Personal Action Plan on Management Skills
Establishing action plans for desired skills is important and effective not only for management students but for everyone. A plan gives a clear direction of action that helps in achieving the goals in a more realistic manner. This report provides a detailed account of my 9 week action plan for developing two management skills, namely: time management and public speaking skills.
Time management is an essential skill for any manager or leader because specific plans and goals will always have to be achieved within a specified time. If a leader does not have mastery of proper time management, they will not be as competitive as the others. Public speaking skills are also very important in becoming the best leader or manager that a person can be. The act of speaking in front of or for a crowd will be needed most of the time and it will definitely be used countless of times throughout a person’s career as a manager. It can spell the difference between an effective and charismatic leader and an ordinary one.
Current State (A Self Examination)
Choosing these two areas, specifically time management and public speaking, was actually easy because they have been my problem areas ever since. Time management is my waterloo especially in planning activities ahead of time. I have experienced many instances wherein projects were rushed at the last minute and some important appointments have been booked at the same date. I wish to be able to improve these time management and planning skills.
On the other hand, public speaking skills are another problem area that I need to work on. Just like any normal person, I get a bit of stage fright whenever I speak in front of a large crowd. This fear of speaking in public becomes even greater when the event or topic is an important one. Hence, self-assessment led me to the conclusion that these two problem areas will best benefit from this action plan activity.
Desired State (Action Plan Long Term Goals)
At the end of this 9 week program, I intend to develop and enhance my skills in the areas of time management and public speaking.
Time management goals include proper daily, weekly and monthly planning. I will create a journal or logbook showing the progress made on planning techniques and success in executing what I have planned. A focus on creating a daily to-do list with at least 75% completion of tasks day by day is also envisioned.
For my second target skill for improvement, public speaking, the goal is to create opportunities for me to speak up in a crowd setting, preferably larger ones. It has been proven that practice, and practice alone could lead to dramatic improvements. The key is to overcome the fear and once that fear has been addressed, there should no problems. These public speaking opportunities can be of various types and need not be confined to management related ones. At the end of the nine week program, progress must be made on the confidence level on public speaking and developing assertiveness.
Bridging the Gap between the Current and Desired State
This action plan serves as the link between the current state of self and the desired state mentioned in the plan. In order to achieve these, the following areas must be addressed:
Skill 1: Time Management Skills – A week by week plan will be devised to encourage planning ahead of time. It will start with a simpler and less complicated monthly plan for easier compliance and execution. After the accomplishment of a three month plan, it will be revised to a more refined weekly plan. A week after that, a daily to do list will be devised. At the end of every day, the tasks will be evaluated if they have been done on time and in the right manner and based on the evaluation, actions like consequences and rewards will be given. The percentage of things done on time and those that did not meet the desired time will be compared (See Appendix A).
Skill 2: Public Speaking Skills – For my second goal, public speaking skills will be developed through a conscious effort to engage in at least one public speaking related activity every day for the whole 9 weeks (See Appendix B). These public speaking engagements can range from simple class recitation to more socially significant events that involve speaking in front of a crowd. After each public speaking opportunity, a confidence survey will be answered in order to gauge the development of confidence in public speaking (See Appendix C).
Skill 1: Time Management Skills – The objectives set for the accomplishment of time management skills can be easily done because they are logged before every day starts. The list of things to do will be written in a small notepad that can easily be carried every day, regardless of the activity. It would be important to make sure that every accomplishment and other relevant data will be taken note of because they are objective means of tracking my overall progress, whether I am improving or not. The 5th week will be a very important time because it marks the half of the entire improvement plan. At that point, proper evaluation procedures would be necessary to determine whether it is appropriate to be more aggressive or lax in implementing the details in the master plan.
Skill 2: Public Speaking Skills – Goals set for this second skill can be easily done along with regular classes. Seeking opportunities to speak in front of a crowd can be done in a classroom setting which could give me every opportunity I need to improve my public speaking skills every day. The important timeline is the halfway mark to observe if there is progress with the task and the 8th week. By the 8th week, the goal is joining at least one big public speaking event whether inside the campus or not.
In order to achieve the objectives laid out in this action plan, the support of other people is necessary. Although this is a personal journey and story, its completion would be a lot easier if the help of other people would be recruited. In this activity, I informed my family and they gave me helpful insights especially with regards to time management. I also sought the help from our school activity center and they promised to help me find events that involve public speaking.
An action plan with end goals will not be complete without objective methods to evaluate progress. In this activity, various records will be kept in order to track progress.
Skill 1: Time Management Skills – A weekly log will be kept to track the number of tasks done within the specified time versus tasks that did not meet specified deadlines (See Appendix D).
Skill 2: Public Speaking Skills – In this skill development strategy, a weekly log will also be done. Along with the number of public speaking activities that I engaged in, an overall confidence rating per week will also be given (See Appendix E).
Despite careful planning, some things cannot go exactly according to plan. If the logbook notes for tracking the number of public speaking involvements and planning gets lost or left at home, the details can be written down on a separate piece of paper and encoded on the computer right after arriving home.
Personal Progress Report
Looking back at the nine weeks activity, it feels like I have accomplished a lot in such a short time. It really pays to have a concrete plan of action because there will be a good chance that I will be able to achieve my goals in time and without delay and that I will be able to make use of every single opportunity to learn and improve.
Why I chose time management and public speaking skills as a personal action plan goal
The choice of time management and public speaking as skills to develop was for me, necessary. These two skills have always been the biggest problem areas for me, that is why I do not see any point why I should not pick these two areas for this project. When I learned that we are to undertake a project that would help us in our personal development to be effective leaders, I felt glad and thought that this can be a great opportunity for me to hone these waterloo areas.
Examination of the success or failure of short and long term goals
Overall, the short term goals of tracking progress on the specified weekly and monthly basis have been followed. The habit of making daily and weekly to do list have greatly helped in putting order into my life. Establishing clear opportunities in public speaking have also made me realize that I can accomplish goals that I, myself, set. The confidence scores each week also consistently increased as the weeks went by. There were some days wherein the confidence level fluctuates but overall, the trend was very positive and encouraging.
Action Plan Strengths and Flaws
The action plan was very comprehensive and became a huge help in completing the entire activity. Its strengths are: flexibility in tracking goals met and a clear quantitative indicator that shows progress. The flaws are minor such as the absence of another column to write down important observations for the week.
Changes that could have been done in the Original Action Plan
It would have been better if there was another column where I am free to write insights and discoveries that I have realized in a particular week on. This would make it easier to trace realizations for every corresponding week number and what happened during that said week.
Looking Ahead to the Future
Even after the completion of this assignment, I plan to carry on with my newly-acquired behaviors as I found them to be very helpful in my everyday life. Working with a to-do list helps me ensure that all the needed tasks for a certain day are accomplished in a timely manner. This is a very helpful trait that I was able to develop and I think there is no reason for me not to continue doing it. The public speaking opportunities also helped me lift my self-esteem and confidence in addressing large groups. I hope to be able to continue with this progress even without this course requirement.