Question 1: What do you think your a) strengths and b) weaknesses are? And why?
Part of my strengths is my strong self concept. I know myself, my own sets of skills, abilities, and interests. I can understand how I feel and I have a strong sense of empathy. Hence, I am also people oriented. It is easy for me to have other people open up. I really do not know why but even when I just meet a stranger, sometimes, it will just take several minutes, then, he/she will warm up and tell me interesting tales. This is where I learn a lot about others and about the world. I think being insightful and reflective is also part of my strengths. I think a lot and analyze a lot. I also like helping others with their problems and setbacks. I consider it a simple joy whenever I have helped someone, especially those who are close to me.
I am also focused and goal oriented. I can create short-term and long term goals and realize them. I can my own time well. I am always willing to learn and I humbly accept my shortcomings and work on my weaknesses. I chart my own course, so to speak. I love planning and daydreaming about where I would be, five to ten years from now. I am also independent and I am a self learner. I learn better when I digest things on my own. Maybe this is why group studies do not work for me. I want to be on my own, most of the time than by being in a group. However, this does not mean that I am an introvert. I only mean that when I really want to learn very well, I prefer being on my own.
In any group setting, I am cooperative. I can adapt to certain situations and be a leader or a follower, depending on any circumstances. My team mates can attest to this. I express myself well, I voice out my ideas. I also listen well to other people’s ideas and interests. I am good with communication. I am also good with handling pressures and challenges well and I do not usually give up until I reach my goals.
Part of my weaknesses includes my being headstrong at times. When I am intent on a certain project or plan, I seem to be every focused and sometimes neglect the criticisms of others. I still pursue what I have started and this must be because I am very courageous. I often reassess myself only after I have failed.
I am also not very good with rapid changes. I cannot easily adjust to new ways of doing things. I also have to be tutored on various technological applications. However, I learn fast and I am not critical of myself for any humbling experiences. For instance, when I first had my smart phone (an iPhone), I asked my friend to tutor me on how this mobile device works. Then, I often call her whenever I do not understand, even a small instructions or a task which I must do. I am not embarrassed to ask her even the simple command or instructions about the phone’s function or feature.
Question 2 i: How do you learn best? Which resources are most beneficial to your learning and why? - Part i: PMS (Practice of Management Skills)
I learn best when I realize that I lack in knowledge and I need to learn more. This is how I easily get motivated to learn. Whenever I am confronted with knowledge or skill gaps that hinder me in realizing my objectives or in attaining a specific short term goal, I become more intense with learning. I think I am more motivated by the fear of not knowing than by simply accumulating knowledge on my own. I also become motivated whenever I get feedbacks form my teachers and mentors that there are certain missing elements in my knowledge or skills. I tend to close this gap by focusing on learning. There is always a sense of urgency to learn effectively and to learn fast. Then, I immediately practice what I have learned or apply the new skills I have acquired.
I always believe that in our highly competitive and global society, one needs to learn constantly and I know I must learn fast. I also consider enhancing my knowledge and improving my skills to add value to my own self worth and to my self confidence. I really dislike it whenever I am engaged in a conversation and I feel that I am the only one who does not have an updated information or knowledge about the topic being discussed.
I consider myself as a “sequential learner.” (Learning Styles, 2012) This is because I prefer to know in a logical and orderly way. I can put the details together so that I can comprehend and internalize the totality of the concept I am trying to learn. I often break down the ocncept into small congestible parts so that I can use it in any manner.
The most beneficial learning reosurces for me are books, library materials, education, in general, actual training, online education and researches, among others. These are all important resources for me and I consider them the most advantageous learning resources because these are very direct sources of knowledge, competence and skills. Any committed individual will always something out of books and library resources. Being an independent learner, the variety of books and reading materials nowadays are very positive for me. I can learn a lot by simply reading those. Actual training also works advantageously for me. It makes me see the practical applications of concepts and things and I can easily follow the steps or processes involved in this kind of learning. However, I am not adept with online or virtual seminars and audio conferences. It seems surreal and I am not convince of the speakers, no matter how good he/she is.
I also know that I can catch up with online learning. This involves knowing from computer based resources and trainings. I also learn from self analysis and online self assessments, collaborative learning (either through classroom interaction or through online discussion and sharing). I also learn a lot from Internet websites, educational resources online, journals and reports available via the Web.
Question 2 ii: How do you learn best? Which resources are most beneficial to your learning and why? - Part ii: External Opportunities
Aside from my own direct and personal involvement in learning, I also learn through my outside observations and interactions. Since I am a lover of literatures and the arts, I take on various literary books and magazines and movies. I reflect on their story lines and content and try to imbibe the lesson embedded in each of their plots.
I also learn best from historical leaders and great men and women. I enjoy watching their life stories on television. I also like inspirational books and resources. For instance, I really admire the likes of Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King, Mother Theresa, etc. I read about their lives and how they change the lives of others and I take inspiration by their characters and virtues. Out of their personal lives and journeys, I generalize several important principles and values in life and I try to apply them on my own.
I also learn best from inspirational speakers. I like Steven Covey, Deepak Chopra and many others. I consider them great sources of knowledge because they teach us about their own experiences. In so doing, they educate us. However, this education comes with short entertainment and even amusement. These speakers are witty, very lively and also inspirational that I instantly want to be like them. I listen intently on how they make important turns in their lives and how they have discovered their inner vocations. I study their lives and try to see where the positivity stems from. Then, I apply it to my own way of life.
The most beneficial thing about the lives of leaders and speakers is the way they transform our values and beliefs system. They specialize in helping us solve our problems. It is often than after their speeches, the intent listeners would want to be like them. They empower their own audiences to attain success in their endeavors.
The most effective thing about them is that they instruct us through personal illustrations. These are instances which really hapen to them in the past. It gives them a certain level of reliability when they start to share their incredible stories and how they overcome their special challenges and circusmtances to be where they are now. These are life changing concepts which are not learned from books.
Question 3i: Taking the answer to question 1b (personal weakness), how will you work on one of your weaknesses? Part i - Goal Setting
As mentioned earlier, the weaknesses which I have assessed for myself are my attitude of being headstrong and my inability to easily adjust to rapid changes. The good part about this is that there is already self awareness on my part about these weaknesses. (Whetten & Carmeron, 2007)
The motivation must be there in order for me to work on this weakness. Hence, I set out to improve my weakness by internalizing the advantages of being techno savvy and flexible. I will try to identify the significant relationship between being adaptive (technologically) and how being less adaptive with technological changes is not helping out in my pursuit of my goals. I will try to reinforce this with the thought of those positive values associated with attaining this goal. Then, I shall set out my goal as a concrete one by keeping it in a journal, complete with all the different motivations, objectives and target for this goal.
I will list all the details; including specifying the circumstances and practices I have which hinder me from being technologically adaptive. I shall then consider enrolling in a technological appreciation course. If not, I will try to get as much educational resources on understanding technological applications. If there is an online course about this, I will enroll in a simulated course because I think this will be more effective in overcoming the barriers to being adept with technological innovations.
Even when it seems difficult at first, I will remind myself of the benefits and the long lasting effects of being techno savvy compared to the negative effects of being less technologically adaptive. I would try to magnify it by motivating myself. For instance, I will think of how I can achieve more if I am more techno savvy. Then, I will practice and do more with the books and with the online resources that I have to overcome my weakness.
I will also have a good friend to encourage and teach me with overcoming my problem with technology. I will choose someone who is well verse with technology and who is also very patient with slow learners like me. I will try to get in touch with him/her the same time that I am taking the course or reading the book. I will share with him/her about the topics which I feel lost or will ask him/her about those areas which I did not understand. I will carry on with my tasks until I realize the goal of being adept with technological applications.
Question 3 ii: Taking the answer to question 1b (personal weakness), how will you work on one of your weaknesses? Part ii - Action Planning
Knowing our weaknesses is not enough. We must work hard to overcome them, if we realize that there are stumbling blocks to our growth as a person and as a professional. Knowing what needs to beimproved about ourselves will help us to grow as an individual and it can also develop and nurture out personal and professional relationships.
In deciding which weakness I wish to work on, I will think of the ways how I can change my being head strong. Hence, now that I know this is the weakness I want to change about me, I can easily map out an action plan how to realize this. (Cooley, 2012)
My action plan is a smart one, which means that is it specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time related. I will set out two months as the proper time to be able to overcome this behavior. I will also think about the indicators of my being headstrong through a group score card which I will have my friends or classmates grade for me, each and every time we have a task and when this behavior of mine is showing itself up.
In attacking this weakness, I will try to put things in perspective. I will always remember that I am still a good person, even when I have some negative behaviors such as being headstrong. I will also internalize this behavior in such a way that it is not a very negative behavior for me but only a hindering attitude which I need to dispose of. I will also contextualize the behavior by thinking that each of us has their own negative behaviors or attitudes. The motivating factor here is that I will become much more betetr than I am if I can overcome this negative behavior.
I will set aside a certain amount of time to study this behavior – when I am like this and what are the things which trigger me to display this sort of behavior. Then, upon realizing the instances, I will try to plot a course of action to correct it. I will list down the triggers and find ways to address them. I will also involve myself with self help and psychological books. I will also try to understand my own personal dynamics and see what internal and inherent motivations make up for this behavior. (Knight, 2010) I will also try to consider therapy or ways to share this tendency with close friends.
Instead of being so focused on this negative behavior, I will try to focus more on the things that I can accomplish. I will spend more time in concentrating on achieving important tasks than just merely overcoming my weakness. I will give myself another extra month if I did not fully accomplish changing my behavior in two months. I will be easy on myself and more centered on my strengths to build up my confidence. At the same time, I will have another person assess my improvements. This is to ascertain the changes that I have been following with regards to my plan of action for this negative behavior.