Management Skills, Reflective Journal Essay Example
In our Management skill unit we are required to write weekly reflections or reflective journals on what we have learnt during each week. These reflections consist of descriptions of what I learnt in the past, then a critical analysis of what the lessons learnt mean to me and a critical reflection on how these lessons impact on my professional practice in future and reflections on what I will need to change and the pitfall that I need to manage in future. At first, I was in doubt of the real purpose of these reflections. I did not understand how these reflections would help me improve my learning experience or help me in my future professional practice. However, as I continued to write the weekly reflections I started to appreciate and understand their role in my learning and future professional practice.
One of the benefits I gained from these weekly reflections, is that was able to improve my self awareness. Each week as I reflected and recorded on what we learnt, I found an opportunity to evaluate my strengths and weaknesses in a particular area of management. For example, reflection on week 5 was one that I found to be the most interesting and challenging at the same time. During that week we focused on managing conflicts in the workplace. We looked at the causes of conflicts and the way in which managers and employees in the work place can respond to conflicts and address conflicts effectively. While writing a reflective journal on this subject, I critically evaluated my management skills particularly when it comes to dealing with conflicts. I realized this is one of the areas that I need to improve. As I was reflecting on what we learnt during week 5, it become clear to me that, no matter where I worked or who I work with conflicts have to emerge. However, not all conflicts are bad, some conflicts are good since they provide an opportunity to learn and grow therefore it is not always good to avoid conflicts, instead one should find ways of addressing these conflicts effectively. Through my reflections, I discovered that my outlook on conflict was not correct, I considered conflicts to be bad therefore they should be avoided. I also discovered that I had little knowledge on how to respond to conflicts and address conflicts. I therefore decided that I will do more research in this area and read more about managing conflicts in the workplace.
The weekly reflections have also helped me to achieve personal and professional development particularly when it comes to leadership and management. As a result of reflecting on what I learnt each week, I notice that I have changed in various ways. My overall management and leadership skills have improved. For example, I believe that my negotiating and problem solving skills have improved. Problem-solving and negotiating are some of the important aspects in management and leadership. For instance, week 5 reflections provided a lot of knowledge on how to go about the problem solving process. As I was reflecting on each step of the process of the problem solving process I gained so much knowledge on how to effectively address conflicts. I was able to understand that the cause of every conflict is brought about by a particular problem, some of these problems may be misunderstandings, personal differences, unfitting roles, stress and misunderstandings. I learnt that in order to address conflicts effectively one must first identify the problem, then come up with a solution and an action plan and then follow- up on the progress of the action. What I reflected on during week 5, was put to test when a conflict emerged in our monthly book club. The conflict involved two members of our book club who were arguing due to a personal difference. One party felt that the opinion of the other was culturally biased whereas the other party felt that their opinion was misunderstood. As the conflict was going on, I was able to step in and apply what I had reflected on earlier on, about problem-solving. Together we were able to identify the cause of the conflict and found a solution to the problem. Eventually, the two parties reconciled and members of our book club learnt how to be sensitive and appreciate the cultures of other people. Through this experience, I realized that I have developed and improved my management and leadership skills especially when it comes to addressing conflicts and communication.
More than ever, I understand the importance of keeping a reflective journal. With time, I hope to improve the way in which I write my weekly reflections. I notice that there is need to improve the quality of information that I provide in each of the weekly reflections. I have no doubt that as I continue to reflect on what I learn each week I will be an effective manager in my professional practice.
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