Self-Development essay


In the recent past, there has been immense dynamism in the global business world that has impacted the approaches used in conducting business. There are changes being witnessed both within the organizations, as well as in the external world. The current paper will be divided into three main sections. The first section will describe, in detail, self-development and self-awareness, and their importance. The second section will be a description of two critical incidents and present a reflection of the findings. The final section of the paper will present a summary if the main strengths and weaknesses, and present areas that require future personal development.

Self-Awareness and Self Development


Self-awareness is a concept that has been intensively analyzed in the past by numerous writers and researchers in their attempt to develop a universally-acceptable definition. McCarthy and Garavan outlined two aspects of self-awareness, which include the image that an individuals have about themselves, and whether other people have a similar image for the same individuals. As such, self-awareness represents how a person perceives him or herself, and how others perceive him or her. Similarly, Goukens, Dewitte and Warlop commented on self-awareness as either public or private. In the description given, public self-awareness refers to the awareness of self from which one imagines how others perceive him or her. Private self-awareness, on the other hand, refers to the way that people sees themselves from a personal perspective. According to Ashley and Reiter-Palmon, self-awareness is a process of self-evaluation that focuses on internal individuals and compares to self-development and knowledge. In addition, leaders who conduct self-awareness processes tend to have better results in their work than leaders with low levels of self-awareness.

In addition, Taylor, Wang and Zhan also show that there are two aspects in self-assessment, which are personal understanding, as well as understanding of how others perceive a person. Self-awareness is an essential factor in good leadership as illustrated by Kumar, who states that effective leaders need self-awareness in order to manage other people without being controlled, and offering them an opportunity to develop and improve. The above-given definitions help outline the meaning of self-awareness, and in the current paper, the definition has to be related to the role of a manager. Therefore, self-assessment is a process of evaluating self in order to have an understanding of one’s intuitions, behavioral patterns and preferences, as seen by self and others.

Literature has also shown that high-levels of self-awareness could have either positive or negative implications on an individual. Being self-aware is beneficial to a manager as it helps them become credible and effective in their negotiations and decision-making process. It also assists them in their planning as they know what they would like to see as the results of the work they input. In addition, being self-aware also promotes the ability of a manager to be aware about others. Furthermore, it enables a person to identify their comfort zones, which is the first step towards breaking the boundaries of personal virtual comfort zone and becoming successful. As such, one should know what he/she likes or dislikes before implementing the guidelines, which have to be followed by others.

However, as highlighted by Ashley and Reiter-Palmon, self-awareness may have detrimental effects, including anxiety and depression. In their explanation, a person may become anxious in regard to ways of handling a situation that they are know is uncomfortable for them, and it may lead to depression. In addition, being self-aware is not the solution, but working on the negative issues identified is the factor that leads to success. Therefore, if managers identify a problem within them after conducting self-awareness, and they fail to deal with it, there may be negative consequences on their performance.

Continuous Self-Development

It is important that the self-awareness process becomes continuous. As a result, it will help a person to embark on self-development based on his/her findings. Krauss et al. argue that in order to have successful self-development there has to be self-awareness and accurate appraisal of an individual’s strengths and weaknesses. Peterson and Hicks stated that in order for individuals to reach their full potential they must, first, handle their current situation. Consequently, the level of self-awareness has an impact on the processes that one will adopt in his/her self-development. Mead’s theory maintains that self develops when individuals are able to look back at themselves from the perspective of others.

Bradley defines self-development as the enhancement of previously acquired skills, behaviors, knowledge, and experience by an individual in order to become more competitive or receive a competitive advantage. Pedler, Burgoyne and Boydell also give a similar definition stating that self-development is a personal initiative as the person who seeks improvement determines what needs to be done, as well as, when and where it has to be done. Finally, the individual has to evaluate the results. Adair refers to self-development as the willingness to make an assessment of one’s strengths and weaknesses and to adopt programs aimed at improving skills. From the different definitions offered by various scholars, it is possible to conclude that self-development involves making self-assessments and using the feedback to engage in development activities, and in personal monitoring of the progress.

Application of Self-Awareness and Self-Development in Order to Become a Successful Future Manager

As a future manager, I believe that I will require multiple skills in the modern dynamic world. It is evident that numerous factors in the workplace are changing rapidly. In the last decade, technological development has changed the workplace. As such, I believe similar changes are to be expected in the future. In order to be a successful manager of a corporation or business in the future business world, I need to identify my knowledge gaps through self-assessment, and improve my performance through self-development. It will be of assistance to help me learn and reevaluate situations within the workplace, as well as, improve adaptability and flexibility as new business challenges emerge.

Critical Incidents

Q2. Template One: Incident from Residential Weekend

My chosen toolkit is: MCI Personal Competence Model, Belbin profile

My results for the current toolkit are: influencing others and motivating others

Summary of critical incident

During the residential weekend I discovered something about myself. In the process of one of the activities, which is called data transfer, we were asked to pick a card, which describes one of the team members. The team leader picked me. He chose a card with a picture of lighthouse and compared me to it. He said that I was trying to be everywhere and relate to others. I was trying to influence others and overlook everything. He also described me as a source of inspiration. It was an exciting moment as I found out what others thought of me. In addition, it made me think about myself, how I was perceived by others, and whether it is actually can be applied to me. I realized that in most cases, I try to support others and I tend to assist whenever I can. It occurred to me that as a “lighthouse”, I could be assisting others and ignoring some of my needs. A lighthouse can shed light very far, but at the bottom of its tower, there is darkness. Consequently, it may be a good thing to assist others, but one should not ignore his/her own needs. The description of the team leader made me think about how I could improve my situation and interact with others, while at the same time handling my personal needs.

How does your thinking and behavior in this critical incident reflect the findings of your chosen self-analysis toolkit?

According to the MCI Personal competence model, my strength is influencing others and relating to others. I performed multiple tasks in the data transfer activity during the residential weekend. On the other hand, my weakness was behaving ethically. I agreed to buy the result for our data transfer activity during the residential weekend. Consequently, I made a contribution and related to others during the given period. Although I was part of a group, I volunteered to do most of the work, including the trial of reason activity, which successfully passed the test. I learned that it is vital to understand that one person cannot do all the work him/herself. It is important to let others perform their duties in a group. On the other hand, my weakness related to ethical behavior, which resulted in our team not winning, even though we had scored the highest. According to the results, I did not act ethically on some of the issues that we had to deal with as a team.

I scored the highest in monitor evaluator in Belbin Report. My strength was analyzing problems and evaluating ideas and suggestions. I was able to make proper analysis of a problem and identify ways in which it can be solved. In addition, I also evaluated the suggestions offered by other team members to identify how they could be applied in the solution. However, one of the greatest weaknesses of such role was lack of ability to inspire others. I found myself demotivated when others failed to perform their tasks, and finally I conducted most of the activities or volunteering, which no one else wanted to do. However, at times I lacked motivation to conduct the activities after thinking that others failed to perform their duties purposely.

Identify how you will use this learning in the future

During the residential weekend, I learned a number of things about myself, and it was also a source of experience. The Belbin toolkit for self-analysis made clear indications on the areas that I needed to improve and maintain. I learned that one of my strengths is problem analysis and evaluation of ideas. It is a skill that I will maintain, improve, and use in the future. I will also aim at learning other problem analysis procedures that may be useful in the future. Additionally, I identified a weakness in my lack of motivation in situations where other members of the team did not show interest. It is an area that I look forward to developing in the future. I will work on improving my self-drive in order to avoid becoming frustrated when members of a team fail to conduct themselves as expected. I believe, self-drive is also an important aspect of a personal life, and as a leader, self-drive will improve the relationship between the leader and the followers. I will also require improving my ethical relationships with others. I can also improve self-assessment through using other tools, such as, MBTI, values survey, online tests, and cultural intelligence among others. Through the use of contemporary learning tools e-learning, it will be possible to improve development.

Q2. Template Two

My chosen toolkit is: MBTI, Cultural Intelligence CQ

My results for the given toolkit are: leader, lack of cultural intelligence

Summary of critical incident

Recently, I have started working in a group of four people for a Business Game Simulation. All four of us are from different backgrounds. There have been various group activities. First, there was a need to select a group leader. Considering the skills that I have demonstrated during the course and the perception of other students in regard to my personality, I was chosen as a CEO/leader for the team. The team expressed confidence in me, and I also felt passionate about leading them. However, working in different-cultured group can have difficulties. I sometimes find it difficult to communicate or express my point due to cultural differences. Consequently, it has become my weakness. Being viewed by others as a potential leader is important and acts as a motivator. In addition to the members of the team perceiving me as a potential leader, I also have a feeling that I could lead a team. As a result, being selected by the team confirmed my self-assessment. However, being a leader of a culturally diverse group requires knowledge about other people’s cultures, which I lack. I learned that even though we all use English when communicating, there are other cultural issues relating to each person that differed greatly. In order to be an effective leader, it is important to be culturally knowledgeable, especially in the modern world where globalization has led to massive intercultural interaction.

How does your thinking and behavior in this critical incident reflect the findings of your chosen self-analysis toolkit?

According to MBTI big five locator, I am a leader rather than a manager. The questionnaire indicated that there was no flexibility in my answers. It means that I am a leader. It reflects on what I do in the Business Game. I communicate with my team members and make sure that everything is being done according to our schedule. In addition, I have designed a role for each of the team members and I expect them to act accordingly. As a leader, one needs to know what the team needs to achieve, and make sure that he/she has the same goal. In addition, the leader has to understand the team members, and work with resources that are available. However, the lack of flexibility is a challenge as it is vital to incorporate change into the actions of a team. Consequently, the identified lack of flexibility requires improving. According to cultural intelligence knowledge, my understanding of other cultures is not broad. It has sometimes been my weakness and resulted in difficulties in communication process, as well as expressing my points and delivering what is in my mind. The group has members from different cultural backgrounds. Thus, currently, my relationships as leader with each member are limited by limited of cultural awareness.

Identify how you will use this learning in the future

In the future, I look forward to conducting more self-assessment to identify the different personal abilities and inabilities. I have noted that the same way that I perceived myself as a leader, other group members perceive me as a leader too, considering the fact that they selected me as the head of the group. Therefore, it helped me gain confidence in my leadership abilities. However, a notable weakness from the analysis is that I am not culturally aware. It is an area on which I will have to work in order to improve it. Cultural awareness also relates to cultural sensitivity, and, as a leader, one should be in a position to relate with others based on their cultural background. To reach success at a leadership position, I will have to understanding that there are similarities and differences in various cultures, and one should consider all of them. For example, one should not label them as either right or wrong, better or worse. As a result of the personal analysis findings, I developed the need to be more culturally aware. It will boost my ability to relate with people from different cultural backgrounds, and I believe it is necessary for a successful leader.

Major Strengths and Weaknesses and Areas of Personal Development


After the analysis, I identified my three major strengths. First, I am able to relate and influence others. It is a strength that one can effectively use as a leader in the future. It is vital to my future as a manager as a leader should be able to influence others when analyzing their abilities. I have identified that I am able to influence others through logical and rational persuasion, which involves the presentation of facts and arguments. The second strength relates to my ability to analyze problems and identify solutions based on the contributions of the team. As a leader, it is important to analyze emerging problems and identify possible solutions depending on a situation. Third, I possess the ability to lead. It confirms that I am able to conduct successful self-assessment, and it is a quality that I wish to maintain.


However, there were various weaknesses identified from the analysis. First, I lack personal incentive in demotivating situations. The analysis shows that in a difficult situation, when the members of the team do not cooperate or act in accordance to the given instructions, I tend to be demotivated and lack the desire to continue working. As a result, since the position of a leader is influential, I may tend to influence others negatively. It is important that a leader has a personal motivation as the followers or team members need to be guided. Second, I have a weakness in my lack of cultural awareness. Modern workplaces have people from different cultural backgrounds, and it is important for a leader to have cultural awareness, and knowledge regarding them. In some cases, specific utterances or actions may be inappropriate for some people. The fact that a leader may be unaware of such issues can lead to misunderstandings and conflict situations.

Areas of Personal Development

Luca and Tarricone insist that in order for a working environment to be effective, progressive and positive, the members of the team require a combination of well-developed emotional intelligence and technical know-how. There has to be close connection between the members of the team. One of the identified strengths is influencing others. In order to be influential, it is vital that I am also aware of the other people’s cultures. I will consider a number of factors to make such improvement, including communication, observation and sensitivity, self-awareness, and flexibility. As a leader with cultural awareness, I need to be sensitive of others beliefs and cultural values, and also observe them. In addition, a leader should be flexible in order to accommodate the opinions of others. The development will also involve appreciation of differences and diversity, as well as asking for clarifications in doubtful situations.

The second development area is improving my personal motivation. A leader should be the source of inspiration in the team. Therefore, I will work towards improving my personal attitudes and avoiding becoming demotivated by the actions of others within the team. Instead of being annoyed and disappointed with the poor performance of the team members, as a manager, I will have to work on personal skills to become a role model to the group. It will improve the skills through learning how to be a team leader. The third area of development is to change my performance by acting more ethically by being empathetic, putting others first, being honest, respecting others, and taking responsibility. The manager acts as a representative of his/her organization. Therefore, the image of every leader influences the organization’s image.

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