Introduction Of Learning And Personal Development Nursing Essay
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Introduction of Learning and Personal Development
The success of a person in the respective career is largely dependent on the skills, knowledge and capabilities possessed by the individual; these competencies are the mandatory requirements of the employers as they want to ensure that they hire the competitive person for a particular job (Chen & Chang, 2011). In order to equip the graduates with the relevant abilities required for their career success, most of the leading educational institutions are offering learning and personal development modules. It is imperative for every prospective employee to reflect on their existing skills and undertake the efforts for acquiring those that are missing for enhancing their effectiveness in the professional world.
With the help of a wide range of reflection exercises such as Kolb’s learning cycle, Schon’s reflection model, Gibb’s Reflective Cycle, Critical Incident Methodology, Rolfe’s Framework for Reflective Practice and many more, learning and personal development becomes an interesting task (Rigopoulou & Kehagias, 2010). When I enrolled in this module, I was very nervous as I wanted to develop my professional and personal skills for making a prospering career but I lack the self-confidence of interacting with people.
However, by the end of this course, I realised my mistakes and weak areas and ensured that I made effective use of available tools and techniques especially Personal Development Plan (PDP) for improvising my incompatible capabilities.
Analysis of Learning
PDP is effective when it is properly aligned with the module activities. When I entered in this course, I had already done my self-analysis by reflecting on my skills at that time. I even collected feedback from my friends, family members and colleagues who provided me valuable information about my problems. It is true that peer evaluation is an effective tool to conduct an in-depth analysis as it reveals the features that are unknown to the individual (Brockbank & McGill, 2007).
For me, the marketing field has always been an attractive option for my career choice and I have immense passion for making a successful career in this industry. The marketing professionals are required to possess certain key skills such as excellent communication skills, team working skills, leadership skills and self-management skills (Rigopoulou & Kehagias, 2010). The communication skills are vital as they have to clearly demonstrate their thinking to the other members of the group to ensure that the marketing campaign will be a success (Popovic & Tomas, 2009) along with ensuring that every team member is on the same level of clarity.
In every organisation whether product or service oriented, there is an offering that needs to be designed for fulfilling the unmet needs or wants of the target market (Raiker, 2010). As the successful launch of the latest offering is dependent on team work, everyone has to develop the competencies so that the members can work like a strong team and conflicts are avoided or dealt effectively (Roberts & Yoell, 2009). Likewise, self-management in terms of time, project management, organising, disciplined and managing stress are crucial requirements of the marketing professional along with ability to lead people in getting the work done on time and efficiently (Cameron, 2007).
During my initial self-assessment exercise, I realised that I had strong written skills but could not communicate verbally with high level of confidence. At the same time, some of my other incompetent competencies that were highlighted were weak listening power, impatience, inability to handle stressful situations and difficulty with managing time constraints. All of my weak areas showed that I had to employ extensive set of efforts during the entire module so that my personal and professional development competencies were developed and I was able to achieve my aspiring career goal effectively.
When working in group assignments during the module, I thought to apply the concept of team working as developed by Belbin (1981) mentioned as the Team Role Theory. According to this theory, the team members have to work together by discussing the things and giving importance to everyone’s opinion (Belbin, 2007). Since it is an individual’s perception that the opinion given by him/her is correct, so it is better to listen to other’s viewpoint and try to avoid any form of conflict (Mackay, 2007). At first, I was reluctant to give my ideas but then I decided to take the initiative of making contribution in the group by giving my suggestions about the project.
Some of my opinions were highly appreciated by the group members and it helped me in boosting my morale. During these projects, I even learnt that I don’t have poor speaking power; in fact, I can communicate properly with them. At times, I did felt that my points were unclear but when asked about explaining in detail I was able to clarify my suggestion appropriately. It is mentioned by Gittel et al. (2006) that organisations are looking for those employees who can effectively communicate with everyone within the business environment.
An excellent interpersonal skill creates positivity within the work environment and the exchange of communication becomes quicker with increased level of participation and commitment among the personnel at all levels (Clegg & Barkley, 2006; Horn, 2010). I applied this learning in my group projects and realised that it created an enjoyable working environment as everyone worked in a comfortable manner and everything was going at a smooth pace by the end of the first project.
One incident that helped me in acquiring the stress management skills was when one of our group members had to go on two weeks leave because of some health issue. Our project was due after two weeks and he was leading our project since the beginning. Of course, everyone started to panic at that point of time; on the contrary, I looked at this problem as an opportunity for learning the stress management and leadership skills. A good leader is one who has the ability of handling the sudden challenge with courage and determination (McCarthy, 2011). I realised that I had to take care of the situation and put together everyone back to the track.
In our next meeting, I discussed the course of direction that should be taken for completing the project before the deadline. One of the key points learnt from Kolb’s learning cycle is that when an unplanned event occurs, it is better to reflect on the matter and think about alternate solutions that can be implemented successfully (Raiker, 2010). Hence, we decided to reassign our work and give extra time to this project so that the assignment was completed before the due date.
Afterwards, when the presentation had to be given about the assignments, my group members decided to assign me this responsibility as they believed that I had good communication power. I accepted this challenge as it gave me one more chance of enhancing my interpersonal skills. However, before giving the final presentation, I gave one informal one in front of my group members so that I could take their feedback about my performance. Since others can make right judgement about the weak areas as pointed out by Bridgstock (2009), it allowed me to identify the aspects that had to be further polished for ensuring that an excellent presentation was given in front of the whole class.
Hence, the module assisted me in investigating the personal and professional development needs in compliance with my aspiring career requirements. I ensured that I maintained a diary to keep track of the developmental initiatives that were undertaken by me to guide me about the required level of progression that should be attained for enhancing my core and professional competencies.
A detailed review of my learning that took place during the entire module emphasised the need of developing my self-development competencies. In the personal development matrix, it is mentioned that there are five areas of competencies that need to be managed by those people who want to make a prospering career (Chen & Chang, 2011). The five aspects are related to self-management, personal leadership, interpersonal, self-development and engaging with others (). I realised that I need to be polish my self-development skills as it is an ongoing process and everyone learns new things during various incidents in personal and professional life.
The self-development competencies require extensive set of efforts as a person has to develop critical thinking and analysis technique. Every act, action, thinking, opinion and habit has to be critically analysed so that an individual can look at both positive and negative aspects (). The learning theories also emphasise that an individual needs to undertake proper assessment measures to ensure that the required and mandatory behaviours and competencies are embedded within a person’s personality (Beausaert et al., 2013).
In order to develop my self-development competency, the two learning theories that have been employed are behaviourist learning theory and experiential learning theory. The crux of both theories is that a person needs to keep a check on the behaviours, thinking, perceptions, mental processes and attitude so that they can be reflected upon (Buckley, 2007). From the reflection practices, I learnt that I was unaware of some hidden qualities such as sufficient verbal communication power, ability to lead the group members, competence of handling stressful situations and taking the challenges in positive way.
Since I was able to identify the key areas that need further working, I decided to develop my PDP plan which is shown in the following table format:
What do I want or need to learn?
What will I do to achieve this?
What resources or support will I need?
What will my success criteria be?
Target dates for review and completion?
Communication skills need to be learnt to have good interpersonal and written skills.
Get enrolled in English language courses and attend seminars and workshops.
Guidance from the tutors and professional experts.
Improved communication skills and confidence in giving presentations.
Review will be done monthly by tutor and completed by June 2013.
To develop positive attitude with my team workers.
Attend seminars and workshops on team working.
Seek help from colleagues to highlight my weaknesses.
Feedback from team members and my self-reflective approach.
Review will be done weekly and completed by July 2013.
To develop the habit of listening to what others have to say
Listen attentively to team members while group discussions
More team working in the form of projects and volunteer work
Cordial relations with the team members
Review will be done weekly and completed by August 2013.
To make a list of my tasks, to make sure that the obstacles that affect my studies are taken care of and to prioritise and complete important tasks first.
Notebook will be maintained so that everything is organised, attend seminars and workshops on developing time management skills.
Manage the notebook and seek assistance from the tutor.
I will be able to complete all my tasks on time and improve my time management skills.
On weekly basis, review will be done.
To do preparation before presentation, to improve my communication power by dedicating more time for presentation and to review myself before the final day.
Giving voluntary presentations in the class and taking extra classes for improving the presentation skills
Guidance from the tutors and professionals. Seek help from online sources as well.
Feedback from teacher, friends and my self-reflective approach.
Adequate attention will be given for ensuring that the presentation skills are developed well before getting a job in the professional world.
After the completion of all the above mentioned tasks, I am assured that I will be ready to enter the organisation of my choice. All of these skills will ensure that I am competent and handle the organisational responsibilities assigned to me. Of course, reflection, learning and development is an iterative process and new opportunities are availed during the career path (Moon, 2006). In order to enhance my level of professional capabilities, I will try to upgrade my skill base by getting enrolled in new and latest courses.
The PDP module developed with the help of my teacher and important information taken from the study of Gallagher (2010) has definitely helped me in acquiring the skills and competencies. This reflection and learning exercise highlighted the key areas that were improvised for preparing myself for the real life challenges. One thing that was definitely learnt during the entire module was that one should remain prepared all the time for any sort of problem by taking it in positive perspective.
After completing all the activities, I believe that I have developed good communication skills, can manage my time properly and can deliver good presentations as well. It is recommended that one should be open to any sort of criticism and should be determined to improve the skills for professional world. The PDP module is the most effective tool for preparing me to face the challenges that will be encountered in the real world.
This module will ensure that I am able to develop my professional skills in the long-run as I have understood that the key of professional development is one’s own willpower to make required changes. It is impossible to find anyone who is perfect in every aspect because there are certain skills that are acquired with the passage of time. In future especially in my professional life, I will ensure that I maintain a learning log or diary in which I maintain records of the things that were learnt during each phase of professional development. It will even assist me in ensuring that I move one step ahead instead of going backward by handling the problems with positivity and complete confidence.