1. The skill I want to develop and my understanding of this skill
The skill I want to develop is the self-management competency.
According to the textbook, taking responsibility for your life at work and beyond is a manager’s self-management competency.
Related to the text, my understanding of self-management competency is that it includes six aspects of definitions below: (1) understands oneself and has an inner drive to get things done with directed energy; (2) gets the best from one’s own abilities and strives for improvement; (3) takes responsibility for one’s own development and actions; (4) is self motivated and persistent and delivers on promises; (5) understands one’s role with respect to individual, self and situation and manages that situation. Skills include prioritizing effectively, leading by example, self confidence, time management and so on; (6) recognizes the importance of and impact of own behavior and language on others.
Self-management competency is particularly important in a devolved environment in ensuring that managers have the confidence and ability to effectively manage and deliver services. It is about the ‘how’ of the manager’s role not just the ‘what’. It includes how they present themselves, manage other’s perceptions of themselves and apply the competencies. It is also about the right to support in one’s own development.
We all know that the successful manager capably performs four basic managerial functions: planning, organizing, leading, and controlling. However, as you will see, the managers who perform these four basic functions well must be versed in the self-management competency. Since without this skill, how they can have the confidence and ability to effectively manage themselves and the employees, yet saying nothing of performing four basic managerial functions competently, that is to say, self-management competency is essential for every manager.
As far as I am concerned, self-management is being able to manage my own emotions and be resilient in a range of complex and demanding situations.
2.& Why I want to develop this skill
As a relatively new term in assessing the competency of an outstanding manager, much importance has been attached to self-management. It is not only a perfect method to achieve the harmony within oneself, but a most-ever efficient way to promote oneself to incorporate the inner part and outer one.
Unfortunately I, nonetheless, have seldom self-assessed and self-controlled myself before, which seemed to be a huge loss in my self-development.
Take myself as an example. I have been learning to play the piano for over ten years and have passed the National Piano Amateur Band 8 of China when I was a child. However, I abandoned it the time when I entered high school only because of limited time. It was really a great shame that I let go my dream–being an outstanding pianist. I was depressed then, though, it was a must in order to occupy an ideal place in the university. The period afterward yet proved that I could achieve a harmonious balance between study and piano-playing, for I could leave 30-minute slot everyday for relaxation. A conclusion could be drawn from it is that because of lacking of self-management, I never found out what could I do and to which extent I could exert my potential.
A similar case happened in my undergraduate study. I was planning to be a business student for undergraduate study, but as my score was far higher than the course of business management (which appeared be a shame if took business study, for computer science is the best subject), so I chose computer science instead. But the thing ends up with the fact that I though became the top student in computer science study, I was dying to learn more about business and figured out I could do far more better than computer science (that’s part of the reason why I chose MBA for my graduate study).
The two instances of mine prove that I am in bad need of the ability of self-management including self-assessment and self-control, which is bound to be of great help in conducting me to choose the right path of my life and career, to discover my potentials that I have never noticed before, and to make balanced of my inner desire and outer circumstances.
Another reason that I want to develop self-management competency is that the following case in the textbook tells me that if you want to be a successful manager, you must have excellent self-management skills. Many people may be thinking that self-management really does not require much time and effort. Dee Hock would disagree. More than 1 billion people use Visa card, but did you know that Dee Hock is the man who built this worldwide powerhouse? Since 1970, when Hock founded visa, the company has grown from an idea to a service that operates in more than 24 million locations in 130 countries and has an annual volume of roughly $3.6 trillion. Dee Hock, the man behind this phenomenal success story, isn’t a household name, but his success as a manager is unquestioned–which is why he is such a popular speaker at CEO gatherings even through he has retired from Visa.
3. Specific learning objectives
Effective managers (and leaders) are principled, value driven, and trustworthy; they are people whom others want to work with, be inspired by, and are willing to follow. What makes them distinguished is the spirit of continuous learning – through feedback from mistakes, studying new information, and opening up to different ways of doing things, which is of great importance to grow up to be a competent manager.
Effective managers accept that change is continual and recognize that flexibility and adaptability are essential self-management tools. To thrive day-to-day is commendable; to flourish is so much better. Within this self-management area, three competency areas, namely Trust Inspiration, Adaptability Demonstration and Self-development Practice are vital to a manager’s performance.
In the textbook, there are four dimensions of self-management competency: (1) integrity; (2) personal drive and resilience; (3) balancing work and life
issues; (4) self-awareness and development.
As for me, after meditation, I specify these aspects into 12 items as my learning objectives below accordingly:
(1) Specify a clear cut goal I want to accomplish. And be very specific. Like I will write for four hours a day, or run three miles, or do 30 push ups, or can 24 quarts of tomatoes, or spend an hour crocheting.
(2) Specify when I will do it. Like everyday, Monday through Friday, or every morning, seven days a week, or at 10:00 am on Thursday.
(3) Record my hit rate. Make a record of my successes and my failures, like a graph of the numbers of hours per day or a note on my calendar of the number of miles run each day.
(4) Make a public commitment. Tell someone what my goals and my deadline are. And even ask them to check on me to see if I got it done. That’s a subtle way of arranging for a little mild social reward or punishment, approval or disapproval, depending on whether I get the job done. No big deal, but it helps.
(5) Add an explicit penalty for failure, if I need to. Tell my monitor I will pay them a quarter or a dollar or take them out to lunch for each of my failures. But keep the penalty small, almost at a joke level, otherwise everyone will start getting uptight, and I am liable to fib a bit.
(6)Think small. Do not try to make up for my past sins in a single day. If I have got a hundred letters to write, do not contact to do them all right away. A postcard a day may be infinitely better than I’m doing now. Going for too much too soon is why many people fail at self-management. That is a big one so watch out for it.
(7) Specify the amount of product I am going to produce. If simply specifying the amount of time I am going to log in doesn’t do the trick, in other words, if I just sit there goofing off, specify the number of rows I am going to knit, the number of pages I am going to read, or whatever.
(8) Get a timer that beeps every five minutes and chart whether I am on task, if I find myself drifting off too much. This is especially good when I might have trouble measuring the amount of the product, like when I’m doing spring cleaning, but may get distracted too easily by Better Homes and Gardens.
(9) Arrange for regular contact with my monitor, daily or weekly as needed. This is another one of those week points in the system. It helps to put my self-management project on the agenda with someone I meet with regularly and formally, a superior, a peer, or a sub-ordinate — it does not matter.
(10) Arrange for my friend to monitor my graphing as well as my goal attainment. I think it is important to keep a good record of my performance, so I will be motivated not to mess up that pretty record, but I might also need to contract my charting, or that charting may fall out.
(11) “Put Satan behind me.” Get rid of distractions. Try to do my work when and where no one can bother me. Watch out for that phone. And we can blow a whole morning sorting through our junk mail and new magazines. Get as many tempting distractions out of my work environment as possible. Put the axe to the TV set.
(12) Recycle. My self-management project may not work the first time I try it. And it will certainly fall apart from time to time, so be prepared with some scotch tape and bubble gum to put it back together again. Remember, I do not demean myself by using these explicit self-management techniques. Use them and I will be in the company of some of the world’s most productive people.
4. Steps to be taken
I would like to improve my self-management competency through my ABC Approach, that is to say, achieving success by managing my ABCs — Affect,
Behavior, and Cognition. It covers the following aspects: increases my motivation, saves time and ends procrastination, improves my grades, strengthens my relationships, communicates more effectively, raises my self-confidence, increases positive feelings, behaviors, and thoughts.
Also, it is important for me to know that to develop the competency of self-management is never be an easy way. There are actually many steps to be taken and I must be given time to work through the steps and become effective. Following several steps should be accomplished to improve my self-management competency if I want to be an excellent MBA student and fulfill effective and outstanding jobs.
(1)I should set challenging goals and drive myself to meet them. Continually looks for opportunities to improve both self, service and performance. Learns from failure by analysing own performance and accepts responsibility for own actions. Ability to perform consistently in a range of situations and under pressure and to appropriately adapt behaviour. Retains focus in the face of difficult situations. Responds constructively to criticism and personal feedback.
(2) I should take calculated risks. Willing to accept feedback from others and learn. Sets own goals and standards and monitors achievement against goals. Displays enthusiasm for the task and inspires others. Involves others in identifying opportunities to develop service. Asserts self when dealing with people, supporting and challenging where appropriate. Modifies behaviour in accordance with others’ needs and objectives by listening and responding to others’ in a constructive way. Presents self confidently and models effective behaviour in a group and on an individual level. Values others’ input and facilitates discussion and communicates with individuals and groups. Is self aware and has a flexible approach.
(3) I should be aware of my own strengths and weaknesses. Usually self directing but towards the safe option. Accepts responsibility within defined role, delivery is effective within defined parameters. Shows effort in delivering the job well and works to meet other’s standards. Attempts to include others and demonstrates awareness that others have different needs and objectives. Makes an effort to deal with people and demonstrates attempts to support others.
(4) I should consider the issues on which I am willing to act against all opposition. Clarify for myself what is and is not worth fighting for. If an opportunity comes up to act on a principle, take it, but be sure I am certain of my ground.
5. Assessment of progress
Nowadays, many employers would rather hire an inexperienced worker with good self-management skills than an experienced one, simply because the latter might cause problems. Accordingly, it becomes increasingly important that we students should learn how to improve the competency of self-management–a much needed skill when we join the workforce. Also, some studies show that people learn most from tasks of creativity and social interactions.
In the progress of assessing my self-management competency, the skills of being self-motivated, acting with confidence, managing my own learning, demonstrating flexibility and initiating are of essential importance.
Before taking the course of management theory and starting to write this paper, I was not conscious enough that self-management competency is essential for me and I have seldom self-assessed and self-controlled myself before, which seemed to be a huge loss in my self-development.
After reading the textbook, nevertheless, I realize that self-management is not only a perfect method to achieve the harmony within myself, but a most-ever efficient way to promote myself to incorporate the inner part and outer one. I am firmly believe that the ability of self-management is bound to be a great help in conducting me to choose the right path of my life and my career, to discover my potentials that I have never noticed before, to find to which extent I could exert my potential, and to make balanced of my inner desire and outer circumstances.
I am very glad that I am with this lecture, for I learned a lot of important theories and the valuable experiences from the professor, say, two of the six keys managerial competencies–self-management and the importance of teamwork. Additionally, a very good text book that covers the things professor not mentioning in details teaches us a lot about how to be a competent manager. I learnt about things that will help me to live up to my goals from the lecture, which is the reason why it makes it enjoyable.