All entries for Thursday 16 February 2012

February 16, 2012

Follow up on Working in a Team

Here's a summary of how I'm getting on with my action points

1. Try not to avoid my least preferred roles ('implementer' and 'specialist') and improve on them by working closely with these kinds of team members, in order to learn from them and make these roles more manageable.

As previously discussed, it may not be as important to improve on my least preferred roles, but I have many manageable roles which I could 'flex' into, in order to get the most out of a team environment.

2. Continue to emphasis my strengths in team work by co-ordinating, promoting discussion and exploring multiple opportunities.

To demonstrate my preferred roles and maximise the opportunities here at Warwick I have also joined the Warwick Leadership scheme where I hope to further understand my leadership style and apply this to my group work during studies, future employment and role as a PGSSLC member.

3. Understand that I will not get on with everyone or understand their methods but accept these so called 'allowable weaknesses' in order for the team to be happy and productive.

So far, this understanding has been beneficial to my studies as I'm involved in a lot of group work activities. I believe it has also been valuable in diffusing conflict and tension, nonetheless, sometimes members of the group have had to be pushed in order to maximise productivity.


Follow up on Developing Your Critical Thinking at Masters Level

Here's a summary of how I've been getting on with my action points

1. To increase the amount of material I read whilst balancing my time by using the filtering techniques described.

Whilst the structure of my course so far involves two week modules which are particularly lecture intensive, the majority of extended reading is done as research towards the essay assignment. As we move towards the end of core modules, I now have to think more in detail about my final project. This has led to an increase in the material I'm reading, and the filtering techniques described has helped to increase my productivity.

2. To not take data for granted as fact and try to critically engage with it, always ask why?

Time constraints often make this question hard to ask from every piece of information I engage with and as a result I try to stick to peer reviewed documents which are already cross referenced for validity. This will definitely become more important as I begin research towards my final dissertation project.

3. To remember that there is always more than one side to any argument and this continuum is important to understand and can be applied to strengthen the position of my own arguments in work and life.

This was most relevant to a recent submission where we were asked to argue if "Gene Therapy had come of age?" Throughout I tried to demonstrate that enthusiasm for such research will inevitability come from the scientific community and opposition will come from investors losing money where no apparent commercial returns have been established. I hope to continue to apply this understanding to my future work including my project dissertation.

 


Follow up on Effective Seminar Participation

Here's a summary of how I've been getting on with my action points

1. To remember not to allow my body to move too much when delivering presentations i.e. to stop myself from swaying as this can communicate insecurity.

The start of this term has been very busy, involving many seminar presentations, the majority of which have been a group effort. Nonetheless, my confidence in conducting myself during presentations has increased and I have found myself making less of a conscious effort to stop myself from swaying. I believe this has been reflected in the feedback I have received which explains I demonstrate a confident presentation of material.

2. To be definite in my presentation of information and questioning. Not be back down to interruption or question my right to speak.

Again the feedback from my presentations have been positive. Sometimes questioning during the presentation is encouraged and I believe I have handled this appropriately and swiftly so as not to distract from the material I'm presenting. On the other hand, I believe I could still improve my contribution to questions and discussions at the end of presentations even if to confirm my understanding as I know this can be of benefit to others as well.

3. To end clearly and present alternatives to the cliche 'are there any questions?' For example, 'I'm sure you have plenty you would like to contribute and I would be happy to hear this now.'

At the end of my presentations I have continued to make an effort to end clearly, and this point was also recently raised by a tutor in our general feedback. He explained the importance of "standing up, speaking up and then shutting up." Stressing the importance of a clear finish to a presentation to remain professional.


February 2012

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