Over the course of this semester I have taken multiple self-assessments in my Fundamentals of Management class. I have learned a lot about myself and life throughout this course, with professor Tillman, as well as by reading the results of the periodic self-assessments that were assigned for our weekly homework. Everybody has their own strengths and weaknesses, as well as the ability to determine what areas they need to improve and change upon. The self-assessments reminded me of all the times that I have evaluated myself and chosen to make changes in my life for the better, thus, I truly enjoyed being able to take these surveys and learn from them. As I completed the self-assessments I noticed they provided me with a lens to see areas of my personality and work ethic with a finer perspective. Thus, I was surprised, but content with the different results I received from the various self-assessment surveys that I took. Although I have just started to enter the workforce and the real world, overall the self-assessments helped me learn more about my strengths and weaknesses and provided a checkpoint in which I can grow from.
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Firstly, it is important to address my strengths, followed by how those strengths will help me manage and cooperate with others in the workplace successfully. One of the strengths I discovered through the survey is that I have a high motivation to lead. According to Self-Assessment 1.1, I tend to respond positively when asked to lead and am willing to act as a leader when no clear reward is given (Chan and Drasgrow 2001). I found these results to be quite accurate. In many of my high school classes I would be asked to lead a group when we did in class assignments as groups for practice. There was never a reward for this besides the satisfaction of succeeding and doing my very best. I never had a problem doing this and, in fact, enjoyed it. I now realize from this introductory management course that I had an intrinsic motivation to lead in a team. This will help me manage and cooperate with others in the future because success is on my mind and I only want the best for my organization.
Furthermore, I have high readiness to assume a leadership role. According to Self-Assessment 14.3, I scored high, which can mean that I am developing the abilities, skills, and attitudes associated with an effective leader (Dubrin 2007). As long as I keep on searching for opportunities to lead in order to practice and hone these skills I can become an even more effective leader. This will be beneficial in the workplace because there are times when an administrator will leave the office, and this has happened to me, and someone needs to take charge for a little bit. I definitely need more practice, but I am fairly organized and feel like I am ready to step in during such a time.
According to Self-Assessment 13.1, I have a positive attitude towards teamwork. Having a positive attitude towards teamwork increases productivity, speed of work, improves quality of service and reduces internal competition amongst members (Beigi and Shirmohammadi 2012). I found this to be true in a couple ways, although I do like to lead I also like to be a part of a team in general. Whether I am the leader or not is not as important as having a cohesive, productive, and resourceful team. It brings me a lot of joy to see everyone in a group putting in effort and adding their great opinions and values to the mix of everything. It also encourages me to work even harder when I have intelligent, high functioning individuals around me. I believe having a positive attitude towards teamwork will absolutely help me in my future career because you will always have to work with people, going into it with a poor mindset will only make the end result worse.
Finally, another strength I have discovered is my strategic thinking. As stated in Self-Assessment 6.1, Young professionals are limited in actions they can take to influence the way in which their organizations are run. However, it is important to recognize that strategic thinking is done at all organizational levels (Goldman 2012). My organization is moderate in strategic thinking. Even though younger, less experienced people like me do not have as much influence to spread our strategic thinking there are still ways to train oneself. For example, using failures or periods of crisis to learn and gain insight is one way I have strategically thought. A time this occurred was when the I was doing a presentation in communications class. For a moment I froze up during my presentation and lost all my train of thought, I essentially felt like I could not complete the presentation. However, I took a breath, gained my composure and completed it; afterwards I discussed it with my professor and chose to use it as a learning opportunity. Going forward I will use what the survey told me about my strengths as well as what I learned about myself to help me organize myself in the workplace and be prepared to be a great teammate and leader.
On the other hand, weaknesses come hand in hand with everyone’s strengths. Nobody is perfect and thus, the survey showed me some areas that I am weak in. According to Self-Assessment 12.2, I have a high need for affiliation and moderate for achievement and power. The Acquired Needs Theory holds that people are motivated by the following three needs, achievement, affiliation, and power. I will discuss my lower score for affiliation as the other two were average. A lower score means one does not care much about what other might think of them (Blackburn 1981). This is something I have dealt with most of my life, and, while I have made some progress, is still a big weakness of mine. For some reason I find it difficult not to feel like everyone is watching me and judging my performance and how I do. In turn this affects my when I am doing tasks or activities in front of others. If I am not well versed and not feeling confident at the time, I may not do as well or show off my abilities the best that I can. I have improved over the years though, I used to get bad anxiety when under pressure and scrutiny of others, but I have learned to use that as my fuel a bit more. If I do not improve on this it will certainly affect me in the future and throughout my career which is why I have worked so hard to make a difference in my mindset.
Surprisingly, another weakness I discovered was in my ethics. This shocked me because I definitely am someone who has good morals and I always try to do good by others and the planet. However, as stated in Self-Assessment 3.1, I scored low for idealism. Idealism is the extent to which one thinks there is always one clear “right” or “good” answer to a problem. Sometimes I find it difficult to find the correct decision in a situation because I’m not sure what will yield the greater good. I also scored low-moderate on the relativism scale. Relativism is the extent to which one believes there are, or are not, absolute moral rules when it comes to ethical decisions. Due to me scoring low on both these scales, I was typed as an exceptionalist which has the attitude that there are moral absolutes, but I am “pragmatically open to exceptions” (Forsyth 1980). I truly found this to be the most surprising thing I have learned about myself during these surveys. It did make sense though, sometimes I find myself feeling like there is a better option other than what is morally right. I do not think this is an area where I have to necessarily improve, but rather just be careful. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but I need to learn to respect societal morals and stand by them as much as possible.
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A final weakness I discovered was in Self-Assessment 4.3 regarding global manager potential. I scored relatively low and I believe this is due to my inexperience. The characteristics of a successful global manager include the following 14 dimensions: sensitive to cultural differences, business knowledge, courage, brings out the best in people, integrity, insightful, committed, takes risks, seeks feedback, uses feedback, is culturally adventurous, seeks learning opportunities, open to criticism, and flexibility (Spreitzer, McCall, & Mahoney 1997). I need to be more culturally aware, encourage others, and be filled with integrity in order to feel stronger in this area.I feel that as I work more jobs and network more I will learn to sharpen these skills and therefore, should not have any problems with it in the future. My weaknesses are not bad things, but just areas that I need to work on.
All in all I am happy with myself and where I have come. This course and these surveys truly helped me learn more about myself and how I may be in the workplace. I have plenty of strengths that I am immensely proud of and continue to work on everyday. On the other hand, I also have weaknesses just like everybody else. I am so proud of the fact that I have the self-awareness to identify these weaknesses and the capacity to want to make a difference and improve upon myself. So even though I am still new to the real world, this management course, along with the self-assessments, created the opportunity for me to view my strengths and weaknesses in an organized and advantageous way. I am grateful for the opportunity to grow from them.
- Chan, K.-Y., & Drasgow, F. (2001). Toward a theory of individual differences and leadership: Understanding the motivation to lead. Journal of Applied Psychology, 86(3), 481-498.
- Dubrin, A.J. (2007). Leadership Research: Findings, Practice, and Skills. 5th Edition, Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston.
- Forsyth, D.R. (1980). “A Taxonomy of Ethical Ideologies”, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, pp. 175–184.
- Goldman, E.F. (2012). “Leadership Practices That Encourage Strategic Thinking,” Journal of Strategy and Management, Vol. 5, No. 1, pp. 25–40.
- Spreitzer, G. M., McCall Jr., M. W., and Mahoney J. D. (1997). “Early Identification of International Executive Potential”, Journal of Applied Psychology, pp. 6–29.
- Beigi, M, & Shirmohammadi, M (2012). “Attitudes Toward Teamwork: Are Iranian University Students Ready for the Workplace?” Team Performance Management, Vol. 18 No. 5/6, pp. 295–311.
- Blackburn, R.S. (1981). “An Evaluation of the Reliability, Stability and Factor Structure of the Manifest Needs Questionnaire,” Journal of Management, pp. 55–62.
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