Personality Assessment is the evaluation of personal traits and characteristics. It is important because it helps in understanding the manners of a specific person, forecasts the conduct of a person and so on (Borman, 2017). In this reflective essay, I am going to express my reflection on my residential experience.
I have always massively enjoyed engaging in activities with my peers. I was a little anxious and a little excited about everything that was happening. My main motivation was to perform my best in all the activities; winning or losing was secondary. When the group was eventually split up, I found myself surrounded by a group that I knew nothing about. I wondered how our performance would be; and if we would be able to learn anything substantial.
I wasn’t the most confident student in the lot and would often be a little anxious. But I’d keep it to myself and present a confident aura in front of my teachers and my fellow mates; or at least I think so. What was the use of showing my fears anyway? I didn’t want anyone to know that I was scared of underperforming or making a fool out of myself.
Over time, the activities made me more confident. In fact, I was more confident performing the second activity than I was when performing the first. I started to speak up more and present my ideas in front of my team members. After gaining good feedbacks on my ideas, I realized that I had a way around things. I was genuinely good at finding solutions to the little issues that we faced while performing the activities. This is known as the art of problem solving that. According to Creswell et al (2013), self-affirmation helps a person’s problem solving ability when working under stress. This was very true in my case; believing in myself helped me tackle all the issues I faced head-on.
Originality is measured by the infrequency of an idea compared to other ideas (Mayseless, Eran and Shamay-Tsoory, 2015). I was surprisingly gifted with an original thinking. My problem solving ability came along with a sense of originality; and this was something acknowledged by my team mates as well.
Sometimes my team mates and I would end up arguing. This usually happened when someone else in the team had different ideas than my own. A few times, such conflicts affected our performance in the task as well. It would make me angry when people wouldn’t listen to me; but I realized that everyone needs to be heard. Sometimes, I would have to listen to others as well and help execute their own ideas.
With time, everyone in the group began to understand their roles. The other teammates and I divided the jobs and completed our specific parts. Sometimes the teachers would help us, but such situations were rare. The team and I were satisfied when working together, coordinating our work and maintaining a good communication. Trust is very important when working with a team. According to Rezvani, Barrett and Khosravi (2019), trust mediates the association in between Emotional Intelligence (EI) and the performance of a team. This was also something that I learned while performing the activities. It is essential that every team member be trusted and showed confidence in when assigned a particular role. I tried to implement this principle when I was working with my team.
In the duration of these activities, I witnessed some of my own personal development in terms of my leadership skills and team work. I understood the importance of a team working together, having specific jobs assigned and the need for a good communication. I also understood that though I am generally good at working under stress and finding solutions, I need to be a better team member and support the ideas my team mates have. During these tasks I was able to identify and work on both, my strong and weak attributes. I recognized a need in me to work better with other people. This is something I’m going to face at every stage of my life, and I have to be prepared to work with large groups and find a way to effectively manage them.
Another thing that I learnt during these tasks was the necessity of a good communication amongst team members. Roles have to be properly assigned and explained. Often, there used to be miscommunications that would hamper the progress the team was making. Resolving the conflicts that arose in between me and the team was also essential. I had to learn the essence of a compromise; and its value in a setting involving different people.
Though my team-work skills require betterment, my communication skills have developed a lot in recent times. I am a more confident person now than I used to be and have developed a way of expressing myself to a large crowd. In terms of creativity too, I’ve come a long way. My thinking potential has grown and I have developed faster and more efficient methods to come up with various solutions to issues. These traits add to my leadership skills hugely as according to CCL (2020), self-awareness, communication, confidence and flexibility are the key factors to good leadership skills.
The results of the Belbin individual assessment report also helped me understand my abilities better. These activities gave me clearer view of where I stand right now and what attributes need to be worked upon. They also helped me understand my performance with the team. Using reflection, I have sharpened my aptitudes and my understanding of my peer’s behavior has also improved.
Borman, W.C.. 2017. Implications of Personality Theory and Research for the Rating of performance measurement and theory. vol. 25, pp. 127
CCL. 2020. The Core Leadership Skills You Need in Every Role. Center for Creative Leadership. Available at https://www.ccl.org/articles/leading-effectively-articles/fundamental-4-core-leadership-skills-for-every-career-stage/ [Accessed on 29/07/2020]
Creswell, JD., Dutcher, JM., Klein, WMP., Harris, PR., and Levine, JM., 2013. Self-Affirmation Improves Problem-Solving under Stress. PLoS ONE, vol. 8, no.5, pp. e62593.
Mayseless, N., Eran, A., and Shamay-Tsoory, S.G., 2015. Generating original ideas: The neural underpinning of originality. NeuroImage, vol. 116, pp. 232-239
Rezvani, A., Barrett, R., and Khosravi, P. 2019. Investigating the relationships among team emotional intelligence, trust, conflict and team performance. Team Performance Management: An International Journal, vol. 25, pp. 120–137.
My reflection on the residential experience I was exposed to taught me a lot of things in regards to my own personality and behavior when working with other team mates. It helped me understand various patterns of behavior in a team setting and better assess the things that were going right and the things that were going wrong. There exist a lot of theories that were applicable in this situation in order to understand the outcomes of the various activities.
The Theory X and Theory Y by McGregor states that if the team has little motivation, one is likely to be authoritative and on the other hand if the team is highly motivated, a participative approach works better (Mind Tools, 2019). When the tasks were new and so was the team, my team and I did not have a lot of motivation. It was this lack of motivation that drove me into being authoritative and taking charge. Soon, when the motivation of the team rose, I had to slowly change into a participative leader and give way to other people’s ideas. It wasn’t an easy transition but I think it was necessary in order to maintain healthy group dynamics.
The Lencioni Model states that the absence of trust, fear of conflicts, lack of commitment, unaccountability and no goals or objectives are the five dysfunctions of a team (Valdellon, 2016). In my experience, this theory holds true. The team I was working with had developed a sense of trust, managed the conflicts, had commitment and was driven by an aim. This made our group dynamics very powerful. I, along with my team, was able to participate in the tasks while maintaining a healthy functional team environment. If these factors had been absent, our team would, without a doubt, not be able to be competent.
Team Analysis Theory is also very helpful in understanding the functioning of a particular team. According to Team Work Definition (2014), a team eventually falls apart unless the team members understand and analyze what is going wrong. This theory specifically holds true when talking about my experience. My team and I had a few conflicts which were successfully tackled but had it not been this way, I am positive that our team would collapse. The team had to successfully analyze our weak and strong aspects and make changes accordingly.
When I reflect on the previous Tasks performed by me, there is much to understand and much to learn. By reflecting on the experiences I gained, not only was I able to understand the motives more clearly and deeply, but I was also able to further assess my own personality and behavior. I was able to identify the parts of me that I need to work upon.
This entire process of realization can be explained using the Schön Reflective Theory. Schön defines reflective practice as the practice by which professionals become aware of their knowledge base and learn from their experience. Reflection on-action is the practice of reflecting after an event and analysing it (Buwert, 2012). This is exactly what Task B has been about. In the previous task, I was required to reflect on the residential experience in order to analyse it more closely and understand where my positive and negative attributes lie. This exercise also helped me understand how my performance would be in a work environment and what improvements need to be made accordingly. Similarly, in this task I’m required to reflect on the previous task; task B. While doing so, I have come to the realization that this reflection was absolutely necessary in order to understand why the tasks performed by me are so valuable. It was essential for me to reflect on task A and understand myself a little better; and similarly, it was essential that I reflect on task B to understand that.
The two most important things that I picked up from these tasks were the importance of good conflict management theories and the importance of team management. In the tasks I performed, there were various situations where a conflict arose and disrupted the workings of the team. Such conflicts had to be tackled efficiently and swiftly in order to restore the normal situations. There were various ways by which we tackled such conflicts; by compromising, collaborating and sometimes competing. This practical knowledge will come in very handy when I go on to work in an organization.
Another thing that I gained knowledge about was the steps for an effective team management. Through the various activities, I learnt how important it is for a group to function properly. Each participant needs to have a proper understanding of their role and what it entails. These roles need to be assigned to various team mates on the basis of their skill set. Proper communication is also necessary in such settings.
Taking everything into account, these activities have been extremely insightful and educational. The theories I was exposed to, the challenges I faced, the incidents that I reflected upon, all of them have given me a sense of upliftment. I had a chance to look deeply into my qualities, my shortcoming, my abilities and the array of knowledge that I possess. The reflection helped me become more self-aware and correct certain aspects of my behavior. These are things that usually go unnoticed and I’m grateful that I had the chance to learn from them. Currently, I plan on working upon them and on myself and become a more professional person. I look forward to correcting some things and performing better and better in the future tasks that I will face.
Buwert, P. 2013. The Reflective Practitioner by Donald Schon. Available at https://graysreadinggroup.wordpress.com/2012/12/18/the-reflective-practitioner-by-donald-schon/ [Accessed on 29/07/2020]
Mind Tools. 2019. Theory X and Theory Y: Understanding People’s Motivations. Available at https://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/newLDR_74.htm#:%7E:text=Theory%20X%20and%20Theory%20Y%20were%20first%20explained%20by%20McGregor. [Accessed on 29/07/2020]
TWD. 2014. The Different Theories About Teamwork And Teambuilding. Available at https://teamworkdefinition.com/theories/ [Accessed on 29/07/2020]
Valdelon, L. 2016. 6 Different Team Effectiveness Models to Understand Your Team Better. Available at https://www.wrike.com/blog/6-different-team-effectiveness-models/ [Accessed on 29/07/2020]
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