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Reflective Portfolio Essay

1) Introduction:

In this portfolio, I shall reflect on number of intrapersonal and interpersonal competencies relevant for my professional performance. Reflective learning is an important element of effective performance as research (Brockbank & Mcgill, 2012) has demonstrated that reflective style of learning leads to improvement in a variety of dimensions. While reflecting myself, I am specifically focusing on Emotional Intelligence and Conscientious using Jackson’s hybrid model of learning and conflict resolution to show my interpersonal skills. With a range of questionnaires I answered, it is revealed that I am most deficient in these skills. Moreover I shall assess my socio-cultural implications as a part of a team as well as an individual. Research shows that regardless of my professional occupation, these characteristics are important in shaping my personal life.

Through the portfolio my aim is to improve on these key characteristics which are lacking and reflected in my current professional profile. I shall attempt to improve on my self-conceptualization and goals to develop my influence tactics and improve my scores. It shall also help in building good relationships, making rational decisions and consider conflict situation. After achieving such high standards I shall be a successful student and acquire a strong personality to shape my career.

2) Intrapersonal Effectiveness

2.1) Jacksons Model

Chris Jackson’s hybrid model of learning in personality strongly argues that individual’s drive as an emotional, goal oriented, conscientious or a deep learning person is what makes him a strong sensation seeker (Jackson, 2005; 2008). Jacksons model of learning (Jackson,2005) aims at uniting biological, socio­cognitive and experiential theories of personality (Jackson, 2005; 2008). All the three together make out a perfect outcome of an individual’s profile in accordance to the best way for them to learn (2009c). According to Jackson the level of sensation seeking can create functional or dysfunctional outcomes (Jackson, 2005). Functional outcomes are positive where learners re-express their sensation seeking by socio-cognitive construct such as emotional intelligence and conscientiousness while the dysfunctional outcomes lead to poor job performance and negative results (O’Connor & Jackson, 2008; Jackson, 2011b). To reach my professional goal, the ability to carve functional outcomes in me and not let the dysfunctional be a hindrance to my achievements will be important and valuable.

2.2) Results

According to my Learning Style Profiler (LSP), I am a strong sensation seeker which shows that I have an urge to learn new things and gain knowledge from new experiences (Jackson, 2009c). I am a moderate goal achiever, moderately conscientious and probalby a deep learner. But on the contrary my emotional intelligence makes me dysfunctional. Yet overall I am a Functional learner and my instinctive drive for learning creates opportunities and re-expresses myself to achieve positive outcome (Learning Style Profiler, 2013). The results perfectly illustrate my profile. I have been striving hard and strong to study abroad. I have been giving many entrance exams to live my dream (high sensation seeker). I got rejected and yet kept applying to best of the universities worldwide (moderately goal oriented). The worst part of mine was always losing hope and depending on others for better outcomes (low emotional intelligence). At times all I used to do is make conscientious improvements on my Statement of purpose and prepare a better profile to submit (conscientious). I used to take advices, read knowledgeable materials, and kept trying for the best results (deep learner).

2.3) Emotional Intelligence

According to Jacksons hybrid model (Jackson,2005), I have a very low score on my emotional intelligence(EI) scale. A low score in EI leads to lack of autonomy and avoidance of risk taking activity often leading to lessons not learnt from mistakes. So due to lack of risk taking ability and dependence on other people, working as a professional I may face problems being a follower and not showing logical ability to work out decisions(Goleman, 1995). Moreover lack of emotional intelligence wont create a drive in me to tackle situational dillemas and fight out problems, I shall always be afraid to do so (Goleman, 1995). To overcome this greviances I should residue to change. Certain things I shall plan to do are as follows: Physical act of writing is linked to emotional memory and heart, so planning early in the day would reslt in strong output of thoughts (Sterrett, 2000). Looking at situations differently and taking time to analise situations (Sterrett, 2000).

2.4) Sensation Seeker

The best part of my personality has been my sensation seeking. I have always been engaged in learning new activities and been part of doing something new. This is what makes me unique. A bad sensation seeker is not only a dysfunctional professional but also a person with behavioral deficiencies (Zuckerman, Delaware, Newart, DE, & US). Being a good sensational seeker I have the advantage to take over and construct Emotional Intelligence deficiencies (Jackson, 2005a; Jackson et al, 2009). Therefore positive outcomes are achieved.

2.5) SMART Goals

Goals are perceived, planned and then achieved. The SMART way to achieve goal refers to:

S specific
M measurable
A attainable
R  realistic
T  timed

My goal as a professional has always been expansion of my family business (specific). I plan to help my dad with it after my graduation and sour new heights of success (timed). Furthermore to be a part of it, I need to be worthy of it (realistic). Experience and training for the same will rather prove to be the best way to gain the knowledge for the same (attainment). I shall timely plan an internship after my graduation and apply my knowledge to the practical business world (timed and measureable). This shall lead to achievement of my goal in a SMART way. Consequently I shall meet all the SMART criteria’s.

2.6) Social and Cultural Implications

While assessing myself at my workplace the most noticeable thing was the age. There were people likely much older to me. Their talks and way of living never correlated to mine (Woods & Scinarini, 1995). The fact was I wasn’t mature enough to be a part of them (Hofstede, 1997). The best outcome for this could be I can think of ways and means to be a part of their daily interests so I can mix with them and increase my workplace effectiveness.

3) Interpersonal Effectiveness

When measuring my stance in an organization, what I first look into is the interpersonal effectiveness. A way in dealing this common issue where there are differences between the people working together, conflicts which arise due to implications such as different race, caste, gender and upbringings (Lin, Wang, Shi & Chang, 2005) is death with interpersonal effectiveness to lead the organization efficiently.

3.1) Dutch Test for Conflict Handling

The Dutch Test for Conflict Handling is a useful tool to measure the best way in which an individual can resolve conflict (McShane, Olekalns & Travaglione, 2013). It consists of questionnaires which simplify if the manager can make best use of one of the following: Yielding- Managerial ability to take unilateral decisions completely towards others wishes. The decisions involve giving up your wishes (McShane, Olekalns & Travaglione, 2013). Compromising- Consistency to find an outcome which suits the either of the party or finding the equally valued gains. Forcing- The self yielding decision which involves winning over the arguments and conflicts for others expenses. Problem Solving- The better way to resolve issues through mutually corresponding to either parties benefits. Avoiding- A way to escape from conflicts by representing low concern towards it and suppressing it.

3.2) Results and Analysis

After taking the Dutch test I came with an out with an outcome of considering yielding as my most effective method of conflict resolution. My results in the Dutch test were as follows: Yielding
Problem Solving

The scale suggested that I am best at yielding and avoiding conflicts. Moreover I have moderate skills to compromise, force or solve problems. I have a tendency to yield or avoid conflicts because they lead to disagreements which makes me feel uncomfortable (McShane, Olekalns & Travaglione, 2013). This is inconsistent with my self-concept as I rather approve myself to get along with everyone (McShane, Olekalns & Travaglione, 2013). Yet being moderate at handling conflicts by other styles, I tend to use different ways to solve issues in different situations. I used situational tactics while working in the group for the BSB124 Group Presentation. I used to always yield and agree at what my group members said and performed according to their wishes whenever there were any arguments, justifying my yielding and avoiding style. But when we came down the line on the presentation day, I forced my fellow mates to put add a bit to my part as it wasn’t apt. Hence showed my compromising and forcing style to handle the situational conflict. They had to agree to my decision.

3.3) Conflict Resolution

The conflict resolution style I used would be classified as collaborating by Thomas and kilman’s (1974) conflicting resolution styles model. Collaborating refers to pooling of individual needs and goals towards a common goal. This style is useful when you need to bring together a variety of viewpoints to get the best solution, when there have been previous conflicts in the group, or when the situation is too important for a simple trade-off (Thomas & Kilman, 1974).The reason I used this style because it consistently yields the best results.

Although it takes time but it gives the best result. In my group there were certain times when there used to be an argument regarding the content of the presentation, collaborating was the best way to solve the conflict as all team members would collaborate with each other and conclude to a single decision. To be effective in taking decisions and dealing with my colleagues I need to use a more appropriate conflict resolution style as collaborating takes time to plan and get executed which leads to less effective workplaces (Landa-Gonzalez, 2008). If facing a similar situation again a compromising or avoiding strategy may be more effective.

3.4) Social and Cultural Implications

While working in group for the presentation, I got noticed by everyone in my team. I was the only international student to be dealt with. They seemed awkward with me at the start and left me away in discussions. After doing a bit and contributing to my team they realized that I could pose a great help indeed. They helped me out over factors such as public speaking to be efficient enough for the show time. Moreover, they were inclined towards me because I brought diversity in the group and suggested ideas which were differently thought of. They added their knowledge to my thinking and made a worth watching scenario at the presentation day. They taught me how to build relationships while working in groups and gain experience by contributing towards team spirit For what I had always been thinking a negative impact in working in groups was made my strength. I was very impatient while dealing with my fellow members but as time elapsed I understood that building relationships regardless of the social background is a beneficiary for me as well the other person. From now onwards I shall always look forward for relationship-building group work.

3.5) Goal Setting

Working as a part of a team, I shall look forward towards attainment of SMART criteria through team effectiveness. While pursuing my family business I shall look forward to formulate plans so there remains cooperativeness amongst family members working as a whole in the business. Furthermore I shall also look into the differences in opinion between me and the experienced people and handle conflicts with proper problem solving techniques. This will lead to organizational integrity and achievement of goals.

4) Conclusion

I have analyzed and reflected upon my experiences in BSB124 Working in Business, evaluated my intra and interpersonal effectiveness, set SMART goals and identified my weaknesses. In the intrapersonal section, I used Jackson’s learning profiler to know my strengths and weaknesses, reflected upon them, gave examples to support the motion and analyzed my weaknesses to set SMART goals and achieve them. While in the interpersonal section I found the best way I can resolve conflicts and work effectively in groups to achieve group goals. I have learnt that interpersonal effectiveness runs from intrapersonal. So I have put a part of my SMART goals in section 3.5 to link my individual effectiveness to group abilities. I have also mentioned social and cultural implications which I wasn’t aware of. By improving on this competencies and becoming more aware of them, I will look forward to develop a better professional within me and achieve my goals.

Brockbank, A., & Mcgill, I. ( 2012, July 03). Facilitating Reflective Learning: Coaching, Mentoring and Supervision. Cymeon Pty Ltd. (2013). Learning Styles Profiler (LSP). A Personal Report Providing Information on Your Functional Learning Style. Retrieved October 25, 2013 from www.cymeon.com. Goleman, D. (1995). Emotional Intelligence. New York: Bantam Books. Hofstede, G. H. (2001). Culture’s consequences: Comparing values, behaviors, institutions, and organizations across nations. Thousand Oaks, Calif: Sage Publications Jackson, C. (2009, June 25-29). Using the hybrid model of learning in personality to predict performance in the workplace. Sydney, New South Wales, Australia Jackson, C. J. (2005). An applied neuropsychological model of functional and dysfunctional learning: Applications for business, education, training and clinical psychology. Jackson, C. J. (2009c, June). Using the hybrid model of learning in personality to predict performance in the workplace. Paper presented at 8th IOP Conference, Sydney, Australia Jackson, C. J. (2011b). How sensation seeking provides a common basis for functional and
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