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Team Learning is very important within the workplace to keep it as a learning organisation, by ensuring there is a sense of team effort rather than just individual efforts and rivalry amongst each other. For example, when discussing plans, it is important to understand everyone within the team will have something to contribute and although not everyone in the teams will agree with all points raised, it is important to listen and allow everyone the chance to express themselves. This will allow others to view situations in ways other than their own, this part of a discussion is known as the Meteor belt.
Being able to learn within a team is important in order for everyone within that team to be able to develop skills they would be unable to accomplish individually.
Personal mastery is when as an individual you are able to vision your own goals and know what you need to do in order to achieve them. Personal mastery helps you process what strengths you currently obtain and how you can use these strengths to your advantage when working out what learning processes you need to achieve your goals.
Working out what visions you have for yourself and having already looked at what strengths you obtain, you can then look at what areas you need to strengthen so that you can show you are committed to improving your self-learning and realise how you can battle problems relating to your end goals as they arise. By working on yourself and showing this is a priority to you, you can inspire others to work towards their own goals.
It is important to use Personal mastery to know exactly where you are heading within an organisation, for example someone who has started with a company at the bottle of a career ladder will not want to be in that same position in time to come. They can use Personal mastery to look at themselves and identify what they need to do in order to progress, what learning they need to do, what experiences will help them develop and what skills and qualities they need to obtain over a period of time.
A personal vision is when you make a plan of your future goals for yourself and your career. When making a personal vision you take into account what it is you want to achieve, whether this is short term or long term. We also look at what we want for our lives and careers and what you need to get there, for example what job role you would like to be in, in 10 years’ time and what steps you need to take in order to get there.
When we come to creating our personal visions, the process is simplified if we follow three important steps which will help us set these visions.
Firstly, we need to look at our values and be able to identify them. By gaining self-knowledge, you will be able to understand what strengths you currently obtain but also what your weaknesses are. This is help you discover what motivates you to strive towards you end goals. When you are able to look at and find your values you will get an understanding of what values are at the core of who you are as a person.
The next step in making our personal vision is defining your values. To do this you need to reflect on what values you found during the first step, once you have found these values you need to look at how exactly you are going to turn these values into success. You can do this by writing what you need to do in order to achieve, for example what skills you need to gain, courses you could take and further learning you could do in order to make your values successful. You can also use methods such a brainstorming in order to visualise what needs doing, how you will do it and when you want to do it by.
The last step in creating your personal vision is to put your vision together, this will then help you make it into a plan. Once you have been able to understand what your values are and what is needed in order to make your visions as success, you will need to compact these individual visions into one so they become your overall personal visions and a plan for your future. When compacting these visions and values into a whole statement you may notice parts of your vision that need slightly changing or some values you may need to rethink it order to make your whole vision a success. This will then help you create a solid end vision which will help you on your journey and will ensure your vision is personal, meaningful and true to you as an individual.
Peter Senge identified five learning disciplines, one of which is Mental Models. When we are looking at the effectiveness of leadership, mental models are very important to understand. Mental models can have both a positive and negative impact on the ways that we lead depending on how we view them and how we use them. It is a normal process for many people to make assumptions about a situation and subsequently acting on those assumptions rather than gathering facts. An example of how this could have a negative impact is when you have a team member who you assume is unwilling to cooperate with the team and play their part, you will be unlikely to involve that person as much as you would anyone else.
Whereas if you were able to reflect on your mental models and understand that you in fact are making assumptions you would be able to focus on facts and notice that staff member may just need some extra support and guidance. As a leader you always want to improve yourself and the effectiveness of the way you lead. Taking time to reflect on your own mental models will help you improve this, you will be able to get an understanding of what your positive and negative traits are, how you view situations, if you make assumptions and what it is that you believe in.
When you are able to look back and reflect on all of these things you are giving yourself the opportunity to rectify anything that could help you become a more effective leader, for example if you notice you regularly make assumptions, you can look at how you could stop this in future situations. Our own mental models define our behaviours, this in turn defines our leadership and how effective this is. Being aware of them will ensure you can do the best at leading and further develop areas which will help you become an even better leader for your teams. Thinking of new mental models will become easier if you are able to identify what you need to do in order to reach where you want to go.
Peter Senge made a point of five elements to skilful discussion in his book The Fifth Discipline. These elements are important to ensure that discussions you have are productive and worthwhile. The five elements are; Pay attention to my intentions. This is when you are aware of what you wish to achieve from the discussion, but also whether the discussion is going to be productive and achieve the outcomes you are hoping for based on if you are willing to be influenced by others views or not.
Balance advocacy with thoughtful intentions. This is when you ask questions based on others views and input, such as How did you come to get that view? But at the same time as asking questions you stay balanced within the discussion and do not sway towards a certain way or view.
Build shared meaning, is when you are conscious of the words and phrases you are using during discussions. You want to avoid confusing others as this will result in them leaving the discussion having not completely understood. Being able to understand how others will perceive the things you are saying, by thinking about what you are trying to say and what others will hear is important. This will help ensure everyone leaving the discussion will be on the same page and have a shared understanding. Increase self-awareness as a resource. This is when you are aware of the things happening within yourself, with regards to your emotions and how you are feeling.
Being able to identify how you are feeling whether that be happy, sad or angry, you will be able to ask yourself questions in order to use your emotions as a positive resource. How are you feeling? Why are you feeling like this? Where do you want to go in this moment? These are some of the questions you will be able to ask yourself.
Explore impasses to look for ways to move forward. This is when you are able to look at disagreements within your discussions and work out how you will be able to move forward and overcome those obstacles. When doing this you will look at a few different things, such as the facts and asking What has actually happened? You will also look at what the people within the discussion are agreeing on and disagreeing on. It is important to look at what yours goals are in this situation and how you will work together in order to move forward.
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