The module highlighted various personal and professional development areas. The course exhibits how one should consider the significance of various personal, academic, and professional dimensions of life. Each aspect is unique and significant because they collectively highlight how one should understand the importance of professional development skills necessary to succeed not only in personal but also in professional life as well. Each week new dimension helped us understand how they are necessary for our coming life. In the following parts of this paper, I have mentioned three parts where each part represents how and what I have learned during the entire twelve week course.
Team work remains a significant part of todays’ workplace environment. Previously, I assumed that team work is not necessary for all organizations because mostly employees work individually to complete their organizational tasks and responsibilities. However, as soon as we completed the eighth week, I realized that my perspective does not represent true nature of the workplace environment. For example, even if an employee completes his or her tasks individually, he or she still needs to contact and communicate with others because some departmental information helps employees to achieve their organizational goals. In other words, it would not be incorrect to say that team work has become an essential part many organizations expect from their employees to maintain throughout their professional career.
The concept of negotiation skills really changed my mindset about negotiation. Prior to the start of this semester, I did not distinguish between bargaining and negotiation. When a person buys a product, sometimes he asks the seller to reduce the price of the product. In this context, one can easily use the conceptual underpinnings of bargaining. However, after reading and understanding the concepts and strategies mentioned in the negotiation skills (week 9), it became crystal clear that both bargaining and negotiation are two different skills. When a company wants to buy some raw material for producing a finished good for selling it into a market, it is necessary for the company to professionally and competently negotiate prices and volume with their suppliers. Here, the strategy is to satisfy the strategic aims of organization. And, the best way to do so is to reduce the negotiation power of the other party. In other words, it would not be incorrect to say that the negotiation skills need more preparation and strong communication and listening skills to achieve required objectives.
Formal communication skills are also relevant for improving professional performance. Both writing and interpersonal skills suggest how one should behave or interact with others while completing their official tasks. For example, I have many friends who work for numerous local and international organizations. We discussed about how to improve official communication skills. Unfortunately, we did not find any concrete set of official communication rules. Later on, when I started this course, I found that there are many aspects of official communication skills; they include listening skills, writing skills, interpersonal skills, and others. This learning has really changed and enabled me to focus on them one by one as this is the best and effective strategy to grasp them.
Listening skills must be improved. Technically and academically, effective listening is an art one must learn before going to exercise this social tool. Within this context, it is relent to say that my personality represents the features of an introverted personality. I rarely meet with many people. Therefore, it becomes difficult for me to apply this tool in a proper and professional manner. In other words, both listening skills and introverted personality do not go hand in hand. However, in a professional and official environment, one has to learn this art as this skill is capable enough to bring quick and sustainable success in life.
Previously, I undermined the significance of listening skills because of my personality type. However, as soon as I realized that professional life considerably relies on the effectiveness of listening skills, I decided to change my personal strategy. Nowadays, I practice listening skills by meeting a few people where I try to speak less and listen more as this is the only effective and strong way to improve listening skills. Additionally, listening is an art in the sense that how and what should one listen and how one should respond to facial expressions and body language as well. These are some of the significant aspects one must learn before exercising listening skills.
Self-leadership is still a new concept for me. Academically, leadership is a way to lead others to achieve a desired goal. However, self-leadership is to understand one’s self and determine one’s own course of action. I personally believe that self-leadership becomes effective when a person works under the supervision of a life coach or mentor. Currently, I am still working on this area by trying to search out a person who can mentor me not only in personal life but also professional one as well.
Introverted traits represent my personality characteristics. Broadly speaking, introverted and extroverted personalities define two different sides about personality. Extroverted personality exhibits the features, such as outgoing, social, and other related dimensions (Staats, 1996). In contrast, introverted personality depicts non-social, shy, and others (Staats, 1996). After reading and understanding these two personality types, I found the latter to represent my personality type. However, it is not necessary that one is good and the other is bad. Both have positive and negative aspects. Since I prefer to work in the field of management, especially in finance, my current personality is in line with the expectations of this career.
Time management must be improved. Fundamentally, this personal skill remains a precondition for successful people. If a person wants to become successful in his personal and professional life, it is highly essential to learn the art of time management. Currently, I struggle to manage my time properly because both personal and academic sides force me to divide my time in a proper manner. However, I have this realization that the best way to achieve one’s personal and professional goals is to manage time professionally and effectively. Previously, I did not care much about time because of various personal, social, and academic factors. This severely affected my academic performance and personal grooming as well. Within this context, it is relevant to say that time management is an art, and it takes time to master this skill. For achieving this goal, one must be focused and determined to achieve it. Therefore, I am committed to improving my time management skill.
Academic writing is significant for future studies. Before the start of this module, I did not give much importance to the concept of academic writing, such as letter writing, business memos, and others. However, after reading the courses and topics about this area, I felt that they are very significant. In fact, I have started writing formally and academically. In academic writing, I attempt to write more about essays. More importantly, I try to read more about letter writing as it is more closely related to my future career. I read letter writing books, articles, and review professional letter writing websites. This strategy has really helped me to improve my academic writing.
The module highlighted various crucial points about personal development. The concept of team work helped me understand how one should work in a professional workplace environment. Subsequently, after reading negotiation skills, this learning enabled me to distinguish between bargaining and negotiation as they are completely different concepts. Formal communication skills are also significant because the module highlighted how interpersonal communication skills should be understood and applied in one’s life. Without such skills, it is not possible for anyone to excel in one’s career because communication skills help one achieve their intended career goals.
Personally, listening is a challenging task because my personality type reflects the features of an introverted personality. However, it is not possible to undermine the significance of listening skills. Additionally, more work is needed on self-leadership because this is a new area for me. Time management is an area where I have already completed some work. However, more work is needed. Additionally, I am working on my writing skills as they are highly significant not only for my personal life but also my professional life as well.
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Staats, W. A. (1996). Behavior and Personality: Psychological Behaviorism. New York, Springer.