All entries for Saturday 02 June 2012

June 02, 2012

P2 Becoming More Assertive

Follow-Up 1: Self Reflection and Road to change

P2 assertive

With behaviour and approach being so entwined with a healthy lifestyle and mindset, it is key to identify not only your needs but others too, as well as expressing both. As your behaviour is a reflection of your personality and traits, it is one of the key factors society uses to analyse each person.

With traits varying from ‘Aggressive to Assertive to Passive’ the key question of whether these three were all at different points on the same scale or completely different behaviours was analysed initially at the workshop. Understanding this difference helps us relate to the fact that we as human beings elicit all the three traits at different points, with high dependence on circumstances.

However both ‘Aggressive and Passive behaviours’ could be categorised as having emotional basis, where as assertive behaviour is a trait which is carried with you all the time, in your personality. Thus assertive behaviour is an ability that you have within you to act at certain situations, being prepared for situations and being proactive, standing by your decisions, avoiding conflicts and at the same time being respectful towards other also keeping your self-respect intact.

Through the various dynamic and interactive exercises intricately crafted by Bev , the combined importance of both ‘verbal and non-verbal communication’ was recognized. Something that could create a first impression of a person without even any direct interaction. Specifically as in the case of the non-verbal communicational means including importance of ‘posture and stance’, which could create a friendly, accepting and mature image or another exuding being closed, arrogant or reserved. Something that could make a difference where ever you are; friends, family, interviews, social or professional events etc. Thus importance of a good posture and the difference it has was firmly established in my mind following this workshop, which I hope to apply in everyday moments. Adding to the set contained within good posture ( shoulders head position, firm foot placement), a ‘high head and low tail system’ could be also implemented to voice my opinions with authority; assertiveness demands I give respect however also demanding respect back.

Adding to this is the ‘Voice, Intonation and Semantic’ system. These work on the verbal aspects that could significantly radiate stability and/or psychological issues based on the extent of usage and usage quality for each of these. A personal tool that I hope to implement in everyday behaviour to tackle conflicts as well as interact effectively.

Upon deciphering the link between ‘confidence and self-esteem’ to behaviour and how they can feedback to alter behaviour, it was key I put tools and points I learnt from this workshop to everyday life allowing me to personally grow and develop to having both high self esteem and confidence levels. Thus being more assertive for me would mean being more effective at interacting with people, as I have a tendency to be quiet especially around new people. It would also mean I could build a professional and confident image that I can exude to the society.

Hence in short, following this workshop I am about to start a module relying heavily on group work, an excellent place to implement these skills. I plan to meticulously follow the developed ‘Action Points’ , which include:

  • Ensuring maintenance of an assertive posture, whilst also exuding vitality in introducing/networking with others, as well as voice my opinions freely.
  • Understanding that the maintenance of my self-esteem is a personal endeavour and it not dependent on other, thus grab every opportunity to take initiative and build confidence
  • Improve on verbal communication via use of the tools stated .
  • Make the steps of an assertive behaviour a habit:

i) State the problemP2c Assertive

ii) Explain how it affects you

iii) Listen to the other person’s point of view and respect it

iv) Be prepared to negotiate

v) Leave old grievances out of the conservation

Thank You Bev for a motivating and insightful workshop

Best Regards

Melvin Jose

P7 Organising ourselves and our time

Follow-Up 1: Self Reflection

Considering that I had always managed to leave assignments to the last as well as getting it just in time, the need for assessing my time-management was in order. Although something I’ve worked on previously throughout the year, it wasn’t until the workshop that I was able to understand my success stealers and stress triggers, ‘unstructured time distribution’ leading to poor completion of work.

The workshop allowed me to understand the basic time management tools and skills, as well as learn the different types of planning (Macro and Micro) alongside the reality of life which requires a balance of everything, family/friends to university obligations. We were also taught about the importance of prioritisation and scheduling to clarify and ascertain our objectives, specifically applying the ‘SMART technique’ .

Although the workshop is reminiscent of the views of academic professors and teachers, it provided a more detailed and clearer picture of my current standing, allowing me to step back and develop steps needed to make better use of the time every day.

With a very intensely packed year encompassing 12 modules, each of which consisted of reports, presentations and exams, as well as a dissertation accounting for nearly half of the degree my workload is very high. This alongside an active social and family life, the need for time management was vital as always one was sacrificed for another. Thus, previously I have tried to tackle it using a diary as a time management tool recording all important deadlines and events. However, as of recent I have noticed my use of the diary was sparse and poorly kept up to date. In turn I have resorted to using a smart phone to maintain an up to date and on the go ‘time-management tool’, with alarms to alert me to events.

In addition I also aimed to decipher the reason behind me procrastinating , being distracted by everything else except do the work needed. So leaving less time for work, thus being stressed out and having to sacrifice the balance of things to keep to deadlines. Hence the need to prioritise.

Prioritisation technique

Thus in short, following this workshop I plan to intricately follow the developed ‘Action Points’ , which include

  • Make good use of SMART in everyday situations, especially with respect to managing work for the next two modules, alongside lifetime planning (completing CV and start applying for vacancies).
  • Use of macro and micro planning, also GANT charts, to set a course of action for my dissertation (stages of the dissertation, completion dates for each stage, understand how will I ascertain if I have achieved completion of each stage).
  • Start to develop lifetime planning and set goals to achieve them (Develop and complete my CV, research job vacancies, start applying and planning next steps following Masters).
  • Finally try to maintain a balance between ‘Work-Family-Friends’

Thank You Beverley for a very useful workshop

Best Regards

Melvin Jose

June 2012

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