Reflective essay Example

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Reflective essay

Reflective Essay

Negative incident

The back background and specific events leading up to the incident

Reflectingupon past events is of utmost importance for all the students and professionals as well, since it enables them to develop their communication skills, future performance enhancement, and their conflict resolution skills. Owing to this fact, our course instructor announced in one of our class tutorials that, it is a requirement in our course that each and every semester that students gets to participate in a simulation activity in groups which tries to assist the students obtain many practical skills in their course work as well as their professional aspirations. Additionally, the groups are chosen randomly according to the class registration numbers so as to try and test the student’s ability in teamwork skills as well as interpersonal skills. Moreover, in one way or the other, it could be wise to say that our team comprised of well-organized students, yet the group incurred problems when it came to delegation, dynamism and organizational skills. Our group comprised of six members and it was known as the SIX RINGS; Edwin, Grace, Jocelyn, Andy, Joe and I. I was chosen as the group leader of the group. The role of the team leader was to lead the group as the primary negotiator and ensure the team progressed effectively within the allocated time so as to produce excellent results. Moreover, the other members were assigned to some specific roles in the simulation activity.

The incident itself

One of the groups which were basically our biggest challengers in the simulation activity owing to the fact that, it comprised of students whose average performance in class was absolutely admirable, was known by the name Whispers. Additionally, I was the; leader and the primary negotiator of the group. Jocelyn had been assigned a spy role since she is very good in obtaining information from third parties. However, one day as I was trying to negotiate with the Whispers group, Jocelyn felt that they were hiding some information so as to get the better of our group. Instead of discussing the issue with the rest of the group members in a private conversation, she yelled at the whispers group in an effort of telling them off. Daniel, Joe, Grace and Andy felt that Jocelyn was crossing the line and was disrespecting my role as the primary negotiator and as their leader.

Reflecting upon my responsibility as the primary negotiator, I felt immediately at the time I was assigned the role that it did not fit my personality. Additionally, it is universally accepted that ensuring a close inter-correlation between real-life personality and simulation is important in the success of any team activity. One of the challenging parts I found with this role was communicating and working effectively with our group members in an assertive and clear manner. Occasionally, I sometimes felt unease interacting with Andy and Joe since I felt they had other agendas and at times, they seemed unwilling to compromise their agendas. In hindsight, dealing with Andy and Joe was one of the biggest challenges I incurred in this activity. However, it gave me an opportunity to build my confidence and skills in these areas in the few days we were engaged in the simulation activity.

The resolution of the incident

The role that effective communication played in solving the issue the other group members had with Jocelyn as well as the challenges I incurred in dealing with Joe and Andy , was of primary significance and the chance to reflect on the issue personally critically and of great importance as well. It is universally accepted that effective communication within a group dynamic is necessary and essential. Owing to the issue that prevailed when Jocelyn engaged in a confrontation with the other group members when necessarily their business was not our main agenda, our course instructor had to intervene to calm the situation which was a failure on my part as a group leader and the key negotiator. Additionally, our course instructor also helped remind Joe and Andy of the significance of teamwork in a simulation activity. In other words, the intervention of our course instructor helped solve the conflict incidents our group was incurring.

For the most part of the simulation activity, our group exchanged information appropriately most especially after the intervention of our course instructor. By so saying, it means that, most of the group goals were achieved through clear understanding, effective dialogue and working as a cohesive team. Personally, I learnt that effective dialogue and communication plays a very vital role in solving conflicts in any team work activity working towards a particular common goal.

Reflection on what if anything could have been handled better

Confrontation, conflicts and disagreement in any group gives everyone a chance to rectify issues that in one way or the other can impede performance. The issue that presumed between the group members and Jocelyn could have been handled in a better manner if Jocelyn had first reported the issue to the chief mediator of the group who was me and seek a way forward on the matter. In this case, the challenges that occurred in the course of the group simulation activity seemed to drag the group in terms of time management and effective delegation since the arguments that presumed slowed down the activity of the group. Additionally, the challenge I had in dealing with Joe and Andy could have been handled well if the group simulation schedule could have been arranged in a way that is not conflicting with their agendas as well as other commitments. In other words, from this event, I learned that proper scheduling offers significant time savings as far as tasks completions are concerned. Perhaps when the group was assigning roles and tasks, it should have thought of proper timetabling of the simulation activity.

However, reflecting upon the incidents that occurred in our simulation group activity, I learned that, realistic scheduling, and commitment plays a very critical role in any team working towards a primary agent of change. Moreover, the success of the tam depends on clear identification of an individual responsible for a particular role and tries to effectively ensure that the role assigned to each and every individual is completed on time. Therefore, the understanding and conflicts that presumed in the simulation activity has been an important lesson to me personally which has encouraged me to ensure in the future that ample time and sufficient planning are adequately considered when engaging in group activities.

Positive incident

The back background and specific events leading up to the incident

In the Week 3 of semester 1 tutorial, our course instructor announced that the simulation activity group results were ready and that the feedback and evaluations will be done on group basis. Additionally, she also postulated that she will also produce comments in written form on the overall group behavior, individual contributions and the overall attitude within the group which will finally be incorporated in the semester 1 students portfolios.

The incident itself

At the end of our group discussion, our course instructor arranged for Jocelyn, Andy, Grace, Edwin, Joe and I to meet briefly so as to give us the simulation activity feedback to the six of us. The group instructor stated clearly that in the course of the simulation activity, she had noticed that we spoke in the tutorial with much confidence as expected and found our engagement and the bond we had formed as group member’s very encouraging. Additionally, the instructor stated that initially, she was concerned about the conflicts and confrontations that incurred in our group but went ahead to explain that the turn of the events such that each of the group members started expressing their opinions clearly with confidence is of utmost importance to our professional careers in the future. Moreover, according to her, the only better way of developing courage and confidence essential in our future careers is to continue participating and sharing ideas regularly. Furthermore, she asked each and every member of our team how they felt about the opinion and if there is any possible reason why we may find it difficult to continue participating and sharing our ideas the way we did in the simulation activity. Owing to that, Andy and Joe explained that initially, in their native country’s cultural values and beliefs; students are not encouraged to raise their opinions but instead listen to other people’s opinions, Grace confessed that she was shy.

Personally, at the time of the incident, a number of emotions were going through my mind. I felt happy that our contribution in the group and the confidence we showed was so evident and so obvious that our instructor was able to notice as well as the overall impact the simulation activity will have on our final results. Additionally, from Joe and Andy’s explanation, I learned that, cultural diversity can in one way or the other affect individual performance in any team activity. It is therefore of utmost importance to establish measures in place that will help solve the challenges that arise due to differences in cultural values.

Resolution of the incident

Although the group simulation activity initially caused me a number of discomfort and added pressure, as a result of the discussion we had with the course instructor, I realized the importance of sharing ideas and opinions with confidence in our studies as well as our future careers. As a group, we decided in the eve of the incident that we should all reconsider our behavior irrespective of our cultural values and personality differences in both our tutorials, group work as well as real-life experiences. I used to believe that not sharing ideas will make me invisible in most discussions but actually, the group simulation activity helped me realize that, remaining silent in any conversation, makes you more visible than you expect. Additionally, this incident enabled me to realize the importance of brainstorming in any team activity since it enables you to realize what other individuals think of you in terms of abilities, skills and personality which are important in any class activity as well as real-life experiences.

The incident with the course instructor was therefore of utmost importance in my life since without the briefing from her about the simulation activity, I would have remained short of communication and dialogue skills. Additionally, from the fact that Grace was known to be a shy lady, I learnt that, each and every individual has a personality weakness that can be improved for the overall benefit of the team. Moreover, developing a skill of sharing of ideas and opinion is of great importance in building confidence in performing the roles and tasks allocated to individuals in their real-life experiences.

Reflection on what if anything could have been handled better.

Our instructor was right in postulating that we must continue expressing ideas and opinions confidently and clearly. In other words, I feel that if she had informed the group members before resuming the simulation activity, we would not have incurred the misunderstandings and conflicts that presumed between Andy, Joe and I, and Jocelyn with other group members. I personally felt that this incident enabled me to understand that, each and every aspect of our life needs belter communication skills. For instance, in class, we need to communicate properly in order to enable the instructors and our classmates to understand us effectively without missing the point. Additionally, developing confidence can enable clients, classmates and instructors to have confidence in my abilities. Therefore, I believe improving my skills in the areas raised by the instructor will put me in a better position to argue and discuss cases with colleagues in school or in other real-life situations.

To sum up, from the two incidents and the role I undertook during the group simulation activity, I can postulate that, I have learned a lot from the experiences and confrontations. I can clearly say that I have gained knowledge and a clear comprehension of the incident outcomes has been realized since I have not only improved on my performance but also gained and enhanced discipline-specific knowledge. Additionally, these incidents have enabled me to clearly comprehend that I can be a great negotiator if only I can overcome my fears