Sample Essay on Self-Awareness

Self-Awareness

Introduction

Despite being one of the least discussed leadership proficiencies, self-awareness forms part of the most valuable capabilities. This is because it entails the element of being conscious of an individual’s strengths and skills while acknowledging that there is still room for improvement. This is inclusive of the realization that one individual cannot have the answer to all the questions. In addition, it also includes the attributes of owning up to individual mistakes and using these challenges as points of correction for future execution of responsibilities.

At a professional level, self-awareness of an individual’s strengths and weaknesses can help in earning the trust of other and increase the credibility of an individual, which increase the effectiveness of the said individual’s leadership capabilities. In a restaurant, the concept of self-awareness is essential in terms of understanding your skills and the areas in which they are most applicable. Leadership in such a setting requires an understanding of all the other members of the team and their expectations.

The concept of self-management

Effective management translates to effective leadership and organizational development. However, an ineffective manager has the ability of translating his deficiencies into an organization. This makes it essential for every individual in a leadership position to take control of his personal development as a leader. This is the only way through which it will be easier to address the exiting weaknesses in management capabilities and ensure the development of individual strengths. Self-management is therefore an essential skill for the management. The essence of this skill is in helping an individual in his work role and this benefits the organization in terms of effectiveness and efficiency. The critical role of a manager is to oversee the different activities within the organization. If the manager has a weakness that he fails to notice or address it is possible that this weakness will be translated into the organization hence diminishing its efficiency. For effective initiating of the process of self-development, an awareness of some of the self-development techniques that can help the managers in managing the process is essential.

Personal construct

Self-assessment which is an integral process in developing cognizant self-awareness entails the process of identifying individual attributes that make use function. According to the Personal Construct Psychology, every individual perceives the world in a different way. Persona identity is therefore a product of our perception about the world in relation to experiences. It is from what we know that we construct theories that explain the world around us.

The process of self-development through personal constructs is only possible when the core constructs are identified. These elements define individual identity. When these constructs are challenged, a sense of anxiety begins to develop. Change is one of the elements that necessitate anxiety. As an individual begins reflecting on his personality and his function it is possible for the core constructs to be challenges and as he begins to receive feedback from other members in his surrounding it is possible to begin perceiving things in a different way. One way by which self-development can be realized in such a situation is by working through the emerging feelings. This is the only way of realizing personal development, which from the perspective of the management can be translated into organizational development.

The Johari Window

The Johari Window is a self-management technique that provides an understanding of who we are and how we think about ourselves. Through a personal matrix, this approach to self-management assesses our interactions with the environment and role of these interactions in contributing to changes in the levels of self-awareness.

The Johari Window and the underlying theory operate on the understanding that every individual has different attributes in life some that are known or unknown to themselves and others. This model promotes self-disclosure but emphasizes on the sense of limiting information disclosed to others. Inasmuch as it is important to be open in ways that create goodness, an individual must also operate within specific limits. The Johari Window affirms that individuals are not product of what they know about themselves but they are a sum of self-knowledge, knowledge about others and the hidden potential. Through this model, it is possible for an individual to identify areas of weakness and cultivate them into strengths.

SWOT Analysis is of personal attributes

SWOT is a tool for self-analysis in an effective and unbiased manner. It can be used in assessing an individual’s strengths, skills, opportunities, and threats. Strengths entail the specific skills and resources that an individual possesses. Weaknesses are the deficiencies in terms of skills and resources and the possible constraints. Opportunities are the resources that help in executing responsibilities such as technological resources, human resource, and environmental factors. Threats are the changes in law, negative attitude, competition, and shortages in skills and competencies. During my time as an employee in a restaurant, the SWOT analysis revealed the following about my personal traits

Strengths

Competitive

Risk taker

Creative

Highly decisive

Empathetic

Weaknesses

Less cooperative in teams

Opportunities

Learning opportunities for further studies

Advanced technology in management

Threats

Highly competitive hotel industry

Uncertainty of employment opportunities

 

Through the SWOT analysis, it is easier to develop a picture about the self and individual qualities. These are essential in the determination of individual need and are that require action to improve on self-awareness.

Learning, skill development, and skill recording

Learning cycle

Every individual has his own methodology o absorbing, retaining, and using acquired information. To improve in self-awareness it is often important for an individual to identify the best methodology that can facilitate the process of acquiring ore knowledge and skills in a specific area. The learning cycle is one of the best approaches in learning. This perspective suggests that learning can only occur when a person in training demonstrates his or her ability to grasp the concepts and make some of the knowledge acquired. The first step in learning is the hands-on experience, which requires an individual to take action by experiencing an activity. This is followed by the process of observation and reflection, which will entail the process of thinking about an experience. Abstract conceptualization entails the process of making sense of the knowledge acquired in the mind. Testing what has happened and developing a plan for the next step is the element of active experimentation in the learning cycle.

Learning styles

Different individuals operate on a preferred way of learning. An individual can be an activist, a reflector, a theorist, or a pragmatist. During my time as an employee in the restaurant I understood that I preferred the activist approach towards learning. This is because this approach provided me with a technique on the best approaches in addressing new challenges. In addition, trough activism I was also able to understand the best approaches that an individual can use in cirri situations. Leadership in the restaurant required a dynamic approach considering the differences in the personality traits of the employee. The activist style of learning was flexible in that it provided techniques on how to handle different situations. The approach of learning styles in developing in-depth self-awareness is important especially after the recognition of the preferred learning style. The essence emanates from its ability to tailor make future learning attributes by assessing the activities that must be taken into consideration in any learning process.

Learning approaches and self-awareness

Learning needs

This entails a requirement to implement change in knowledge, skills, or attitude of an individual. From an individual’s perspective this requirements is likely to arise by targeting different aspects that include the targets, changes in employment responsibilities, workplace situation, changes in leadership, technological changes, changes in customer needs and introduction of new business plans. In the context of an organization, the management will consider training with respect to the existing learning needs. Once an individual is aware of some of the elements that necessitate learning, it will be important to identify the best learning styles to ensure effective recognition of skills.

Skills development

There are skills that define the role of a manger in the context of an organization. Effective management entails honest reflection on the strengths and weaknesses of the management. Upon the recognition of the areas of weakness, it is important to develop the most appropriate skills that can be used in the process of developing strategies that can be used in the development of such areas. The effective self-awareness in relation to skill development begins with a manager reflecting on his work roles in terms of the areas he enjoys and those in which he faces difficulty. This will involve the identification of patterns of the needs that can be addressed. The ability to meet these needs makes it easier for the management to improve in terms of effectives and an increase in the level of job satisfaction.

The process of skill development requires that an individual recognizes his level of expertise and identify learning needs as a starting point in matters of personal development. This will require the consideration of managerial skills together with work roles and activities away from work. The work of a manager is to ensure the existence of a balance and some level of agreement between his work roles and the available skills. This will inform the type of training needed in executing the defined responsibilities.

 

Time management

This is an essential skill in management due to the limited nature of time. A self-aware manager is one who has the ability to identify the essence of time in relation to the execution of employment responsibilities. It is through self-awareness that mangers can carefully plan for processes as a way of streamlining duties to ensure that duties in order to save on time. Some of the main timewasters in workplaces include unnecessary meetings, poor delegation of responsibilities, and lack of priority and relatively poor handling of paper work.

Maintenance of a work life balance

For effective delivery of work responsibilities, employees must have an effective work-life balance. This is the balance between the efforts and time that employees put in their work, and the time spent in executing non-work roles. The difficulty that arises in the process of developing an effective work-life balance is in the ability of the workers to take work home or respond to home related responsibilities while at work. In addition, there are times when an individual may be required to work on weekends or past the required hours of work. Self-awareness entails the process of identifying techniques that can be employed in executing work and home responsibilities. The use of technology for instance is a modern world platform that allows staff to work in the comfort of their homes. Other techniques of ensuring the existence of an effective work-life balance are by taking on part time reemployment responsibilities, and job sharing.

The management has the responsibility of ensuring the existence of an effective work-life balance due to the role it plays in motivating the employees. Such an approach to employee management benefits an organization by facilitating low rates of absenteeism, and improved employee efficiency. In addition, through this approach organizations have been able to develop additional strategies on how to structure the work-lie balance program. For instance, employees are often provided with paid maternity leaves, study leave, and professional development trainings. These benefits provide platforms for employees to plan on how to execute their work and home responsibilities.

Flexible working hours also forms one of the most effective ways through which the management facilitates the establishment of an effective work-life balance. This approach enables organizations to provide employees with sufficient time to address their home-related responsibilities inasmuch as they are also implementing their work roles. Existing legislations have also provided platforms for organizations to schedule their employees in accordance with the legal maximum hours that an employee is allowed to work per week.

Different individuals have often used their work roles as a form of identity. Individuals in the society are identified by the type of work they do, to demonstrate high levels of effectiveness at work often interferes with the ability of these employees to ensure an effective work-life balance. Such employees upon retirement often face the difficulty of coping with home roles.

Self-actualization is an essential a component of self-awareness in the context of an organization. This is because for an individual to realize self-actualization it will be important to recognize the essence of self-satisfaction. Satisfaction emanates from the ability to execute employment responsibilities and home responsibilities. For an employee in the context of an organization this approach to satisfaction is only possible in situations where there exists a plan on how to ensure the realization of both ends in the life of an employee. High levels of self-actualization are often experienced in situations where the organization concerned demonstrates to its employees its willingness to ensure an effective work-life balance. This is through the provision of incentives and programs that are flexible to the employees.

Integrity and ethics

It is the responsibility of the management to be involved in a decision making process every day. These decisions are often made by employing skills, knowledge, and experience. The management must always realize that every decision often has some level of influence on the employees and on the organization and this makes it important for the management to understand the underling rules and regulations that define their practice. These rues instill ethics and integrity considering their essence in the decision making process. One of the responsibilities of manager in any organization is to ensure the maintenance of the welfare of the employees. This is a major responsibilities and it makes it a necessity for the management to consider the underlying ethics that define operations in the work place. A manger understands that he has the power of influence over the employees. However, this question is not whether he executes this power or not but on how he influences these employees. This is in relation to the values that guide his behavior.

While acting in accordance with the existing rules and regulations that require high demonstration of integrity and ethical standards, the manager has the responsibility of making decisions without any form of bias. This is because of the understanding that it is often rare for every members of an organization to agree with the decision made by the management. However, the management has the responsibility of providing evidence that validate his or her decisions with the understanding that the process is often a trade-off between the probable considerations. To demonstrate high levels of ethics and integrity it is the responsibility of the management to demonstrate consistency in the decision making process. In addition, prior to making a decision an effective manager will always ensure that all the possible information and viewpoints are collected for analysis and consideration.

A manger can ensure that his decisions are in accordance with the expected integrity and ethical standards by understanding of individual values of employees. Upon such an understanding, it will be important to align them with the aims and mission statement of the organizations they represent. This will provide them with an opportunity of how operation of the company should be conducted. In addition, it also provides an opportunity for the management to gain an insight into the aspects that motivate the operations of an organization. The value proposition, aims, and mission statement of an organization are also essential in the development of the best approaches that can be used in enhancing an element of organizational culture. Effective management of employees requires the development of an alignment between the expectations of employees and that of the organization. An effective alignment acts as a guarantee that an organization will ensure effective realization of the defining objectives of the organization.

Action plan

Action Activity Time Contingency
Self-management ·       Identifying dependable personal attributes

·       Identifying areas of weakness and opportunities

14 days Biased consideration of personal traits
Learning ·       Identifying learning needs

·       Identifying the best learning styles

10 days Ineffective learning platforms
Work life-balance Planning for an effective work-life balance 5 days Organizational constraints
Integrity and ethics ·       Identifying personal values

·       Merging personal and organizational values

4 days ·       Failure to identify the most applicable personal values

·       Limited agreement between personal and organizational values

 

Conclusion

At a professional level, self-awareness of an individual’s strengths and weaknesses can help in earning the trust of other and increase the credibility of an individual, which increase the effectiveness of the said individual’s leadership capabilities. If the manager has a weakness that he fails to notice or address it is possible that this weakness will be translated into the organization hence diminishing its efficiency. For effective self-development, an awareness of some of the self-development techniques that can help the managers in managing the process is essential. A manger understands that he has the power of influence over the employees. However, this question is not whether he executes this power or not but on how he influences these employees. This is in relation to the values that guide his behavior.