For this article I have audited my control skills using theoretical models and described specific situations and experience. This encompasses personal, academic and professional reflections and explores opportunities for my career pathways and personal development with an Action Plan for the near future.
This has required critical evaluation of my very own development needs in light of my very own aspirations, establishing an understanding of my transferrable skills and exactly how these can be improved. For this I have considered situations in which my leadership features, styles and skills have been utilised to help create successful effects.
My career route has involved working directly with and taking an interest in people, both clients and co-workers alike. In expanding my management skills, I am regularly pursuing further ways of improving the effectiveness of these connections which is hugely rewarding for me.
On leaving school, my first job was within the travel industry. From the outset, I searched for to boost skills and appreciated the task of reaching the needs of customers, budgetary targets, training of staff, problem solving, to the opening and management of a travel company branch several years later.
Apart from the GCSE qualifications gained at institution, any further academic or professional learning has been gained whilst in job.
The skills and achievements in my own personal life are evenly transferrable to my work life. For instance, as Chairman of any genealogical society for quite some time and presenting and public speaking engagements both help as reminders that I have organisational, research and demonstration abilities that i can and really should be utilising and expanding along my career path.
I am a jail officer and, 3 years ago, I learnt that my establishment was funding a Foundation Level in Offender Management. My primary reaction was one of excitement as I had, for quite some time, considered some form of Higher Education using personal and professional development, but possessed never explored your options.
It was a source of tremendous satisfaction to go away the course and achieve Difference grade.
My learning journey, activities and personal advancements, undertaken in the last three years, would take more than the word count of this article allows, yet there are key points to reflect on to be able to analyse my own control skills and continue their development.
Theoretical Models and Personal Connection with Reflection in my Professional Development:
From my first days and nights in retail work, then Treatment Work and to prison officer, I have been fascinated with people and behavior. Working alongside others, as well as empowering and training offers me great personal and professional satisfaction.
Using reflective models such as Gibbs (1998), shown in Appendix III, I arrived to understand that could interpret situations influences my relationships with others. As I will demonstrate, this relates right to my personality style and how I take care of people and situations. Associated with this is the value I place how I am viewed by others and by natural means seek collaborative and wide open relationships. Several values are found in Carnegie (1938), detailed in Appendix I.
The Analysis Skills Self-Assessment which I completed on 23 Oct 2007 (Appendix II) outlined three main employability skills I need to develop as:
Improving own learning and performance
Application of quantity (data collection and interpretation)
Information and technology proficiency
Alongside these, to develop, are my own attributes of
Flexibility and adaptability
In this analysis I also mirrored by myself specific weaknesses such as being too self-critical and not praising my very own successes enough which can affect my capacity to be objective about my performance. I've a solid underpinning need to guard others and jump to their save which I attended to see as a hindrance to my own development and of these I seek to help. This is a particularly important area for me to handle as future management functions will demand me to permit others for taking their own private responsibility in support of offer assistance as appropriate. This 'rescuer' style is schema-related and I've considered schema theory and exactly how this applies to me. Beck, (1967:233), detailed a schema as
". . a cognitive framework for testing, coding, and evaluating the stimuli that impinge on the organism".
In brief, schemas are the filters or center beliefs we've about ourselves or the world all around us which influence how we interpret different situations in our lives.
The character of the task I really do in offender treatment requires me to attempt regular de-briefing, supervision, annual health reviews and bi-monthly counselling. This, together with schema theory and other therapy models I take advantage of with prisoners, which I have also put on myself, means I spend a lot of time being introspective and sharing reflections with colleagues. This helps establish practical steps for a successful future but also enables me to get wider perspectives in understanding, leading and handling others with a range of resources and situational analysis capabilities.
Whereas, in the past and even lately, I have questioned the decision making functions of management, this has reshaped into a desire to gain a holistic summary of the work environment. Understanding the way we think and manage ourselves while others has been an important factor of my learning over the last 3 years. Straker (2008) who expands on the work of Gardner (2006) was helpful in appreciating that how exactly we interact with people, by any means levels, and is crucial for self development. Conquering objections to understanding others, for fear that might disprove our own theories about ourselves and the globe are key hurdles which I must regularly be mindful. Negative experiences in this have resulted in an unsafe view of the work place but, as I said previously, the benefits associated with a more interesting view have demonstrated beneficial in my own work and personal physical condition.
As well as using Gibbs Reflective Circuit (1998), Kolb (1984) also helped me to evaluate experiences and test hypotheses but I did not find it had taken me to the idea of action whereas Gibbs places out the plan for ongoing development which is essential for me so as not to remain procrastinating. Moon (2004) is a useful resource on reflective practice, reminding me that reflection is not only important in itself, but must also lead to positive change,
In observing what gets in the manner, rather than being caught up in analysis, to move beyond and established goals for positive development has been essential learning for me and is a surprising benefit that i had not expected several years ago.
Leadership Employability Skills
I recently completed an Employability Skills do it yourself analysis exercise which we first undertook in the first semester of the Foundation Degree. On achieving this, I compared the results from both. It was stimulating any particular one of my main trends appears to have been in problem resolving and I consider my ADVANCED SCHOOLING studies over the last three years as adding to my deeper analysing skills. In light of early descriptions of my learning trip and reflective logs, it is gratifying to observe that I have come quite a distance in, not only conquering my own obstacles to learning, but making measured and significant achievements which then permits me to steer others in their roles.
Among the key learning experiences for me personally, alongside the above, are a acceptance of the assignments of others, networking and effective communication.
My career path has involved working closely with and taking a pastime in people, both clients and fellow workers alike. This was particularly apparent when Not long ago i updated my CV (Appendix IV), that was last compiled almost fifteen years ago. In developing my management skills throughout my level studies, I've discovered further means of improving the potency of these connections which is greatly rewarding for me.
Through networking with management and departments for resources on researching prison insurance plan, security and management skills, I am now sensing positive and determined to achieve career development. Not merely is this important from a practical, self-development point of view, but also the fulfilling sense of accomplishment this will bring.
Until recently, I had been Supervisor of the Core Intimacy Offender Treatment Programme that was an important role in producing my authority skills, promoting staff well-being as well as guiding staff's professional development. Another important aspect of the was to remain flexible yet constant in balancing these needs whilst focussing on the goals of the establishment Business Plan and Key Performance Aim for (KPT) priorities. This mirrors Handy (1987) who argues for such overall flexibility in his Trust Control Theory.
I find myself taking the possibility to develop the skills of others very significantly and is privately rewarding and empowering. The worth I attribute to this mirror those of Kandola and Fullerton (1994) in their Mosaic Eyesight which I have contained in Appendix V.
In Transactional Evaluation Theory (Bern, 1961), every individual's personality is made up of three parts 'Parent or guardian', 'Adult' and 'Child'. An examination of my very own revealed a mainly 'Nurturing Parent' romantic relationship style which is hugely rewarding privately, but can show emotionally draining which is not without its practical problems. However, developing assertiveness skills in establishing my own individuality and skills platform has the benefit for conquering any negative rumination and continues lines of communication wide open.
An example of achieving this is in challenging my collection director over my annual performance review where I was rated 'Achieved' rather than 'Exceeded' which I experienced was deserved. I possibly could have forgotten this and ruminated unhelpfully, thinking him to be responsible for not recognising my successes, but decided instead to 'take care of my director' and argued my case. I came across the www. h2training. com website interesting which experienced useful approaches for reminding me how to maintain my own degree of self-determination. Quoting out of this site:
"It's unreasonable to anticipate your manager to be totally accountable for accelerating your job: finally, it's your own responsibility. Remember that an expectation is also resentment ready to happen, and it is very difficult to hide resentment. "
http://h2training. com/managing_director_tips. html [utilized November 2010]
Suffice to say, my performance record was amended accordingly.
I recently had to step down from Love-making Offender Treatment work that i found difficult to simply accept. I, therefore, reappraised my personal development and used reflective skills (Kolb, 1984 and Beck 1967) to help measure the experiences and understand how I was interpreting them. By doing this, I was able to negotiate a role within the drugs support team after originally on offer an office established assessment position which I could have found unfulfilling. Indeed, on reflection, assertiveness and negotiation are two core management attributes which are now part of my skills placed.
Drawing together the number of experience and interests I have loved over successive years continues me, first of all, actively engaged in doing work for and alongside others. My role as a drugs support employee requires the key skills I own with the realisation and expectation that they can be further developed with a specific emphasis on assessing the management requirements of this work. This is encouraging and, in this period of change, I have come to realise the importance of job satisfaction as an integral motivator for me personally.
An important factor of my professional life is to uphold personal and commercial principles of decency and ethical practice including cultural diversity. I got pleased to have the ability to highlight these beliefs in my 'Diversity' Foundation Level project from January 2009 where I made advice for valuing the variety of personnel and prisoners and improving honest practice in Programs Awareness training at Full Sutton. This was well received by the treatment management team leading to working out being strengthened in this area.
On showing the studies of my Transactional Analysis with a work colleague, my 'nurturing father or mother' style was acknowledged and affirmed through my identified empathic character. In looking within my management style, it is important i maintain a balance between this and being careful never to go into 'White Knight' schema-driven mode, where I have to defend others at all costs. Creating a style which cares for others yet allows them to operate independently merits allows me to operate better as a genuinely caring person in my own work and since a leader.
Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs theory (1943), reminds me that my very own needs count number as well as those of other folks. In other words, putting other people first constantly is damaging to my own well-being and valuing myself is, alone, an integral assertiveness skill. I continuously remind myself of the announcements on aircraft during protection briefings where, in case of oxygen masks being deployed, you are instructed to place your own on first before aiding anyone else. If you don't, you might pass out beforehand and then no-one is preserved.
Critically assessing My Command and Management Style
Some years back, a colleague of mine that has since retired, told me his thoughts on a specific Senior Manager. He used a phrase which, though designed in a derogatory sense, I've never overlooked. He said ". . as a 'innovator of men, I would only follow him out of curiosity".
This colleague experienced spent many recognized years in the Armed Services as a Regimental Sergeant Major and have been in the Prison Service for about 15 years. He previously, therefore, some significant connection with different management and command styles.
Using established theory I continually analyse my very own strengths and weaknesses in areas of authority and management.
Fayol (1916) highlighted five commons components of management which are essential to the role. Included in these are the capability to look to the future, to be organised and co-ordinate the organisational aims, leading (though he defined it as 'commanding' which is unhelpfully autocratic) and, finally, to control the above elements using all means at his / her disposal.
Whilst this was written at the start of the last century, the essential tenets of management Fayol lists remain valid though one's own personality also engenders an effective workforce which can achieve results. The second option is in person important as I seek to have fans alternatively than delegates and makes me, as a supervisor, more of a innovator.
I recently completed the Myers Briggs Personality Type Questionnaire. Having done this a couple of years ago, I decided to redo this using an internet-based evaluation source of information (www. teamtechnology. co. uk) [reached 15 Sept 2010], which produced a comprehensive 200 page statement. Brief summary in Appendix VI
The results demonstrated very interesting and made a cohesive evaluation which affirmed the beliefs about my personality and control attributes gained during the last few years. This was confirmed through the initial questionnaire together with another subtest which had similar outcomes and, interestingly, the results were very similar to my previous examination two years previously.
Essentially, I have a strong concentrate on values, thoughts, compassion and important values where current experience maintain great learning importance. Team principles are high and my role in guaranteeing the well-being of these with whom I work is important if you ask me.
There are, however, elements of this personality 'type' that i am aware can be problematic if not monitored appropriately. I really do tend to avoid turmoil yet can be stubborn where my own values enter into conflict with corporate and business 'ideals' in which I run the chance of declining in objectivity. These are negative traits that i have been consciously focusing on over the last few years and serve to remind me that, while having a 'default' style, this will not preclude effective working on these to the advantage of all worried.
Interestingly, the top two 'best complements' of jobs for me predicated on 'fun' are actor and musician; for 'match' came out as counsellor and customer health care' and a blend of 'match and pleasure' came out as counsellor and actor. Many of these I have both experience and curiosity about and the qualities from these have indeed formed my management style.
The Humanist methodology explained by McGregor (1964) viewed how individual behaviour can affect behaviour. He purported that there are 2 types of head (using an 'X' and 'Y' continuum which range from a poor to positive view of subordinates respectively). The latter, he revealed, have a greater potential for effective performance from the workforce via a nurturing approach that i can identify with. A reflective log from December 2009 is roofed in Appendix VII. Again, as with most models, there is a 'typical' style for each individual administrator but even the most wide open and supportive you can revert on occasions to 'X'-typical strategies and reactions. This can be somewhat confusing and without continuity for the workforce and, possibly unsettling as I'll illustrate later in this essay.
The model is similar to Tannenbaum and Schmidt (1958) who use the continuum from 'Authoritarian Process Orientation to Democratic Romance Orientation' where I operate towards last mentioned and Goleman (2000) on which I identify with the 'Affiliative' (people come first) level.
Operational leaders, as covered by Maxwell (2002) have great value for an company in providing steadiness, devising systems and resolving problems with positive proposal. However, for their focus on aspect they can forget the bigger picture, sometimes lack determination and are not effective in dealing with conflict. Frequently, paraphrasing Maxwell here, operational leaders aren't very good at "getting their hands dirty" but easily raise the flag at this time of achievement. Thankfully, whilst browsing myself as an operational leader, I do like to talk about in responsibilities as well as delegate.
John Adair (2002) in his selection of leadership treatises, (which, incidently, build on the previous models of Maslow (1943), Herzberg (1964) and Fayol (1916) features three key management responsibilities under his banner of 'Action Centred leadership'.
Achieving the task
Managing the team or group
Whilst advocating a shared responsibility between the individual and exterior factors, it generally does not, however, take stock of the individual in the authority role that i view as vital.
A similar but more complex model I've become interested in, is known as Crew Reference Management (CRM) that was originally devised by NASA to explore the real human factors in civil aviation accidents in the 1970's. Several establishments have implemented and adapted their own models appropriately and my interest will culminate in a dissertation for my Level on the benefits associated with implementing a CRM method of Prison Service critical situations.
Tasks or people? Labor force or Team ?
It is clear that leadership differs to management though a good head will have good management skills.
In considering whether I impose myself as leader to give attention to task or allow the team to flourish utilising their own skills, I completed the T-P authority questionnaire (Appendix VIII). This have scored exactly midway between your two, highlighting my awareness and flexibility to react to both important aspects.
How we react to a leader offers some indication of our own skills which of the main one in the supervisory role. As you who seeks to lead by creativity, I am more willing to check out Kolb's (1984) model of learning and encourage visitors to change concrete way of doing things to update their skills base and find more appropriate means of working (sense, watching, thinking, doing). An autocratic innovator would be less inclined to allow such overall flexibility and try to ensure compliance from those who might be more inclined to 'kick and scream' in and against the process.
An effective leader also needs to take individual learning styles into account as nobody method fits all. Honey and Mumford's Learning Style Inventory (1982), highlights the dissimilarities which exist, as I've found even within small groups, yet we all interact and effectively, notwithstanding that everyone's connection with being under the same command changes.
One of the most crucial sources of representation in considering my own style of management, and also a reinforcement of my very own beliefs and beliefs, is represented in the Style Theory of Management developed by Blake and Mouton (1964). This, essentially, practices on from McGregor's 'X-Y' theory and is more highly relevant to those mainly on the 'Y' axis and where a level of trust in management structure is out there in the workplace. However, Blake and Mouton explored the benefits associated with those that put responsibilities before people and vice versa. In the end they considered whether concern for individuals or matter for creation was more important for leaders.
As with other models, the day to day design of individuals in command roles may differ but everyone has their own 'default' setting. Where productivity looks more important than the maintenance and well-being of the personnel, I could find myself at possibilities with the management and identified ethos of the establishment at which I work.
With the Blake Mouton model, I got relieved to possess my default leadership style proved as 'Team Leader'. That is indicative of high concern for both people and creation where emphasis is put on a soul of teamwork and shared co-operation. This also engenders a safe environment in which dedication from all edges is more commonly forthcoming.
However, in completing a recent practical analysis for a advertising board I didn't attain the required grade. I knew this as soon as the examination was over, though I needed to wait 8 weeks for the state result. In fact, I knew during the assessment, I used to be reacting totally contrary to my normal sense of priorities when faced with a constant blast of problems to resolve. I found myself focussing mainly on the duties rather than enough on the personnel. For instance, when faced with a worker who was emotionally upset at a domestic concern, I asked if he was fine to keep to get his getting unlocked and would look to help him with his problem later. Soon after I learned that the assessors were looking for 'Utopian' reactions in all scenarios presuming all needs could be immediately provided so I would have put staff welfare first, getting his role covered immediately so he could then go back home to type his issues. However, I reverted to my current work role where in fact the pressure to meet deadlines sometimes overrides 'well-being'. As this is completely at possibilities with could believed I'd as a rule have reacted, I used to be left sense ill relaxed and questioned why I persisted in this way while i am in a natural way 'Y' (using McGregor's model, 1960) and more 'team' targeted than activity orientated (Blake Mouton, 1964).
Whilst I might not grasp why, at least it is just a recognised trait
". . theory X professionals (or indeed theory Y professionals exhibiting theory X are primarily results oriented"
Internet source http://www. businessballs. com/mcgregor. htm [October 2010]
On reflection, I am persuaded that the culture and environment of the higher management composition (which requires and focuses on results and targets) filter systems down and, no subject how much one tries to withstand or even kick against it, it permeates one's own work practice after some time. The climate in which I work regularly places focus on the meeting of Key Performance Focuses on (KPT's) and now, the Service Level Arrangement (SLA). In meeting these as well as ever increasing budgetary constraints, every facet of work culture is put under the microscope and, whenever we can, cut, yet the goals must be found regardless.
However, no matter the circumstances where we find ourselves or goals laid at our 'office door', it is how we respond that is important and the popularity in our personal responsibility to be channelled into effective working.
An important aspect of relationships, by any means levels including personal and business, is trust. Where one perceives this to be eroded or not present due to discord in goals or ideals, it can have a dangerous influence on effective co-working. As is seen above, this is something I am struggling with in the corporate ethos where I am constantly second-guessing the motives behind management decision-making.
However, to be a highly effective administrator, I am conscious of maintaining a healthy method of embracing the objective of the workplace even though I may not grasp or get access to the full rationale behind your choice making procedures from Higher Management. To be a leader, I must convey to those I wish to work effectively under me, that mission is achievable and in the normal interest despite my own such uncertainties. Retaining personal integrity and establishing trust are crucial in my personal, professional and command identity.
Straker (2008:208) discussions of 'deal cost' and 'trust boundaries'. Essentially he argues that trust, if allowed to erode or not fostered within an organisation can impact on delivery and there needs to be a 'cost' on both edges to re-establish this. As he says
". . the overall cost can be minimised with up-front investment in, and following maintenance of, trust".
If one does not have that sense of belonging within the trust group then you can find something amiss with the task marriage and part of effective management and control performance is to be pro-active in fostering trust and encouraging people to enter in the 'trust boundary".
It begs the question, therefore, who and under what conditions will we follow? Should we be likely to lead and expect 'blind beliefs'? What criteria and concepts should be provided in order for others to create out on the journey around ?
Handy (1987) suggests that in order for an outcome to remain constant, the Trust-Control balance may need to shift between head and subordinates and I can see merits in this as romantic relationships, as well as work stresses, are smooth in characteristics.
There are three proven styles of management: autocratic, paternalistic and democratic. Background records successful market leaders who've exhibited all the above. Each style could work and produce results but needs a flexibility for the workforce to squeeze in with the style which is that response which may be acknowledged and caused or much less the truth may be,
As for my own style, verified as a nurturing parental approach, this has tremendous benefits for myself and for individuals who work under me as they feel backed and, more importantly for me, affirmed in their tasks using their own skills base recognized and developed. As with any style there are costs and, when i am finding, where my own sense of values conflicts with the demands laid upon me, this may have a detrimental effect to my own sense of purpose within the company.
It is important, therefore, that structures and lines of communication are available which enable that manifestation of view. However, this, alone, is not without the potential cost. As I found when 'boosting my brain above the parapet' on several occasions, to express matter and personal stress with the course expected by older managers, it can 'blot one's copybook'. Again, it is important for me personally to consider how much of this is right down to my very own personal perception and how able I am to see my subordinate's perspective and, crucially, the goals and focus of the establishment delivery objectives.
In conditions of future assignments, I am best positioned to consider managerial positions. THE BUILDING BLOCKS Level and BA(Hons) are regarded as valuable skills both because of their content relevant to the Felony Justice System and Authority and Management but also symbolising the desire and dedication I have and have shown for sustained home development (Appendix IX).
In the final analysis, the individuals dynamic is the very best resource at work but it is also the most fickle and, sometimes, fragile.
To lead is a privilege and follow is an opportunity. I could only make an effort to make myself worthy of the trust placed in me to, not only get the job done, but to enable others to be the very best they could be and, in the process, ensure I am adopted out of value and not coercion or, indeed, curiosity.
Appendices: I. Excerpt from Carnegie (1938)
II. Study Skills Self Assessment
III. Gibbs' (1998) Reflective Cycle
IV. Curriculum Vitae
V. Kandola and Fullerton (1994) Mosaic Vision
VI. Myers Briggs Personality Type Questionnaire
VII. Reflective Sign on McGregor 'X, Y Theory'
VIII. T-P Command Questionnaire
IX. Professional Development Plan
Excerpts from 'How To Get Friends and Affect People' Carnegie (1938)
Don't criticize, condemn, or complain.
Give honest and sincere appreciation.
Arouse in the other person an keen want.
Become genuinely enthusiastic about other people.
Remember that a man's Name is to him the sweetest & most important sound in any language.
Be a good listener. Encourage others to discuss themselves.
Talk in the conditions of the other man's interest.
Make the other person feel important and do it sincerely
Show admiration for the other person's thoughts. Never tell someone they are simply wrong.
If you're incorrect, say it quickly and emphatically.
Begin in a friendly way.
Start with questions the other person will answer yes to.
Let the other person do the speaking.
Let the other person feel the idea is his/hers.
Try honestly to see things from the other person's perspective.
Sympathize with the other person.
Appeal to commendable motives.
Dramatize your ideas.
Throw down a challenge.
Begin with reward and honest appreciation.
Call focus on other people's errors indirectly.
Talk about your own mistakes first.
Ask questions rather than directly giving orders.
Let your partner save face.
Praise every improvement.
Give them a fine reputation to live up to.
Encourage them by causing their faults appear easy to correct.
Make your partner happy about doing what you suggest.
Study Skills Self applied Assessment
Gibbs' (1998) Reflective Cycle
My Personal and Professional Principles Related to 'The Mosaic Eye-sight' (Kandola and Fullerton, 1994)
Mission and principles (I tend to have a 'rescuer' style in my own working alongside others, which sometimes have to be kept in check without any help. Fairness, value and purpose are important if you ask me).
Objectives and good processes (Honourable means to a clear target do inspire me to success)
Skilled workforce: aware and fair (The identical values and encounters I hold, signify more to me easily find I can impart and tell others).
Active versatility (I prefer to call this 'responsivity', which means I can adjust to work alongside both prisoner and colleague. This shows respect and allows more available and genuine communication.
Individual emphasis (Whilst maintaining a corporate and business ethic, what I seek to accomplish for myself and the goals I establish for personal development are equally important. )
Culture that empowers. (I have a problem with this one at times, however, as I personally feel this is without the workplace. The important thing for me is to use the non-public factors above to get to find and become part of any created solution).
Myers Briggs Personality Type Questionnaire
Reflective Sign on McGregor 'X, Y Theory'
T-P Control Questionnaire: An Analysis of Style (Completed Oct 2010)
Professional Development Plan