theory relevant is Buelens, Sinding and Waldstrom , 2011. They state that a group becomes a team only when every member has the same goal in relation to the end: and also when all there interactions with each other are all to achieve the shared goal. This provides them with an organisational identity as a team now.
Team work is proved and widely used in education institutes as well as workplaces. It is proven to improve performance, reduce production costs, advance product quality, speed up innovation, increase employee participation, meet the challan age of global competition and also identify and solve work related issues.
Additionally there are many advantages like a quicker rate of delivery of tasks, a support system of continuously learning ",productivity reaching newer highs, the enabling of innovation through cross-fertilisation of ideas and a key management competence.
All these are successful results of team work.
As one of the most successful man said ‘ great things in business are never done by one person, they are done by a team of people’ Steve Jobs
It is very important nowadays for an employer to hire his new associates which should possess ‘good team-working skills and abilities’. This can be broken down into 5 areas according to Steven and Campian 1994.
1. Conflict resolution
2. Collaborative problem-solving
3. Listening to one another
5. Planning and task co-ordination
The perfect team will possess features of a successful team. This was looked into by Winstanley 2005 through his invention of the acronym ALPDEC.
Aims of the team must be shared
Leadership of different types is required at different times and not always by one individual
People – their skills, and the different roles they play, are key to the success of the team
Design and Delivery – good performance and key results
Environment – sensitivity to conditions external to the team
Change – reassess aims and objectives continuously. Engage in continuous learning
This skill is used in a person’s everyday life with whatever they do. At work, you have colleagues you have to work with, as well as the people at university where this skill comes to use.
With this very useful skill understanding and better communication develops between the people you work with. This skill helps to create a better outcome of the project you work on as a team as you’re able to draw upon each other’s unique strengths. Talking to your peers creates good speaking and leadership skills as well as the ability to socialise with other and expressing your ideas.
Resilience is defined by the Latin word ‘resilio’. This means to jump back. Additionally the English dictionary also characterizes it as the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties and tough situations.
As famous scholar Rutter (1991) said ‘resilience is a dynamic process that occurs in a context and is the result of the person in interaction with his or her environment.
Studies on resilience have been conducted over decades. These studies acknowledge resilience in terms of each person’s vulnerability and focus on characteristics. These could be temperament, intelligence, problem solving skills, stress resistance. It is also considered these harden children growing up and enable them to achieve success in their future. Furthermore is also suggests those kids who have overcame great adversity are ought to be quite remarkable.
Resilience is also found much at work. Its quoted that ‘Much stress related absence is caused by the behaviour of line managers towards their staff and their refusal or inability to identify when employees are suffering from stress’. This shows how it is very hard to jump back from situations that can become very hard at work.
Resilience is not god given but rather self-taught or learnt through many ways. It is built through two things: stress inoculation and mental toughness.
A therapy widely accepted for stress inoculation was conducted by Meichenbaum (1972).it is a cognitive therapy approach to reconstruct the thoughts that contribute to stress. He highlights three distinctive stages of stress inoculation therapy. The first stage is called the conceptualisation. In this stage, people are made aware of the thoughts they have in a stressful situation. The second stage is the skills acquisition and rehearsal. This is when they are taught strategies to cope which then enables them to restructure their thoughts. The third stage is application and follow through. It is when everything taught and learnt will be put into contact and practiced. This will lead to success.
It was quoted by Loehr (1982) ‘The ability to consistently perform towards the upper range of your capabilities regardless of competitive circumstances’
Mental toughness can be perceived by the Four C’s.
Furthermore it is also very crucial in the business side of things. It has explained up to 25% of variation in performance within the workplace. Mental toughness has also had a very positive and very beneficial effect on behaviour and wellbeing. This has led to higher ambitions and higher expectations which then constructively open up more job roles and the change to openness.
To summarize , this skill is what teaches you to persevere and if something doesn’t work out as expected or planned, resilience helps you to succeed and overcome this obstacle enabling you to perform to the best of your ability. From time to time, life may introduce you to difficult situations, if having acquired this skill you may be able to help yourself by coming up with a solution. If you are able apply this skill to our daily lives, we would find that the day would be looked through a rather optimistic eye and result to various achievements.
The first weakness I found within myself was criticism. In some situation’s I can be too critical of myself. This often leads me to thinking I could have done more, even if objectively I’ve done well enough. This hasn’t yet but could have led to burnouts or negative self-talks which could have led to some very difficult situations. This has then led me to start self-loving. This has not only boosted my self-esteem but also genuinely made me appreciate my support systems.
Another weakness I self-assessed within myself was over-confidence. I always believed I, on my own can solve my problems however as time as passed I have realised this is not the case. Sometimes other people, a team or even a partner is needed to do certain things in life.
Lastly I worked on my communication. Since a young age I haven’t been able to present myself very confidently in front of a larger group of people. This has caused me a lot of downfall once I started high school and then now in my jobs. After self-reflecting I overcame his fear by presenting in different social clubs or extracurricular activities.
However on the other hand I did pick out some of my strengths. I pride myself on my customer service skills and the ability I have developed over the past years to overcome and provide solutions to difficult situations. This has led me to deliver strong communication skills and make me an effective team member.
Leadership is also another strength I find myself to have. This was learnt through being the oldest sibling as well as always tending to lead the way in many different scenarios through school and work.
Lastly I discovered my agility to adapt to the surroundings and quickly learning how things work in those new places. This has improved my sense of knowledge of working with different types of people as well as now making me more confident in new surroundings.
I also believe my current competence has been positively impacted. Comparing to a few months ago my ability to successfully complete an assignment or any other task has become a lot more efficient and this time even successful when wasn’t before. I am more consistent to apply my knowledge in my areas of comfort such as business or management. This is due to my skills improving and now being above the standard of performance required.
I assessed my competence through a third party being my workplace. This allowed me to receive testimonials from my peers.
In the reports given it is stated that throughout the period of assessment my peers noticed I had become more consistent in my work, reports, getting back to clients and workers as well as being more organised which was done by keeping a diary.
Due to this improvement in my competence, my behaviour is more relaxed as I am not rushing to do everything last minute or even sometimes forgetting to do them which in the future has caused me more trouble than it originally would have. This has made me feel more positive and at ease.
I did see a few contradictions between the analysis I was given and how I believe I carry myself. The main thing that I had not thought myself in was the unorganized and a late student/employee.
I believed I did everything I could to get things done in time. However after my self-reflection and reports from peers I have accepted the fact I wasn’t and also worked on it.
Also another contradiction I found myself not aware of was my habit of over perfection. This has sometimes led me to be late to work or late in handing over a project etc. As I was advised by my peers ",not everything can be perfect.
PowerPoints used from Roehampton Moodle.