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Personal development is the process of enhancing ones productivity, improving self awareness and developing individual talents with a view of achieving a given set of personal goals and objectives (Irving & Williams 1999, p.517). Over the action learning set I was in one of the various groups which were established in the class with a view of developing personal goals in the action learning program. In my group, I was assigned the responsibility of a time keeper. My role was to manage time for the group and also ensure that all the group activities were done within the allowed time frame. Other roles were given to other people in the group which included facilitator, observant and contributor. The following paper gives an insight into the action learning set with respect to various personal development aspects. The paper will discuss my performance in the action learning set, identification of skills acquired in the action learning process and lastly it will discuss how my involvement in the action learning exercise will impact on my workplace and performance at the University.
One of the major aspects of any action learning set or personal development process is being able to measure ones performance. Generally, I can say that my performance in the action learning set was good. On the first group meeting, everyone stressed that they wanted the group to emerge top in the presentation. With these, we established a set of objectives which we wanted to achieve by the end of action learning. We wanted to create an excellent presentation on time, cover all the aspects of the action learning and ensure that the action learning had an effect on our lives.
My performance in the group was good. In fact, I outdid myself with the role of a timekeeper. I can remember that the first though that came up in my mind when I was assigned the responsibility in the group was “how am I going to do it?” This was due to the fact that I acknowledge that I was not the best of time keepers around. My time management skills were poor and as a result, I had missed out on various opportunities in my work and campus life. So how am I going to make it with my time management problem? That was the recurrent question in my mind. In my thoughts, I knew that I was good socially and a team player hence saw that a facilitator responsibility suited me more. Nonetheless, I took up the responsibility bravely, acknowledging the fact that this opportunity presented a chance for me to develop my personal time management skills. I later came to surprise myself with my performance since the group members always commended me on my time management skills. Another thing which worked out well in the action learning is team work. Over the group activities, I was very resourceful in terms of knowledge, content and support in the subject matter. Being able to share these with the group members was an act which required team work. Therefore, the group activities further strengthened my team work skills and abilities. Other things that worked out well in the action learning were coordination and problem solving techniques.
The reason as to why the above elements worked out are numerous. In fact, I was surprised at my performance in some elements as it has been pointed out above. One of the most successful elements in the action learning according to my perception is time management. As indicated earlier, I was taunted with the dilemma as to whether I take the responsibility as a time keeper or not owning to my time management problem. Looking at the situation, I can conclude that my acknowledgement that I had a problem on time management was the basis of the success which I had as a time keeper for my group. Ideally, in a personal development process, the first step towards realizing success of a personal development process is the acknowledgement that one has a problem and identifying possible ways of providing a solution to the personal problem (Rigopoulou & Kehagias 2008, p.311). The readiness for change which comes as a result of this is the key factor which fosters change; and certainly it is the reason why my time management tasks worked out well. With respect to team work, I can say that my social character enabled me to build a good relationship with the group members and also among the group members. The creation of a shared vision with respect to the specific goals which the group wanted to achieve by the end of the group activities was also a key factor which made team work to work out in the action learning. The same factors which made teamwork possible were the same factors which made coordination successful. On the other hand, decision making was also a successful task in the group work. I was responsible for making decisions with respect to time for instance drawing the Gantt charts, time schedule and allocating time to various activities. This worked out due to my inner strive to become a good time manager.
Although I was successful in my tasks in the action learning, there are also things which did not work out as desired. Moreover, it is important to acknowledge that my performance with respect to time management, coordination, team work and decision making was not 100%. Therefore, there is a need for me to continuously develop my skills and personality so as to ensure that I turn out to be a better person than today. One important lesson which I learnt was that I need to incorporate the things which I desire into my lifestyle so as to ensure that they come about automatically and are not forced as opposed to what was happening over the action learning. For instance, I want god time management skills to be a part of my character and not a force without my character; hence I will be able to translate excellent time management into all my activities.
The action learning set was a very good experience for me. Over the duration when we were working on it as I group, I got to learn various skills and also develop other skills, hence contributing to my overall personal development. One of the skills which I learnt is the skill of self awareness. On this skill, I was able to reflect on my personal attributes. I noted that I was not at the state which I would have desired. As a result of this, I was able to work on the various negative aspects of my personal life for instance time management, hence achieving personal development. I learnt that I should take a personal analysis after a specified period of time, hence being able to gain self awareness, and as a result being able to work on my personal development. Another skill which I learnt as a result of self awareness was the construction of personal development targets. During the action learning, I learnt that I should make targets which are achievable. I realized that being too over ambitious while setting targets implicated negatively on the ability to achieve the given set of targets. Another skill which I learnt in the process was to evaluate the progress of a personal development process and in addition to any other project which I may be working on. The reviewing of progress enables an individual to be able to assess if the strategies which he/she is using are appropriate and if they are not enhancing the achievement of the targeted goals, other alternative strategies are considered (Mary 2000, p.91). On this pint, it is important to note that the desire of each individual is success. Therefore, it is important to continuously review ones performance with a view of ensuring that the personal development process or any other process which might be under context remains in line with the objectives and goals of the project. Taking a look at the personal development process, the review of performance enabled me to identify if I was on the course of achieving the personal development virtues which I desired.
Another skill which I learnt in the action learning set was to appreciate other cultures. As pointed out earlier, the activities in the learning set were carried out via group work. The members of the groups were chosen randomly; hence I did not have a say into which people constituted my group. As a result of this, my group was composed of people from diverse cultures. In order to work with them, I had to understand the various values and beliefs which each of the people upheld as a result if their personal cultures. With this, I was able to relate with all of them well. I also learnt that this skill is very important in ensuring that team work is successful. Another important skill which I learnt was to make decisions both as an individual and in a team. Other skills which I learnt were to learn from others and also to share my ideas in an appropriate manner.
Looking at my performance in the action learning, I am certain that I will continue to incorporate them into my work and university life. Looking at the various skills which I learnt in the leaning action and personal development process, I am amazed at their influence in my personal life and also their influence on the success of the action learning. This section of the paper will show how I will use the skills learnt in my people life. I will use the self awareness skills to analyze my current situation and figure out what needs to be changed. A point to note is that I desire to have good grades in my university education. Ideally, a good personal development translates to a successful professional life (Lee1999, p.586). However, there are several factors which pose a threat to the good grades, with poor time management been top on the list. I also want to build on my career. Therefore, the self awareness skill will enable me to assess my current personal situation and identify an appropriate personal development plan with the incorporation of personal development goals construction. I will use the progress review skill to continuously monitor my progress towards achieving the set goals and objectives. Team work is an important character in both corporate and school life. Being able to appreciate the culture of other people will enable me to uphold teamwork skills in my life. Lastly, the decision making skill will enable me to make appropriate decisions. Over the action learning, I came to acknowledge the importance of a systems thinking approach to making decisions. This skill will be very important in ensuring that I am successful in my work and school life. Generally, the personal development process has enabled me to work on the skills which will ultimately impact on my employability skills (Nasul, Rauf, Mansor & Puvanasvaran2012, p.44)
In conclusion, I have learnt a lot from the action learning set. Over the time that I and my other colleagues in the group worked on the action set, I came to acknowledge the importance of a personal development process. Over the duration I was able to develop the following skills: my time management skills, self awareness, construction of personal development skills, review of progress, appreciation of other cultures and solving various problems appropriately. As pointed out in the paper, these lessons and skills learnt will go a long way into influencing my performance in work and university. As a move to ensure that the future personal development processes are successful, I will ensure that I set my personal goals and objectives strategically, hence ensuring that I am not over ambitious, hence ensuring that I am able to meet my goals. All in all, I can conclude that a personal development process should be a part of every individual, owing to my personal belief that there is always a room for improvement.