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Example of a Self Reflection Essay

Critical Analysis of Improvement Techniques

The results of my personality-assessment tests, tutor feedback, group tasks, and assessments during the academic year have revealed that I need to improve a lot in communication, decision-making, stress management, self-confidence, and introversion. Communication skills are of critical importance at the student level as well as a professional level (Riemer, 2002). An individual must have effective communications skill to advance in his/her career. Effective communication skill set includes speaking, writing, presentation, teamwork, negotiation and influencing etc. (Riemer, 2007). Communication skill can be improved by repeated practices like group discussions, presentation sessions, public speaking and acquiring the training programs from communication experts (Iksan et al., 2012). I need to work on my communication skills by involving myself in interpersonal communication and acquiring training and guideline from training experts. Eventually, I must practice a lot, as Hasson (2012) argued, practice brings out perfection in communication skills.

Decision making is a very important personality trait; it is the ability of an individual to make tough situations on a certain matter and under certain conditions (Bazeman and Moore, 2012). Decision making is important both at the personal level as well as the community or organisational level. In our daily life routines, we must make decisions regularly, so it is very important to make the right ones because every decision we make has its own consequences positive or negative. At a personal level, decision-making ability is of sheer importance, as the choices an individual make shape his/her career (Craft, 2013). I realised that I was not good enough in decision-making in my academic year, which affected my learning, group tasks, teamwork, and academic assessments. I must improve my decision-making ability, so I could make the right choices and right decisions. Decision-making ability can be improved by following different decision-making models. As stated by Rahman and De-Feis (2009) Rational model, Incremental model, Boundedly-rational model, Garbage can model, Management science method, Delphi model, Nominal group model, and Environment scanning model are the few models which can enhance the decision making. I must choose one of these models to improve my decision making. I would choose the Management science method proposed by Simon (1960) which involves the sequential decision-making steps, i.e., define the problem, identify alternatives, develop some criteria, evaluate alternatives (relative to those criteria), choose an alternative, implement the decision, and analyse the results. These steps are essential for the decision-making process.

Stress management is the ability of an individual to cope up the stress with the different stress levels, especially the chronic stress without compromising the performance and productivity. Stress can be of any category, but the most prominent ones are workload, expectations of success and fear of failures. Such stress can have a severely negative effect on an individual’s productivity and throughput (Kotteesewan and Sharief, 2014). So, stress management is very important in maintaining a good performance level as there is always some sort of stress on every individual. In my academic year, I realised that I met with a lot of stressful situations in the form of workload, meeting deadlines, managing my timetable, managing my assessments and the fear of being not performing well. I also realised that I was not good enough in managing those stress, and that affected my academic performance. There is a lot of room for improvement in my stress management abilities. There are different models and strategies for effective stress management available in the literature. One of those models is specifically for the student’s stress management, is the tri-stage model as proposed by Houghton et al.(2012). This model is a combination of three strategies, i.e., emotional intelligence, self-leadership, and student stress coping.

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Self-confidence is the trust in ones’ own abilities and skills, qualities, judgement and choices. It is the most important factor of an individual personality that can help him/her to be productive and gain success (Perry, 2011). I realised through my personality assessment that sometimes I do not trust my abilities and look for excuses. I have a serious lack of self-confidence that I sometimes hesitate in making choices and decision because I do not trust my choices and judgement. This lack of self-confidence dented my proficiency and productivity during the whole academic year. I must look for significant improvement in self-confidence to improve my performance and satisfaction. Self- confidence can be improved by different strategies and models found in the literature. I opted for a multidimensional model in counselling (an adaptation of Play Therapy Dimension Model) proposed by Milfayetty (2018) for improving my self-confidence. This model proposes four steps of action, i.e., active utilisation, open discussion and exploration, co-facilitation, and non-intrusive responding.

Recommendations /Action Plan (Personal Development Program)

After deep analysis of all my strengths and weaknesses revealed in my academic year, I must look for a personal development plan to cope with my weaknesses, so I do not have to compromise on my performance and productivity. I will look to improve my communication skills by involving my self in more interpersonal communication scenarios like presentations, public speaking group discussions. I would also seek expert’s advice over improving my communication skills and would like to have training sessions with them as that will certainly help the cause. As far as the decision making is concerned, I would look to improve this skill by following the guideline and steps of Science management method (Simon, 1960). I would like to adapt the sequential steps of this model while making decisions; those steps are defining the problem, identify alternatives, develop some criteria, evaluate alternatives (relative to those criteria), choose an alternative, implement the decision and analyse the results. Another area I will work on is stress management as it is of quite an importance in professional life. To improve in stress-management, I will look to follow the tri-stage model (Houghton et al., 2012) using three strategies of emotional intelligence, self-leadership, and student stress coping. This method specifically focusses on the student’s stress management solutions. I will also look for any other strategies that can help me in enhancing my stress-management skills. Another major area of improvement will be the self-confidence I would certainly need to improve it. For raising my self-confidence level, I will follow the action plan of the multi-dimension model (Milfayetty, 2018) which is the adaptation of Play therapy model for improving self-confidence. I will follow the steps of active utilisation, open discussion and exploration, co-facilitation, and non-intrusive responding sequentially to effectively raise my confidence level. I would look to follow this model in enhancing my stress management abilities. Following the action plan/ personal development programme I would look to cope up with all my weaknesses as well as to build upon my strengths to become a better individual as compared to the one, I have been in this academic year.

References

  • Riemer, M.J., 2002. English and communication skills for the global engineer. Global J. of Engng. Educ6(1), pp.91-100.
  • Riemer, M.J., 2007. Communication skills for the 21st-century engineer. Global J. of Engng. Educ11(1), pp.89-100.
  • Iksan, Z.H., Zakaria, E., Meerah, T.S.M., Osman, K., Lian, D.K.C., Mahmud, S.N.D. and Krish, P., 2012. Communication skills among university students. Procedia-Social and Behavioral Sciences59, pp.71-76.  
  • Hasson, G., 2012. Brilliant communication skills: What the best communicators know, do and say. Pearson UK.
  • Rahman, N. and De Feis, G.L., 2009. Strategic decision-making: models and methods in the face of complexity and time pressure. Journal of General Management35(2), pp.43-59.      
  • Simon, H.A., 1960. The new science of management decision.
  • Houghton, J.D., Wu, J., Godwin, J.L., Neck, C.P. and Manz, C.C., 2012. Effective stress management: A model of emotional intelligence, self-leadership, and student stress coping. Journal of Management Education36(2), pp.220-238.
  • Milfayetty, S., 2018. Multidimensional model in counselling to improve students’ self-confidence. International Journal of Research in Counseling and Education3(1), pp.42-48.
  • Bazerman, M.H. and Moore, D.A., 2012. Judgment in managerial decision making. John Wiley & Sons.
  • Craft, J.L., 2013. A review of the empirical ethical decision-making literature: 2004–2011. Journal of business ethics117(2), pp.221-259.
  • Kotteeswari, M. and Sharief, S.T., 2014. Job stress and its impact on employees performance a study with reference to employees working in Bpos. International Journal of Business and Administration Research Review2(4), pp.18-25.
  • Perry, P., 2011, October. Concept analysis: Confidence/self‐confidence. In Nursing forum (Vol. 46, No. 4, pp. 218-230). Malden, USA: Blackwell Publishing Inc.

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