December 05, 2008

CSR presentation & Leadership exercise

This week for me is meaningful.

Tuesday, I had my coaching practice with our tutor.

Thursday, My first formal presentation in MBE.

Today, My first actual leader practice in MBE.


For our CSR presentation, we made quite a lot effort to it. We spent at least three afternoon together to discuss that topic, for at first it made us feel quite confused. And it was the first formal presentation for me in MBE class. I felt a little nervous, not because of talking in public, but because I'm worried if I forgot certain English words. I had came here for almost 4 months, and sometimes I still feel hard to find a proper English word to express myself. I really lack of vocabulary...I have to work hard on it!!!

Talk back to the CSR. Each of us has some initial ideas about CSR. But after this project, after so much researshes we did, I think I get a more clear clue, especially on the measure part. Also learned a lot from other group's presentation, they gave us a lot of examples of famous company about their best practices.

Today's exercise, I voluntary to be a leader. When I had my undergraduate in China, I was the leader of the whole class, about 60 people. But since I came here, I never be a leader, because I always worried about my English. So today's exercise was a milestone for me. And from the feedback, I knew what I'm lack of and knew what to do next time. I'll learn to delegate and trust my teammates. And also, make plans and give the plan clearly to the team members. Although we got 1800 points, we still have too much to improve.

This week for me is amazing, though I was so tired. And I really want to thank Paul and my colleagues. The short presentation of leadership, the presentation of CSR, and the leader of the exercise, you always encourage me and told me that I did well. I really appreciate for that, and I will take more challenge in the future time, and hope we all will be stronger after we finished the time in MBE.



December 03, 2008

Coaching exercise

Yesterday afternoon, coaching exercise.

I was lucky enough to coach Graeme, our tutor. Frankly speaking, I was so nervous at first, because I almost know nothing about him, and I also have no idea what he want me to achieve. If I do something on the wrong way, what will happen?

I'm the coacher, and he is the coachee.

First he said he has problems on planning. So much things to do but so little time, and it made him feel stressed. And I, directly gave him the advice to make a list and talk to him how to use this list can get the best benefit. He feels unhappy with my advice, and said he didn't like to make a list, balabala....Then, I realized that I was doing the wrong thing.

The second round of coaching. He got a problem in teamwork. He felt himself didn't be involved in a team, he seldom gave his opinions because so much other things boring him and he didn't have mood to do so. This time, I tried another way. I asked him about his own feelings in heart, asked him what he wanted himself to be and wanted others to treat him. Let him to think the reason of the problem. I also gave him some suggestions, but not in a direct way like you should do balabala. Instead I said' have you think about try to change your attitude?' I became a listener and guided him to find a solution by himself. This conversation was so happy, and I finally be a certificated coacher.

Compared with my classmates who are coaching someone they familiar with, I think it was a bigger challenge for me. I definitely experienced a real coaching exercise yesterday, so I said I was lucky, eventhrough at first I felt a little nervous.

Several points got from the exercise:

Be a good listener.

Build a safe talking environment, so the coachee can tell you the real throught of his heart.

Focus on the problem instead of directly go to the results and suggestions.

Try to let the coachee find the solutions by themselves, not just tell them what should do and what should not do.


November 27, 2008

some debates of being a leader

During both CBE and LE module, we have been devided into different groups. In CBE, we talked quite more about leadership, but we didn't choose a leader during each team meeting or mini-project. Now in LE, we each time have a leader and we will give our personal feedbacks to the leader.

From this different situation, from the feedbacks we gave to each team leader this morning, I suddenly get back to a thought I had several weeks ago: Have a desire of being a leader not equal to be a good leader. And this actually come to a debate about is a leader born or made?

Personally speaking, I think a leader is born. I don't deny that some situation can make a leader, but if one don't have a potential to be a leader, if in his/her blood there is nothing about the desire to lead to organise to communicate or to let others work for him/herself, I really don't think he/she will be a good leader, no matter what a best situation he/she in or how hard others try to make he/she a leader.

From this point of view, leader is born. Situation may change, study and working experience may change, but one's intrinsic never change, or at least, hard to change. My undergraduate roommate, who is now studying in Stanford University which can demonstrate she is quite an excellent girl in academic area, is an example of my point. She don't like to lead, and also don't like others to lead her. She just hate such sort of things. In her mind, if we have something to discuss, if we have team meetings, OK, let's discuss, why we always need someone to lead and need someone to tell what to do and what not to do? Everyone has his/her own opinion in doing things, why I need to follow you? This thought maybe kind of extreme, but its someone's true thinking. She just focus her career life on research or other academic things, and do what's her duty well. I think people like this, no matter how hard you try to make them be a leader, they will not be a good leader. Because they don't have the desire!

This come to another debate: is desire enough for someone to be a good leader? Absolutely NOT. I have met so many people, they want to lead, they have too much confidence to be a leader, but they themselves are not a good leader at all. They don't know how to communicate with their fellows, they don't have clear target, they maybe always have a completely schedule but they are not good at time management and they cannot follow their schedule well, this, at the same time, will waste their fellows' time, and is quite bad for efficiency. Communication is quite an important part of being a good leader, during an effective communication, you can let your fellows try their best and give voluntary effort, in another words, maximise their potential.

What kind of person can be a good leader and How can a person be a good leader, this is quite a hard question, and depended on personal characters. This may also lead to so many debates. I'll post our team discussion of definition of leadership below and welcome any comment on it~~

Definition from LE team 2: Leadership is about influencing an individual or a group of people to maximise their potential for the achievement of a common goal.

and I will think a definition of leader sometime~~~


November 23, 2008

These days~

Quite a long time didn't write anything~not only this Warwick blog, but also my msn space, my xiaonei(Chinese facebook), etc.

Life in Warwick is so busy, but colourful. I attended CSSA which is Chinese Students Scholars Association, and I am a coordinator of Welfare department. We have 5 people of Welfare, have a meeting every Monday evening, and we definately did a lot these weeks. We hold the Mandarin Classes which is an attempt and an innovation of Warwick. We wrote proposal; we sent e-mails to both Chinese and Foreign students; we held two rounds of interviews to those who want to be a Mandarin mentor; and we held a welcome party for all the foreigners who want to attend our programme. This is such a wonderful experience and our five person's team worked quite happy together.

Beside the social acativities, I was also busy hunting my jobs. I attended lots of company's presentations, wrote my CV and several cover letters, did a number of on-line tests and also some open questions. Unfortunately, I think I'm not at a right time. The Credit Crunch, the Financial Crisis, and as an international students myself, It's really hard and even kind of unreality to find a job here. Sometimes I really feel upset of what I have to face...

Well~~~After the first GBE PMA, after the three weeks vacation( if it can be called a vacation), we had our OPP module. Actually it was quite a fun module and made me feel that life is full. Everyday we had fish exercises, to be a team with different people, but work for the same goal. We won different colours of fishes to get our final scores of the attending part of the course. I got one purple( which is my favourite colour^_^), three red and one yellow. Frankly speaking I wanted to keep that purple one as a memento, but it had to be collected to reuse...what a pity! Especially for someone like me who love purple and who love collection!~~Ok, bygones~

Friday night was such an amazing memory. We had our first MBE Bar. Good way to let us know each other more, and also good way to show others what we want them know more, such as our cooking, our singing, our dancing, etc. Really happy that night, and I do hope we can have more and more MBE Bars~~~haha

Ok, just stop here~time always gone fast, especially during weekends~Waiting for tomorrow's LE Module~~~and looking forward to seeing you guys~~


October 24, 2008

Win an iPod nano

Tonight, I went to the presentation of "Capital One", and I WAN an iPod 8GB nano. How unbelievable!

I'm a girl almost never ask any question in public~maybe it's related to China's traditional education method~or maybe it's just I myself who don't like ask questions in public~ But today, the chairman said the one who ask the best question can get an iPod as a prize! How fantastic! My mp3 has already be 4 years old, and it's really a great time to change it~ After this thought, I began to prepare my question~~~

Frankly speaking, it's really hard for me to ask questions. I always afraid if the question is not good enough or even is stupid, I will lose my face, though I know others don't think it like this. Especially, if I asked in English, and if my English is not good enough and once I came into some problem, what should I do??? However, today, when such a big PRIZE in front of me, I told myself: it's worth trying! And unfortunately, once I got this thought, my face began to turn red and my heart began to beat faster....I really cannot find a proper word to express myself!

During the presentation and the question time, I came out 3 questions which I think maybe some kind of value. One is about the balance between being an investor and being the company which be invested. The second is about the price of stock within the banks and the whole market, and some comments on the whole trend (because they gave us a graph of the stock price). And the last one is about its future development in Asia countries, including the strategy and other sort of things.

Then...

Struggle...Struggle...Struggle...

Finally, I rose my hand. And I choose the last question to ask. And things absolutely went very well, though I could definitely feel that my face turned red and red~~~A deep breath~~~and after all the questions, the chairman said the Asia question is the most interesting one~~~And lucky Ally, got her first iPod nano~~~

I was so excited, not only because of the prize, but the more important: I finally surpass myself! I can ask questions in public, I can ask questions in English in public, and I can ask valuable questions in English in public!

It's really a good start! And today is really such a special day that can be added to my life-memory. I will remember today, together with the state of mind, and give myself a new challenge!



October 13, 2008

differet learning styles

One week's CBE study had ended. I learned a lot during this week. But each time I wanted to write something, I found it quite hard to express myself~

During my last about 18 years of study life, I had never had a class like this. In China, teacher is someone who mostly be the representative of truth and authority. In China, we never call a teacher only by his/her name, instead we should call "teacher+family name". If a teacher is called only by the last name, he must be thought of unrespected and it's definitely run counter to the traditional culture of China.

In China, as our teachers are always be highly respected, and also as we got the biggest population in the world, we seldom have opportunity to talk in the class. We learn what the teacher  told in the class. We seldom or even never have group discussion in school. Teacher is definitely the only leader of the whole class. What we should do is just sitting down and making notes of what the teacher says. However, don't talk in the class doesn't mean we cannot express our ideas or we cannot voice when the teacher make a mistake. KongZi, who was the founder of China's culture, had encouraged people to ask questions. So, if we have something don't understand or have some ideas, we can talk to teachers after class. And now, after years of learning habit, when we come to a foreign country to further the study, we can easily find that in class, most Chinese students prefer not to talk in public. They just sit there, listen, and make notes. And this kind of state always be considered by westerners as "no thinking, no learning, and no passion in discussion". What a misunderstanding!

Hpwever, now, I'm studying in the class which require quite a high ability of presentation and leading and such sort of things. Although in China, I had been the monitor for several years and I got many opportunities to practise my personal abilities, I also find that it's quite hard  for me to fit for this new studying style in a short time. However, I'm trying: trying to think like a westerner; trying to speak and express as others do; and trying to be someone who absolutely be part of the UK's culture and life.

I  really got too much to do. Life is not easy. However, I have hope in mind, which can give me more power and motion. Memorize the expectation eyes of my family and friends, I will be so delighted and will strive for a bigger progress~~~


October 07, 2008

some ideas of leadership~after reading Kang's blog

After reading Kang's blog and some comments on it, I can definitely feel his uncomfortable of our debates in the afternoon.

First, I don't think it's some kind of confrontation. As we are in the same team, as we all the team members, we all have the right to present what we think. If we just follow what some member said, whether we agree or not, it must be a worse team. So, any comment we made, not just aim to any specific member, and it must be something we think good for the whole team and can lead a better outcome.

As other colleagues said, each person has his/her own understand of leadership. Even in the same country, different leaders of different company have their own style, how about people from different parts of the world? If all the leaders follow the same style, all the companies will be some kind of the same, how can they get their own advantages in competition?

Besides, what kind of leadership is better must depends on the situation of the team. As we all just know each other, as we not in the situation of the real leader and his follows, we cannot just give someone a power and let others absolutely follow him. If in one project, someone be the leader, and as you said, he decides almost everything and assigns each of his member to certain things he wants them to, without listening what his members' personal opinion on the project, it must not be a team work, and it just be a personal work done by a team. Even though he collects all the opinions, but the right of decision is on his hand, so he also can let the things go as he wish, it's also an individual work.

See what our situation is? We just have some projects related to the knowledge of CBE. Why I emphasize the word "knowledge"? It's not something related to the real world. It's just something previous people had done and we just have to learn to study and to have maybe our own comprehension. I really don't think such knowledge learning things will lead to some kinds of hard-decision making and we will debate till the mid-night. And I also do believe that more people making decision together will lead to a better outcome, especially in the logistic and structure parts of the project.

You prepared more for today's meeting. It's undoubtly. And I do believe all of us feel happy to work with you. But I want us to come to the memory of the start of our meeting. From the very beginning, you took yourself as a leader. I'm not saying there is any inappropriate. Each team need a leader and you organized us at the beginning. It's perfect! But if at the first start, we are not like relationship of seven team members, we more like one leader and six members, then once any of us had different opinions with you, you would think it as some kind of defiant and that incredible lead to your uncomfortable. Let's imagine another situation. If today we voted Mei as the leader of first project, and she expressed her opinion of leadership to all of us. Obviously it goes the opposite way as yours. Would you express or keep silent?? If you express, do you think yourself did something aim to her? Or you just think you want our team to be more powerful? Besides, if those who have different opinions with one project leader must be the bad partner and those who agree with him/her or don't express themselves must be the good partner. Yes, this is a good organization with clear rates, but it won't be a good team.

Maybe this blog is kind of tough, please don't mind. I really want to say that we are in the same team, whatever I and other members voice in our discussion, it comes from a good intention. We just want to find the most suitable style of team work to let us have the best result. We do hope to have a wonderful time together.


October 06, 2008

first team meeting

Today is the first day of CBE study. Paul gave us an introduction of CBE and then an old video of BBC called "Deming Circle" followed by some discussions. We got 8 key points of the video and also we have so many to learn from this famous person. But till now, I only know quite a little of him and his Deming theory, so I don't want to give much comment on it. After the study of the whole module, I will talk more.

After the course, we have a team discussion of our 6 team projects, talking about the leader, the secretay, ourselves, and as well what kind of things we should prepare before the next meeting. As we have 6 projects and 7 members, almost each of us can have a chance to be a leader. However, different from the power-leader in real society, most of us think that the leader of our team is more like an organizer. He/She has to organize the time, to organize each of us to choose a favorite part and to organize some of us to put them together and also organize us to vote for someone to give a presentation stand for the whole team. Maybe this kind of leader has less power, but it must be a good practice of finding others' advantages and making the best use of what you already have and get the best outcome, which, in my opinion, is also an essential part of being a leader.

We also knew each other more this afternoon. I am under a lot of pressure because all my team members are good at English. Three of them have been abroad for 6 to 12 years. Besides, Lila has an English-speaking mother so she take English maybe as the second mother language. The same situation to Gilbert, for he was grown in HongKong, where I think English is an official language. Toon just came to the UK for less than two months, the same with me, but she has three years' working experience in some famous multinational companies such as IBM, so she also does well in English. I  really have too much to be improved and undoubtly, with those guys, I can learn quite a lot.

Well, during the self-introduction part, Louis asked me why I was so good at maths. As Apollo said that most Chinese students do well in maths. Besides, I'm just quite sensitive to the numbers and such sort of maths things, and I had won the first prize of China's national mathematics competition in middle school. Each of us has our own advantages like you are so good at English writing, and I think maybe the maths and logistic things are my advantages. So don't be surprise if next time I work out things faster than you. We just know our self-value and make it used to our team, we will be a great union, right?


October 05, 2008

team build

It's quite a late blog~

Last Friday, during the introduction week, we had a course called "team build". Unlike other departments of WMG, our course got quite a early and wonderful start. We got to know each other and have our temporary team in the first week.

This team build course definitely gave me a shoot. Quite different study style from China's personal learning, we focus more on teamwork and interactivity. We work together to get through the puzzles; we work together to find solutions; and we work together to make one thing that represent all of us. When saw the "big feet" giraffe standing stable, I felt excited; when knew our team got the highest score of the competition, I felt excited; When took photo with my team-mates and our giraffe, I felt excited. Meanwhile, a fantastic thought came to my mind:" I will have an amazing time with all the guys during the coming year. We will be not only classmates, but also partners, and life-long friends."

Tomorrow is a formal start of my postgraduate life. Though it will be busy and sort of tough, I'm looking forward to it. Be more passion and do my best, I do sure I will have a wonderful life in MBE.


October 02, 2008

first blog of my warwick life and study~

It's lunch time~

I don't have time to back home, have lunch, and come to school to continue my classes. So, I just brought some fruit and biscuits with me, and found a seat in the computer room, cut this more than one hour time.

This is my new blog, my warwick blog. Frankly speaking, I'm not used to the the English systems, and also not used to using English to do everything, especially to write daily affairs. Living and studying abroad is not a easy thing. But once choosing, do the best~This new blog will be a new start, I'll try to express everything in English, this foreign but beautiful language.

I've already got my schedule of the whole year~quite BUSY~However, it won't be a bad thing. What I have to do is to well arrange my time and enjoy my one-year life in Warwick. Have a knowledge of not only the major, but also the culture and life of the UK. All of those will be my own treasure.

Weather still terrible these days~Hope myself a good mood~

Such as the beginning~~


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