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UNIT – 13 PERSONAL AND PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT

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Table of Contents

Introduction. 3

Task 1. 4

  1. Analyse and discuss the various approaches to self-managed learning and lifelong learning in relation to your own experience. 4
  2. Assess the benefits of self-managed learning to you and your organization. 4
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Task 2. 6

  1. Carry out an audit of your personal skills and competencies using the format and assess the skills needed to work professionally in an organizational setting. 6
  2. Analyze your personal SWOT factors and devise a personal and professional development plan with specific career development objectives. 6

Task 3. 8

  1. Critically examine how you would proceed to implement your personal and professional development plan by making reference to the process and key activities to be carried out. 8
  2. Critically evaluate the process of reflecting on the achievement against expected aims and objectives and discuss how you would review the plan based on the outcomes. 9

Task 4. 10

  1. Investigate and analyze one work-based problem in your work environment and suggest/recommend solutions using appropriate communication methods and styles at different level. 10
  2. Critically examine the application of effective time management approaches in various situations in your own context . 12

Conclusion. 12

References. 13

Introduction

Self management learning approaches are aimed at learning of new things from the working environment in which a person performs their job and social environment in which he lives. Only technical skill is not the demand of present scenario, rather a person with possession of various personal and professional skills along with technical skill is highly demanded in the job market. The present paper will discuss the benefits of self management learning approaches. Moreover, it will throw light on their role in successful development of an individual’s career. The surrounding atmosphere where a person works highly affects his learning attitude.

Furthermore, the present paper would elaborate the various self management learning approaches, the methods through which learning can be gained and the benefits of this learning to the individual and the organization in which he works though first task. In the next task, we shall discuss evaluation techniques to assess the current skill of an individual, his development needs and the opportunities available before him to meet them. Moreover a development plan will be made in order to enhance personal and professional skills of people. In another task, the various activities needed to be formed to implement the development plan would be identified. The review of the whole development plan activities will be made by documenting them, analyzing the feedback and comparing with actual targets fixed in the beginning. At last, use and benefits of time management strategies shall be discussed.

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Task 1

  1. Analyze and discuss the various approaches to self-managed learning and lifelong learning in relation to your own experience.

There is a range of self management learning approaches to be used by the individuals for enhancing their personal and professional skill. Various schools and colleges provide opportunities to the students to develop their skills by arranging seminars, conferences, and a number of personality development programs. Students gain vast knowledge from these seminars and conferences. The personality development programs helps them to improve their skills like communication skills, body language, postures, dressing sense, time management etc. which can enhance their personality. Research method is a useful tool to enhance the personal and professional skill in an individual. It includes collection of data from different reliable sources, arranging it and analyzing it to form useful information. A vital source of gaining knowledge is internet. Through this source, a person may gain wide amount of learning through sharing and discussion portals (Golding & Grey, 2006). A number of social networking tools such as social websites, forums, and blogs contribute in the process of personal and professional skill development. Thus, people uses internet now a days as the most important tool of self managed learning.

We should develop the self learning approach by gaining the technical skills through seminars and conferences along with attending training sessions in order to enhance the personality development. Further as a part of the self learning approach sources such as internet and books need to be used so as to enhance the knowledge. Self managed learning approach adopted through books and internet sources would provide vast knowledge regarding particular topics while at the same time conference and training sessions would help to implement this knowledge in practical life.

  1. Assess the benefits of self-managed learning to you and your organization

Lifelong learning in context of personal and professional expertise can be achieved through a number of ways. First technique is to make self assessment of the individual capabilities itself. This can be done by conducting SWOT analysis. Analyzing the individual’s strengths, his weaknesses, available opportunities and possible threats helps understanding the present situation of the individual. By performing SWOT analyzing, he will become able to know his area of interest and the skills which are required to be improved for creating better personality. Another way to attain lifelong learning objective, Self Reflective learning technique should be used. In this technique, personal judgments of the concerned individual, his opinions, decision making power and pressure handling capability is reviewed and analyzed. Self reflective learning can be initiated at the office place of the people, where along with the improvement of technical skills, they get chances of improving their personal skills as well by assigning roles and responsibilities. Self reflective learning assists an individual learner to establish connectivity in the professional situations and personal experiences (Jasper, 2006).

Self managed learning helps the individuals to improve their skills resulting into the benefit of the organization with which they are associated. The individual can enhance their communication and presentation skill, quick decisions making capability, team management and leadership, handling pressure in peak time, motivation and building time management strategies. The people possessing all these capabilities are highly in demand by the organizations currently for attaining the objective of its constant growth. The presentation skills are improved through working on various projects and expressing their knowledge about the concerned project confidently.

Furthermore, the written and verbal communication skills are enhanced by meetings, conferences, business correspondences etc. thus, the person having food communication skill benefits the organization by his ability of expressing views and can even work as representative of the company in future (Murphy-Latta, 2008). People having the personal and professional skills get the desired job according to their area of interest and preferred salary package. Apart from the individual benefit, the organization would also be benefitted if the staff is taking quick decisions, requiring less direction, supervision and motivation. These people handles the challenges of day to day obstacles if come across in performing their functions and helps the organization to grow at a fast pace.

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Task 2

  1. Carry out an audit of your personal skills and competencies using the format and assess the skills needed to work professionally in an organizational setting.

Organization’s long term goals can be achieved by hiring skilled and capable people. The organizations now require a staff that should have personal skills along with the basic technical skills. The personal skills can be developed by an individual though his own effort. His personal behavior, interest area, confidence forms part of his personality. The individual should focus on his present skills, should find ways to improve it and learn new things as per the requirement of the organization. He should make efforts to get such talent which would match up with the professional standards and the need of the organization.

We shall take example of National Health Service which is one of the largest publicly funded organizations providing various health services in UK. This organization is aimed at providing numerous services to a large number of people, utilization of public funds appropriately for the pre defined purpose, adapting itself to the need of the people, providing financial support to their staff and patients and to grow constantly to expand its service network (Babcock and Laschever, 2003). Thus, to meet its requirement, the organization would require a person who can provide innovative ideas to expand the service operations, have a friendly and pleasant nature with the patients to understand their needs and expectations from the organization, work in collaboration with other staff members, finding out the solutions to the given problems and can provide guidance about deploying the funds in an appropriate manner. Hence, peoples possessing all the above qualities would be best suited for organizations like National Health Services.

  1. Analyze your personal SWOT factors and devise a personal and professional development plan with specific career development objectives.

Identifying own abilities and skills will assist the individual to find out the areas of improvement and learning. It will help in framing the learning objective of the individual and ways to achieve it. Leading organizations demand the key qualities like, good communication and presentation skill, fast decision making, confidence, good personality with wide range of thinking etc. in their staff. By identifying the own development needs, individual will take steps to fulfill them. For e.g. if a person is weak in communication skill, he should make plans so as to improve it by reading books and  newspapers, participating group discussions, attending seminars etc.

My present objective is to pursue the present educational course by completing assignments and exercises which would help in attaining my career goals (Speck & Knipe, 2005). After completing this, I shall make application for enrolment in final year. Further, I would constantly gain knowledge by attending seminars and personality development programs. I would select the business stream of my choice and to area of my interest and get specialized in it. Moreover, I shall focus on my personal and professional skill development so as to get successful career.

Personal and professional plan would help to understand the present situation of an individual and the proposed future job expectations. Various professional consultancy firms try to establish a link between the organization and the candidate. These professional bodies assist the candidates to find their dream job and organizations to find their desired candidates. They guide the individual to constantly update their records like change in expectations, desired work profile, current job details etc. so as to match with the suitable job. Some of the key points for development of personal and professional plan are discussed below:

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    Preparing and updating of CV which includes basic details as well as professional and educational details such as qualification, age, experience etc.

  • Focus on the present situation of pursuing course and enrolment in higher class.
  • Long term plan of any future course.
  • SWOT analysis for identifying weaknesses and strengths.
  • Framing a time limit for achievement of goals.
  • Performing self learning activities and learning through training programs to improve skills.
  • Review of the personal and professional development plan for monitoring the performance and removing any obstacle in time.

Task 3

A. Critically examine how you would proceed to implement your personal and professional development plan by making reference to the process and key activities to be carried out.

There are various phases included in the proper implementation of the current personal and professional development plan. These phases are explained below:

Phase 1: Engagement of the employee in a continuous skill enhancement plan:

Skill improvement plans should be undertaken after identification of the weakness of a particular individual by performing SWOT analysis. For example; if a particular person has low command over a particular language in which organization generally deals with, he should be guided with appropriate training programs and online sources to improve his skill. I want to start my own equity firm for which I need to enhance my knowledge regarding equity analysis.

Phase 2: Making decision about the resources:

The next step is to decide about the particular resource which should be adopted to gain personal and professional skill. These resources may include training programs, libraries, internet tools etc to gain maximum benefit of skill improvement (Nussbaum, 2006). I should make use of the various statistical software which are important to learn in the stock analysis industry so as to understand the movement of stock prices.

Phase 3: Establishment of system for management of whole plan:

There should be a system of management of the whole development plan so that all the activities of the plan can be rightly accomplished and desired objectives can be achieved. A review would be done on yearly basis so as to check the overall development plan.

Phase 4: Placing the plan activities in action:

Development plan activities can be put into action using pilot testing. I can start pilot testing by starting equity analysis through online equity games or by investing money of customers.

Phase 5: Review of the overall Plan:

The development plan should be reviewed from time to time so as to make necessary changes in the time limit of completion of any activity or the procedure to accomplish any activity. The review is also required solve out any problem at initial stage. Finally, review would be made for the overall goals and relevant plan developed for the personal & professional development.

The outcome of development plan activities needs to be analyzed to check its performance. After completion of the training program, the learners are provided with a particular questionnaire in which the questions about their experience of attending the program will be asked. The questions are focused on to know their level of knowledge and expertise gained through the training program. Moreover, it will help in finding out whether the target for which the program was conducted in terms of improving knowledge has been achieved or not. After this, actual outcome is compared with the target decided in the beginning. Trainers get known about the candidates who have not attained their motto of improvement in personal skills. Thus, this document practice assists the trainer to improve the current development plan according to the need and desires of the proposed candidates.

  1. Critically evaluate the process of reflecting on the achievement against expected aims and objectives and discuss how you would review the plan based on the outcomes.

A learner can reflect the actual outcome of the learning program to compare it with the aims and objectives set out at the time of planning stage. He can draw out the conclusion whether the learning program has become successful or not. There can be several problems which the learner might have faced while undergoing with the training program. So, need for their identification is there to improve the whole program activities.

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Learners are tested to check out the problem areas and benefits of the current learning program. This activity can be effectively executed with the help of a trainer. Areas of problems are discussed with the learner along with any recommended solution. A scoring system would be followed to identify further development areas. The outcomes are then matched with the original goals of the learning program and actions are taken to remove the obstacles so that people can attain maximum level of improvement in skills after attending this course.

A system of continuous review of the plan would help in finding out any problem creating hindrance in the achievement of the learning objectives. There is a necessity to make appropriate and time to time changes in the development plan as per the need of present situation. The plans are also adjusted with the objective of providing maximum satisfaction to the candidate after attending this course. Adjusted plans would form new time frame for a particular activity of the development plan. Moreover, it will guide about the adapted procedure to perform a particular activity without any hindrance. The changes are made in the development plan based on the feedback of the learner and its evaluation.

Steps are taken to remove the problems of the learner so that the same problem would not arise again in the adjusted plan. Review of the adjusted plan activities is also necessary to check their performance. This review would help in framing out any new problem and its possible solution. Further, all the activities should be completed in the prescribed adjusted time. Updating the training program is essential for the benefit of a large number of people in improvement of their personal and professional skill. As per the personal and professional development plan, actual skills enhanced through self managed learning activities need to be compared with the expected skill set to gain knowledge about equity analysis. Resource planning should be done and in case resources are not available proper planning should be done so as to accomplish lack of resources such as statistical tools.

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Task 4

A. Investigate and analyze one work-based problem in your work environment and suggest/recommend solutions using appropriate communication methods and styles at different level.

The solution to work based problems can be find out with the help of conducting a presentation wherein practical experiences of the employees would be shared. The employees face many day to day work based problems while performing their job activities. The presentation would assist in identifying the problems and possible solutions thereof.  The presentation will start by a series of questions included in the quiz   to share the experiences of the people concerned. These questions will focus on the circumstances of work based problems (Shapiro et al, 2001).

 

The learners are asked to select the best possible answer to the concerned problem from the available given options. People select the answers based on their views, personal judgment and experiences. A system of prize distribution will also be followed keeping in view the best answer given by the person. Some of the questions would be situational based, like asking about the how to handle the situation if someone is attending the dinner conference and immediately got the information of urgent meeting fixed. At the end, answers to all the questions are shared and discussed upon among the people present to find out the best suited answer to the given work based problem.

There are various methods of communications followed in an organization. If communication is linked with the latest updated technology, it can enhance the quality of business operations and in turn the reputation of the organization. Many organizations follow written communication method to transfer the important business information like notices, minutes, resolutions, agendas, tenders etc. Written communication in paper can be effectively be used where there is absence of any digital signature, still the document needs to be authenticated.

Oral communication involves face to face communication, presentations in the meetings, conferences, telephonic conversation etc. Thus, people having good communication skill get various opportunities at the workplace to show their skills. Some of the businesses are completely based on communications skills of the employee for its successful running.  For e.g. in stock market business, all the dealings are made through telephonic conversations (J Scott, 2012). Apart from the oral and written communication means, there is another communication method that makes use of internet for transfer of information.  Emails, memos, intranet sites, local area network system helps in smooth flow of the information and are widely used now a days in almost every leading organization.

  1. Critically examine the application of effective time management approaches in various situations in your own context.

Time management strategies are effectively used by some of the efficient staff while performing their work. This strategy aids in completion of various work in time and according to their priority level. To frame time management strategy, the employee should make a draft plan of the whole activities which he is required to be performed. Moreover, he should assign the priority and the time limit to each task to be executed. If there is unnecessary delay in performing a specified work, he should find out the reason for the delay and adopt alternative procedure to finish the concerned work (Iran Nejad et al, 1992).

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There are several factors which affects an individual’s time management capabilities. These factors includes the organizational work environment, personal behavior of the individual, his efficiency of taking decision and quickness in performing tasks, use of the latest upgraded technology in the organization etc. The organizations now require people who can efficiently manage their work and can become able to complete it on time. Thus, persons who can build and can actually implement effective time management strategies are the need of the present scenario.

Conclusion

The present paper has thrown light on the role and benefit of self managed learning. First of all, there is a need to analyze the present situation and the future needs or expectations. After this, an individual should make efforts to improve the skills and overcome the weaknesses by attending various training programs. A person having good personality and professional skill takes his career to the path of success. Such person benefits the organizations as well to which they are associated by showing their skills and competencies. Thus, there is constant need for an individual to develop his personal and professional skill also along with the possessed technical skills.

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References

  • Golding, L. & Gray, I. (2006).Continuing professional development for clinical psychologists: A practical handbook. The British Psychological Society. Oxford: Blackwell Publishing
  • Jasper, M. (2006).Professional development, reflection, and decision-making. Oxford: Blackwell Publishing.
  • Murphy-Latta, T (2008). A Comparative Study of Professional Development Utilizing the Missouri Commissioner’s Award of Excellence and Indicators of Student Achievement. ProQuest. p. 19.
  • Babcock, L, and Laschever, S. (2003). Women Don’t Ask: Negotiation and the Gender Divide. Princeton: Princeton University Press.
  • Speck, M. & Knipe, C. (2005) Why can’t we get it right? Designing high-quality professional development for standards-based schools (2nd Ed.). Thousand Oaks: Corwin Press
  • Ghoshal, S; Bartlett C. (1997) The Individualized Corporation: A Fundamentally New Approach to Management, HarperCollins, page 286
  • Nussbaum, M, (2006),The Fragility of Goodness, Cambridge University Press, discusses why the English word happiness does not describe Aristotle’s concept of eudaimonia, pages 1-6
  • Herminia, I (2003). Working identity: unconventional strategies for reinventing your career. Boston, Mass.: Harvard Business School Press. p. 199.
  • Shapiro, R M., Jankowksi, M A., and Dale, J. (2001). The Power of Nice: How to Negotiate So Everyone Wins—Especially You! 2nd Edition. New York: John Wiley and Sons, Inc. .
  • Scott Armstrong (2012). “Natural Learning in Higher Education” Encyclopedia of the Sciences of Learning.
  • Iran-Nejad, Asghar; Brad Chissom (1992). “Contributions of Active and Dynamic Self-Regulation to Learning”. Innovative Higher Education 17 (2): 125. doi:1007/bf00917134.

 

Annexure

 

Task 2a

 

PERSONAL AND PROFESSIONA SKILLS AND COMPETENCIES AUDIT

SKILL TYPICAL DESCRIPTORS SKILL LEVEL

Low                   High

SPECIFIC COMMENTS
Organisation and time management Prioritising, dealing with paperwork; interruptions; planning your day. 1      2      3      4      5 Time management and planning is done efficiently so as to save time

 

Decision making and problem solving Ability to make decisions; selecting suitable solutions; analysis of appropriateness.

 

1      2      3      4      5 Good at decision making and solving problems

 

Planning Leading teams; consulting team members; task allocation; objective setting.

 

1      2      3      4      5 Average skills in leading the time and allocation of work to the team members

 

 

Delegation Matching tasks to staff; providing guidance and advice; maintaining staff motivation and focus.

 

1      2      3      4      5 Staff is highly motivated and resources are not matched to the task in efficient manner

 

 

Motivation Applying motivational techniques; understanding individual motives; making tasks challenging; encouraging creativity; providing team support; engendering trust and openness.

 

1      2      3      4      5 Motivational techniques are applied and staff is motivated

 

 

Coaching Providing guidance; listening skills; ability to draw out information; reinforcing behaviour using feedback; negotiating; planning goals and objectives.

 

1      2      3      4      5  

Timely guidance is given to the staff members but lack of getting feedback and implementing

 

Target setting Understanding and communicating organisational objectives; use of SMART objectives to achieve targets. 1      2      3          5 Targets are set by understanding the objectives

 

 

Interpersonal skills Relating to others; building rapport and positive relationships; being sensitive to peoples needs; using influencing and persuasive skills to help others improve performance or overcome problems; listening effectively and providing feedback; being assertive; use of body language. 1      2      3      4      5 Good interpersonal skills to build relationshop with others
Written communications Structure and format of letters, memos, e-mails, reports 1      2      3      4      5 Average written communication skills

 

 

Oral communications Structure and format: techniques for effective presentations; using the telephone; meetings. 1      2      3      4      5 Low to average oral communication technique

 

 

 

OTHERS SPECIFIC TO YOUR ROLE IN ORGANISATION

 

 

 

   
COMPETENCY

 

TYPICAL DESCRIPTORS SKILL LEVEL

Low                   High

SPECIFIC COMMENTS
Coordination with other departments/stakeholders

 

  1      2      3      4      5 Coordination with other departments and stakeholders of the work is good

 

 

 

Leadership skills

  1      2      3      4      5 Average leadership skills. Lack of initiatives and risk taking skills
Managing working process and procedure   1      2      3      4      5 Work related processes and policies are maintained properly
Familiar with business tool   1      2      3      4      5 Business tools are well known

Please conclude this section by presenting a brief assessment of the skills needed to work professionally in an organisational setting.

 

In order to work in the organizational setting it is important that a personal is well aware of the business tools which would be specifically used in the work performed. A person should focus on the quality work and evaluation should be done in order to improve upon the things. Every work task can be improved by evaluating the quality and applying techniques in order to enhance the quality level for particular work tasks. Work related processes and procedure need to be known to the employee and these processes should be properly adopted in the workplace environment. A person should focus on the core business and customer focus should be maintained. Existing as well as new potential customers should be maintained in the business environment.

 

Task 2b Personal SWOT Analysis

Personal SWOT Analysis

Strengths Weaknesses
Minimum 6 skills with a short explanatory sentence

  1. Quick decision making skill by analyzing the information available
  2. Self motivation and motivating the team for particular objectives
  3. Targets are set by analyzing the overall objectives of the job role
  4. Efficient time management skills in order to save time
  5. Coordination with other departments and stakeholders is good
  6. Familiar with the business tools required to accomplish the assigned work responsibility
Minimum 6 skills with a short explanatory sentence

  1. Lack of delegation skill due to inability to match resource and available task
  2. Leadership skills are not good due to inability to take initiatives
  3. Lack of written communication to write memos and email
  4. Lack of oral communication skills
  5. Interpersonal skills are not good as relation is not managed properly with the other stakeholders
  6. Lack of planning as work task are not assigned properly
Opportunities Threats
Minimum 4 opportunities with a short explanatory sentence

  1. To develop goals efficiently and attaining them by having proper time management plan
  2. Motivating the team would allow higher work performance and involvement of the team
  3. Decision making process at workplace would enhance the better results
  4. To enhance professional work performance

 

Minimum 4 threats with a short explanatory sentence

 

  1. Inability to reach at higher position in professional life due to lack of leadership skills
  2. Miscommunication due to lack of written and oral skills
  3. Unhealthy work environment due to inability to manage relations properly
  4. Lack of delegation would lead to wastage of available resources

 

Strength areas for a personal includes knowledge for business tool, target setting, time management skills, coordination with other departments, decision making and self motivation skills. All these skills are important at workplace in order to accomplish the work task properly and by possessing these skills a person can maintain competitive advantage as compared to the other personnel deployed in the organization. Weakness areas for the person involves lack of delegation, leadership and communication skills and these may create threat for the organization which need to combat by improving on these skills. There is opportunity to enhance the decision making skills and motivate team towards the challenging work responsibility.

 

Task 2b Personal and Professional Development Plan

 

Personal and Professional Development Plan

 

 

NAME:   STDUENT NUMBER:  
COVERING THE PERIOD FROM:   TO:  

 

This record sheet is for your guidance only – you may present your development plan in any other format.

Note: This format has been referred but development plan has been provided in task above

Planned outcome

 

Where do I want to be by the end of this period? What do I want to be doing? (This may be evolutionary or “more of the same”.)

 

What do I want/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
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

       

 

You could also use the format below.

 

 

Task 2b Personal and Professional Development Plan

 

Name                                                                                      Date:

 

  Short-Term Time Frame Mid-Term Time Frame Long-term Time Frame
Section 1: My career objectives      
Section 2: Knowledge and skills to be learnt      
Section 3: How am I going to acquire the knowledge and skills?      
Section 4: Resources      
Section 5: Time Schedule

 

Start

 

Finish

     
Section 6: Completion      
       
       

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