BU7401Leadership in Action

BU7401 Leadership in Action Assignment Sample

 

Introduction

Reflection is mainly about reviewing, evaluating, analyzing, and summarising experiences. This comprises thinking about the experience and then taking the major learning points away from it(Blanchard & Broadwell, 2018). It is the ability of an individual to reflect on the actions in order to take critical stances toward one’s practice. In other words, reflective practice can be defined as the process of engaging in the process of continuous learning and adaptation. This reflective report concentrates on assessing my overall work experience of internship. This involves the way I managed the team, motivated them, and inspired them to work towards achieving the desired goals. This also involves the application of different leadership and management theories and practices that are further proof helpful for deepening my professional and personal development. In order to elaborate on the overall critical reflection of the experience, I have used Gibbs’s reflective cycle. This is a six-dimension model that allows an individual to categorize their experience into six different aspects. These involve description, feelings, evaluation, analysis, conclusion, and action plan. After elaborating on the experience I have gained from the internship, the report is inclined toward assessing my preferred learning style. I identified this as a divergence learning style of Kolb’s learning theory. As per the assessment, I have analyzed the strengths and skills that I am good at or developed during the experience. On the contrary, the report also involves some major weaknesses or self-developmental areas that I am required to work upon to become an influential manager or leader within the business organization in the future. Lastly, a learning plan has been designed in the report, and this has been designed based on smart goals.

Critical reflection

This critical reflection includes the evaluation of my learning and the leadership experience where I have done my internship. This is helpful in developing the basis of a learning plan (Buchanan & Huczynski, 2019). http://BU7401Leadership in Action Assignment SampleMoreover, it also helped me gain insight into my personal development, where improvisation is required, and the ways I can embrace to become an effective leader.

Gibbs reflective cycle

Description I have done an internship in a reputed organization where I was responsible for managing a team of four members working on a project. All the team members belonged to diverse cultural backgrounds. Every team member was unique in their way, and their perspectives also differ in diverse contexts. This is one of the most significant experiences of my career because this was the first time I got an opportunity to lead a diverse team. Although I was a part of a large team during the learning sessions, leading a team has offered me several opportunities and learnings that will prove crucial and helpful for my overall career. As I was leading the team for the first time, I was curious and encouraged to lead the diverse team. Apart from leadership, I also came to know that management practices are equally essential in the workplace to lead, motivate and guide the team members. Overall, the whole experience of leading the team for two months has proved beneficial for my career.
Feelings Initially, when I started leading the team, I was quite hesitant because everyone on the team belonged to different cultural and language backgrounds. The points of view were also very different. I was fearful that any clashes and conflicts could occur in the team with these diverse perspectives, which would affect the overall productivity and efficiency of the tasks. However, I am a self-confident and disciplined individual who always focuses on completing tasks with perfection and within the deadline. My key focus was on making every team member aligned with the team objectives as well as organizational objectives and always focused on motivating them so that they could indulge and participate in the team operations with whole dedication and commitment. This is why I applied several motivational theories that I learned during the module study. For example, I have knowledge of different motivational theories, including Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, Herzberg two factor theory, Vroom’s expectancy theory, and many more. Therefore as per Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, I emphasized satisfying the employees based on their needs. I feel that somehow I have proved successful in motivating the team members as they were happy and productive in the initial month.

Further, after a few days, two of the team members who belong from different backgrounds and their thought processes were also different, and a conflict occurred between two of them, which affected me badly. I panicked at that situation and was not able to handle the situation. I feel that I should have handled that situation better. Still, in that scenario, I concentrated on taking suggestions to my manager, and the manager helped me in resolving the conflicts between two of the members. This was the time when I learned about conflict management and the ways conflict can be resolved. For instance, there are five conflict management strategies: competing, avoiding, accommodating, compromising, and collaborating. In that situation, I applied collaborating conflict management strategy and resolved everything between the two of them.

Evaluation The good thing that happened during the experience is that I got exposure to the corporate business environment and team-leading. The mental models that were used during that time were the first principles of thinking and Occam’s razor (Chin, Trimble, & Garcia, 2017).http://BU7401Leadership in Action Assignment Sample As per the first principles of thinking, complicated problems must be broken down into different basic elements, and then they need to be reassembled from the ground up. This is one of the most powerful methods to come up with creative and innovative solutions to various problems. This mental model has helped me at several levels within the internship. With this, I was able to resolve complicated problems easily. Furthermore, as per Occam’s razor, this is a problem-solving principle that states that among competing hypotheses, the one with the fewest assumptions must be selected in the two months of internship. I have experienced different types of circumstances, and every situation has made me experience something and generate learning from that. The things that went well during the internship experience were that I got to know about my strengths and weaknesses. This exposure has proved significant in developing my strengths as well as making me aware of the skills that I possess and the developmental areas that I need to work upon. On the contrary, the things that didn’t go well were that sometimes I started panicking in some situations, which made me anxious.
Analysis I believe that things went well, and I handled situations and managed the team effectively because of my knowledge of different management practices and theories. For instance, I applied system management theory to manage the whole team efficiently. It can be said that managers are needed to examine the events and patterns to determine the best management approach. Furthermore, as a leader, I also applied transformational leadership theory to encourage and motivate the team members. This is the best suitable leadership theory because it focuses on employee empowerment along with achieving organizational goals (Meyer & Meijers, 2017). http://BU7401Leadership in Action Assignment SampleWith the motivational, management, and leadership theories, I was able to carry out different management practices. For example, this experience has helped me develop my communication skills because I was communicating with team members in their languages and the way they understand. It helps me deepen my communication capability. I was also capable of conducting strategic planning as I was the one who was responsible for measuring the progress of the team member’s efforts and performance. This is why I focused on planning strategically.
Conclusion I got various opportunities where I had to demonstrate my management knowledge and leadership competencies. The experience of leading a team has helped me learn and improve my management practices and provided me with an understanding of myself. With the experience, I analyzed were to implement which management practices can prove efficient and helpful in different situations. Being a manager, I understood my responsibilities and understood how to deal with situations effectively. The experience has changed my point of view about how the team needs to be managed or developed. With this internship, I learned about the significance of motivation and team working. I also observed different cultural elements in the way culture needs to be embedded in the work practices to keep the employees satisfied.
Action plan If I had to do the same thing again, I would do it in a more efficient and productive manner. After the experience, my learning has deepened, and I am aware of different management competencies, practices, and theories. The overall experience has made me aware of the crucial aspects of team working and cultural elements. This also made me understand the self-developmental areas where I am required to develop some skills. For instance, I have to work on my team leadership skills to make it better and more influential. I can work on problem-solving capability, decision-making skills, and technical competency. Further, I feel that I will manage the whole team more efficiently by applying Belbin’s team role model to divide group work in the future. I will also use different leadership and managerial skills to manage the employees based on their needs and circumstances.

Discussion and analysis of the preferred style of learning

There are numerous learning theories, including behaviorism, cognitive, Constructivism, and connectives. Considering behaviorism theory, it can be said that this is concerned with stimulus-response behavior (Northouse, 2018). http://BU7401Leadership in Action Assignment SampleThese can be studied in an observable and systematic manner. On the other hand, cognitive theory states that learning depends on several external factors. These can be data or information and the internal thought process. Constructivism refers to the learning theory in which learners build upon previous experience and understanding to develop or construct new learning or knowledge. The digital age generally informs collectivism. The Kolb learning theory highlights four primary learning styles based on the four-stage learning cycle. Kolb describes that various individuals prefer different learning styles. This is because numerous factors affect a person’s preferred style of learning. For instance, these aspects can be a person’s cognitive structure, educational experience, or social environment.

The founder of the theory believed that an individual could not perform both variables and numerous variables simultaneously. For example, feeling and thinking learning style results from two-choice decisions. It is generally easy to see the construction of the learning styles Kolb in terms of a two-by-two matrix. Every learning style of Kolb’s theory demonstrates a combination of two preferred styles (Cordell, 2019). http://BU7401Leadership in Action Assignment SampleThe four learning styles are diverging, accommodating, converging, and assimilating. It lets one know about an individual’s learning style, enabling the learning process to be oriented as per the preferred method. Considering the first learning style, which is diverging, involves feeling and watching (Human & Pitsoe, 2019). It is said that such individuals are capable of looking at things from various perspectives, and these are considered sensitive.

They use imagination to resolve their problems (Pratchett et. al. 2016). The founder has considered this style diverging because individuals perform better in situations that need idea generation or brainstorming. Another learning style is assimilating, which involves thinking and watching. Assimilating learning preferences comprises of logical and concise approach. In this, concepts and ideas are given more importance than individuals. People who prefer this learning style need a good and clear explanation instead of any practical opportunity. These people are less focused on people and are keener on abstract concepts and ideas. People with assimilating learning styles are also attracted to logically sound concepts and theories rather than those approaches which are based on practical value. The third one is converging comprises thinking and doing. People with this learning style resolve problems and uses their learning to generate solutions to practical issues. These people prefer technical tasks and are less focused on interpersonal, and people aspects/ people with convergent learning styles are good at finding practical uses for theory and ideas. The last one is accommodating learning styles. This is a hands-on approach, and these people mainly rely on intuitions instead of logic. Such individuals use other people’s analyses and prefer the experiential approach. They are attracted to new experiences, challenges, and carrying out plans.

From the internship experience, I have identified that I prefer diverging learning styles. This is because I am always interested in looking at things from various perspectives and dimensions. I tend to emphasize how things can be managed and dealt with from different scenarios. As I am a sensitive individual, I prefer to watch first rather than do. I always concentrate on gathering information and data and use my imagination to resolve problems. For instance, the organization also used brainstorming techniques within the team to deal with any issue or problem. My manager also gave me feedback that I am good at viewing situations from a different point of view.

Furthermore, I performed better in the internship in those situations where idea generation was required. Brainstorming is one of the key techniques that I continuously practice with team members to generate innovative ideas and creative concepts that can prove beneficial for the team project. I have a deep cultural interest, and therefore I like to know about people who belong to various cultures and different language backgrounds. In my team, I have team members from various religions and nations. This helped me gather information about different cultures and increase my knowledge base. It is said that people who prefer diverging learning styles tend to work in different groups and listen with an open mind and receive personal feedback. It has been analyzed that I have always observed how my team members were performing during the internship. This is because I want to give them feedback as well as I was also aware of receiving feedback from my manager. I asked my team members about any problems they were facing, and I listened to them open-mindedly and without judging them. This created an open-door policy in the team, which made the communication process better and more efficient.

Self-assessment or skill identification

While working in the business organization and leading the whole team, I encountered several situations where I understood and got to know about the strengths and skills that I possess. In addition to this, I also acquired the knowledge of those skills which I have developed during the whole leadership experience. For example, when the two team members entered into a conflict, I analyzed that I have efficient communication skills, which are my major strength. This helped me communicate with both of the team members and make them understand. Moreover, by managing the team members and encouraging them to work towards the team goals, I have developed the key motivational skill which is required at every step in the business organization. I learned about different motivational theories and also applied them in practice. I also implemented different motivational techniques, including leading by example, setting goals, recognizing employees, and many more, to improve employees’ morale. Planning and organization are other skills and competencies which I consider my major strength. As I was performing as the team leader, I was responsible for strategically planning different aspects and tasks as well as organizing them efficiently to ensure productive outcomes. On the basis of the skills and weaknesses of the team members, I have organized the workload and allocated resources to gain the desired output. This demonstrated my planning and organization skills within the workplace during the internship time. There were a few days when there was an excess workload, and it became difficult for the team members to work within deadlines. At that time, I identified my team management competency when I was able to prioritize different tasks in accordance with the importance and urgency. Based on prioritization and urgency I scheduled different tasks with different timings in order to complete the work within the deadline.

Identification of self-developmental areas

From the overall discussion and analysis of the experience, I learned about those areas of myself where I am quite weak and need improvement. This is the most important aspect of my internship experience because this is significant to develop the skills and capabilities to remain employable within the company in the contemporary business environment. With this reflection experience, I recognize one of the biggest weaknesses is the lack of technical knowledge and competency. I assessed that I lack this skill when facing numerous computer work issues. In addition to this, because of my unawareness of the important software, I conducted various tasks manually, increasing my work. I felt and realized the need to increase my technical know-how at that time.

Furthermore, when I was required to make critical decisions daily within the workplace, I experienced trouble. Because of the absence of this skill set, I recognized that as a leader, it is my responsibility to make effective decisions for the benefit of the team and company in the shortest time possible. This made me aware of working on this capability. Besides decision-making skills, I am needed to build my problem-solving competency. In some instances, I was sensing trouble in understanding the situations of the team members. As I was working as a leader, my role was to analyze the conditions my team members were going through and the issue they were facing. This made me understand learning about the five dimensions of emotional intelligence. In order to improve the morale and enthusiasm level of the employees, emotional quotient is the most demanding skill these days (Raelin, 2016).http://BU7401Leadership in Action Assignment Sample

Personal learning plan

Self-developmental area Specific Measurable Attainable Realistic Time-bound
Team leadership skills I want to develop this skill in order to lead the team effectively This can be measured when the team members are satisfied with my leadership (Sowcik & Amaladas, 2015). This is attainable as I have already experience and knowledge of leadership I want to become an influential leader in future I have already participated in an online training program where I will lead various projects for six months.
Technical competency I am going to learn several technical tools and software that can aid in my technical competency. I will finish learning three pieces of software related to management in three months. I will give daily a time of two hours for this task I have always dreamt of developing my soft as well as technical skills to become a competent manager I will start this next month
Problem-solving skills I will focus on resolving the problems that arise in day-to-day life efficiently. I will ask my colleagues and professors to measure my progress and improvement. This is achievable as I am aware with brainstorming and creative thinking I want to gain more exposure to developing problem-solving capability I will stick to this goal and develop this in the next six months
Decision-making competency I am going to work on my decision-making capability so that I can make wise decisions in the shortest time possible. The goal is to make fast and efficient decisions, and this can be measured by making daily decisions as well (Watson,  Reissner, & Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, 2014). I have some experience in managing a team and there I have made several decisions on a routine basis I aspire to become a manager and therefore I am dedicated to working on this skill I will adopt different strategies and will work on this competency till one year
Emotional intelligence I am going to emphasize myself and make myself aware of the situations I will oversee my actions and behaviors in different situations and will analyze myself I will concentrate on putting myself in other’s shoes I want to develop relationships with people in order to develop an attachment and understand what they are going through I will focus on one aspect every month out of five aspects of emotional intelligence

Strategies and learning and development activities to develop the self-developmental areas:

Self-developmental area
Team leadership skills In order to enhance and deepen my team leadership skills, I can take several steps. For instance, I can concentrate on my self-development and team development. Team leadership can be ensured by practicing ethical values and strategic thinking (Meuser et. al.2016). http://BU7401Leadership in Action Assignment SampleCompanies nowadays must remain responsive to changes and therefore strategic thinking upon the team is important (Offermann & Coats, 2018).http://BU7401Leadership in Action Assignment Sample In order to lead the team members effectively, the leader must practice discipline and develop situational awareness. Everyone within the team should be individually observed and the leader can offer those personalized learning opportunities and training programs to emphasize their professional and personal development. It is said that the best part to become a good team leader is to always keep learning new things. Therefore I have to focus on keeping my mind sharp and my skills finish. It will help me take up new challenges, which will empower my teammates.
Technical competency To develop my technical know-how, I can learn different types of software that are used in management and associated work roles. For example, I can learn a different type of leadership software. These are fully integrated with the features that the team needs (Jennings, 2007). http://BU7401Leadership in Action Assignment SampleI can learn to take online meetings, project management software, and time tracking software. The best strategy to develop this skill is to join an online course program and join live projects.
Problem-solving skills Although I am good at resolving problems, to be efficient in this skill set, there are several actions that I can take. For example, I am required to identify and understand the root cause of the problem. I can then visualize the problem to identify the complexities and possible solutions. It will also provide me clarity of thinking as it will allow me to highlight and define the problem area. I can brainstorm creative solutions that are best possible for the given situation, and on the basis of this, I can identify required answers.
Decision-making competency The decision-making capability can be efficiently improvised by making a detailed plan (Lejeune, Beausaert, & Raemdonck, 2021).http://BU7401Leadership in Action Assignment Sample Effective decision-making is considered the most valuable competency in every workplace. I can try becoming assertive. I might take advice from different experienced individuals and set time limits to ensure productive and quick decisions. This will help increase productivity and arrive at the conclusion in an easy manner. Setting a deadline is the most important aspect of making any decision. Different perspective needs to be considered while making any decision within the business operations and this is possible by weighing the option. This will help me in identifying the most relevant and beneficial decision. This will also improvise my problem-solving, critical thinking, and analytical thinking skills.
Emotional intelligence  In view to work on my emotional intelligence capability, I must concentrate on responding instead of reacting to any conflict. I recognized that anger and emotional outbursts are the most common reaction during cases of conflict. Still, I need to manage myself and make practical decisions by understanding the other party’s situation as well. For this, I need to practice active listening skills, maintain a positive attitude, and practice self-awareness.

Conclusion

Hence from the comprehensive study and critical discussion, it can be concluded that a reflective report offers a critical analysis of experience and the way it can be utilized for further future roles. For instance, I have critically analyzed my internship experience of working as a leader for a team with a diverse background with the help of Gibbs’s reflective model. I have used this model in the report to make the critical analysis experience more organized and structured. Apart from this, this analysis also reveals the application of management theory and management practices. Thus, this discloses the crucial learnings that I have gained and are beneficial for my future. Besides, the writing demonstrates my preferred learning style, which is divergence according to the Kolb learning theory. Lastly, the report involves the learning plan that I can adapt to develop my self-developmental areas and effectively ensure my career development and enhancement.

References

Books/Book Chapters

Blanchard, K. H., & Broadwell, R. (2018). Servant leadership in action: How you can achieve great relationships and results. Berrett-Koehler Publishers.<

Buchanan, D. A., & Huczynski, A. (2019). Organizational behavior (10th ed.). Pearson.

Chin, J. L., Trimble, J. E., & Garcia, J. E. (2017). Global and culturally diverse leaders and leadership: New dimensions and challenges for business, education, and society. Emerald Publishing.

Cordell, A. (2019). Kolb’s experiential learning cycle. (2nd ed., pp. 96-98). Routledge. https://doi.org/10.4324/9781351239547-33

Human, A. E., & Pitsoe, V. (2019). Effective strategies for workplace learning. In V. H. Kenon, & S. V. Palsole (Eds.), (pp. 27-44). John Wiley & Sons, Inc. https://doi.org/10.1002/9781119227793.ch2

Meyer, R., & Meijers, R. (2017;2018;). Leadership agility: Developing your repertoire of leadership styles (1st ed.). Routledge. https://doi.org/10.4324/9781315159980

 Northouse, P. G. (2018). Leadership: Theory and practice (8th ed.). SAGE Publications, Inc.

 Pratchett, T., Young, G., Brooks, C., Jeskins, L., & Monagle, H. (2016). Honey and mumford – learning styles. (pp. 8-11)https://doi.org/10.29085/9781783301812.005

Raelin, J. A. (2016). In Raelin J. A. (Ed.), Leadership as practice: Theory and application (1st ed.). Routledge. https://doi.org/10.4324/9781315684123

Sowcik, M., & Amaladas, S. (2015). Leadership 2050: Critical challenges, key contexts, and emerging trends (First ed.). Emerald.

Watson, G., Reissner, S., & Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development. (2014). Developing skills for business leadership (Second ed.). Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development.

Journal Articles

Meuser, J. D., Gardner, W. L., Dinh, J. E., Hu, J., Liden, R. C., & Lord, R. G. (2016). A network analysis of leadership theory: The infancy of integration. Journal of Management, 42(5), 1374-1403. https://doi.org/10.1177/0149206316647099

Offermann, L. R., & Coats, M. R. (2018). Implicit theories of leadership: Stability and change over two decades. The Leadership Quarterly, 29(4), 513-522. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.leaqua.2017.12.003

Jennings, S. F. (2007). Personal development plans and self-directed learning for healthcare professionals: Are they evidence based? Postgraduate Medical Journal, 83(982), 518-524. https://doi.org/10.1136/pgmj.2006.053066

Lejeune, C., Beausaert, S., & Raemdonck, I. (2021). The impact on employees’ job performance of exercising self-directed learning within personal development plan practice. International Journal of Human Resource Management, 32(5), 1086-1112. https://doi.org/10.1080/09585192.2018.1510848

 

Leave a Comment