All entries for Wednesday 25 July 2012

July 25, 2012

P3 Follow Up 3: Tackling issues, not as one but in a group!

Follow-up to Follow–Up 2: Action point implementation from Melvin's blog


“Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success.”

This week’s blog entry concentrates on the position that I currently hold in the Basketball Society, a society of approximately 25 members. The main tasks that I have been in charge as social secretary are: sending emails to the members of the society when necessary, , preparing several socials, taking part in the organisation of team barbeques and attending numerous executive committee meetings.
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Being part of the executive committee of the Society involves making most of the decisions together, which usually includes discussions and the obtainment of common agreements, and also requires supporting team members in the fulfilment of their role. I enjoy working in a team and I consider this to be one of my key strengths; I have been able to use this skill in my position of responsibility and it has proven to be very useful. Finally, if I had to put my behaviour among Belbin’s team roles I would say that I have been mostly a co-ordinator, monitor evaluator, implementer and a team worker, although at times I have also proven to have the qualities of a shaper.

Over the last few weeks the particular task has been to arrange the annual tournament alongside the committee, this has seen truly the use of a number of different roles to suit the different occasions. When the team lacked organisers, I adorned that role in the same way I did with the other team roles. However, the particular issue I had was in the absence of ‘Socialisers’ trying to play my least preferred roles.

Nevertheless, I have had opportunities to build on this role over the weeks with the range of group work and presentations I have had. Specifically, whilst part of a 2 member team I played the role of ‘resource investigator’ and ‘team worker’ at time, as it was vital when there was the risk of becoming isolated and inwardly-focused. Even at times when getting to work effectively was not possible considering it was nearly the end of degree and the summer, I tried to motivate the other member with inside knowledge on the opposition, illustrated the absolute need to work as the professor had a personal interest in our topic and also brought to light the need to perform the best to maintain module averages. Hence, made sure that the team’s idea would carry to the world outside the team through effective communication with different people in the course and professors.

Overall, I am making the art of judging clearly the different role players in the team and thus assess the absent roles. I have also come to play my preferred roles effectively whilst also being flexible to taken on other ones to prevent the occurrence of a dysfunctional team.
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Best Regards

Melvin Jose


Follow–Up 3: What next after Making the Choice to learn?

Follow-up to Follow–Up 2: From ‘knowing the way to learn’ to ‘Making the Choice to learn’ from Melvin's blog

The last few weeks having been filled with a number of group projects were the longest most tiring two weeks of my life. Anyway, in that time I had the opportunity of working with different people on many projects, leading sometimes and following in others, a key place where I used my learned skills in ‘ASSERTIVENESS’ and ‘TEAM WORKING’ simultaneously. For this post I’m focusing only on ‘ASSERTIVENESS’ as the team working blog post will follow soon J.

These projects provided a great environment for me since I tried to be as assertive as I can be, without sounding aggressive -hopefully-, and almost all of my team members described me as a 'natural leader' something I never knew I could achieve in such a short time.

To be fair, some of these projects also allowed me to develop a holistically assertive in different situations. To be fair, I have participated in many workshops and I believe almost all of them helped me become more assertive, an example is the workshop on "delivering effective presentations" which taught me that assertiveness and confidence can be faked, then built from the effect of the fake in the eyes of the audience,. This, I tried to implement in my approach and can be seen in the way I interacted in the various workshops, specifically during my input for developing the presentational resource with Han-Na Cha, alongside others J. Assertiveness is a skill that I am liberally using these days especially with my dissertation supervisor, to attain his views on my structure and course of action, as well as to develop a close and effective supervisor- supervisee relationship.

Nonetheless, presentational approaches with assertiveness implemented were the best at helping me develop confident communication, one of my main action points. Towards the end of the last 2 modules we were tasked with preparing a presentation that required about at the very least 2 days of solid preparation before, as it involved coming up with a new business strategy (including a lot of variables to look at ).

Considering it was the summer and nearly end of the course, I realized that not everyone in my team was willing to participate fully. So I took it as my responsibility to motivate them by reminding them of how well we had done so far, bringing up the enthusiasm and interest that the professor projected on our topic. Adding to this I used the power of positive thinking to self motivate each individual, by reminding them how great it would feel if we stood out as the best. I also instilled a need to deliver the importance of giving the best, telling them the professor kept a keen interest in the way we tackled this issue and coming up a new strategy for the company ‘APPLE’. Come the day of the presentation; three of my team presented, two colleagues and myself, I closed specifically inviting the whole team to the floor to take questions for the discussion. I tried to lead the discussion by encouraging my team to through ideas and thoughts, without myself jumping into the answer myself. I also ensured I summarised what they had said, and adding final comments on their contributions.


Thus, via using presentations I have built my confidence in verbal communication, always taking a second before answering, having a smile and engaging in non-threatening eye contact J. Every success at these occasions has built my assertive skills, giving myself a confidence boost which can be seen in the interactive debates in I engage in, voicing my views on a topic through questions I ask the tutor. The success at presentations were easily one of the most confident moments I had in my life, and I absolutely enjoyed it, what's more I intend on reliving it again and again.

On the opposite side of the spectrum, I have realised that in quite stressful situations where I have been trying to be assertive, I could come off as aggressive. A situation comes to mind where I tried my best to try and illustrate that the professor was looking for a specific case to explain his topic. But, this individual was reluctant to see my point of view, rather criticising my views (which are fine) and getting quite personal about the comments.

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I did realise at these moment my assertive behaviour started to take a more aggressive approach( probably because I started getting annoyed; EMOTION DRIVEN COMMUNICATION), however I am very quick to assess what I say and realise how I might sound. Thus, tried to ease the situation by illustrating I am a student just as the other individual and probably lack knowledge in certain parts, following which direct them to the tutor. Always after such a situation, I try to direct the attention to more social or out of context situations ( such as did you see the football match last night?). Thus ensuring the small strife filled situation we could have had was avoided and making sure our relationship was not affected. FINISH ON A GOOD NOTE J Always keeping in mind ‘Never fear to show your feeling and opinions’ as it just feels too good to pass on. However, keep in mind the image of yourself you are projecting, the effect on the other person and the effect on relationships. Tailor your communication in an Assertive manner, getting rid of passiveness or aggressiveness and exuding yourself as a confident and professional individual.


Regards

Melvin


Follow–Up 2:An introduction to skills development and the Warwick Skills Portfolio

Follow-up to P1 Introduction to skills develpment and WSPA from Melvin's blog


This is a long overdue post, for an update on my progress. Last few weeks being riddled with work and other commitments restrained me from writing this up. So taking the complete VARK questionnaire, my results are as follows:

Visual: 13
Aural: 9
Read/Write: 10
Kinaesthetic:8
Following an inner look into my preferences of working and relating to the results, seems to be a perfect fit. My visual style of working suits me very well and I realise it is one that I work best at. Looking back at times when I have incorporated this specific style, the results speak for themselves; as I have done well 95% of the times. I believe it is during these occasions, when I use the visual models that I actually enjoy the work the most and am thoroughly soaked in it.
Overall the results illustrated that I had a ‘MULTIMODAL’ Learning Preference, which suits perfectly with my knack for adaptability to any situation, suiting my learning style to the surrounding environment and people. Putting basis on selected style on how others also would prefer it, such as change styles based on how the person marking the assignment would prefer. This is something I have been doing without thinking and only now has come to my knowledge. My last presentation was a reflection of this when I tailored my presentation based on how the professor gave his lectures. Putting more text in, simple layout etc.
However, I still have a strong preference for ‘VISUAL’, and this was clear in my presentation, as I still wanted to make sure the ppt looked really good in the colours and smart art used.

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However I do believe that reading and writing styles are vital part in successful every day workings regardless of subject or career path. The biggest issue I have with this model is the need to use for more than more than 1 style to understand . Thus it is clear that I emphasise my visual and write/read styles. And is something I should build on for anything I work on, particularly coming to mind using this style for my dissertational reading.
So something I could implement would be the following procedure, when thorough reading is not helping me ( this is the case once I have been reading for a while). Hence these steps could work together with the Speedy reading techniques to achieve my common goal of ‘Understanding all the text well to compile an effect thesis’.

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Techniques suggested by VARK:
INTAKE:





SWOT PACKAGE: Restructuring the text to support understanding and retention. Thus obtaining a more holistic picture.

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Finally, to assess your comprehension or to help with learning:

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“You want the whole picture so you are probably holistic rather than reductionist in your approach. You are often swayed by the way something looks. You are interested in colour and layout and design and you know where you are in your environment. You are probably going to draw something.”
THAT was the final statement given about my particular style and it is a clear reflection of myself, in specific about my top most style ‘VISUAL and WRITE/READ’. Both of which are truly reflected in everything I do; Look at the all my blog posts for instance J
I truly believe that these are the smallest but life changing discoveries about oneself in the present that could really affect and mould the person you become in the years to come.


Regards

Melvin


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  • Hi Melvin, I look forward to your blog! All the best, Margie by on this entry
  • Hi Melvin, That's a great result :) Really pleased for you. Just to let you know, I'm postponing the… by Han-na Cha on this entry
  • Hi Han–Na, Sorry for the late reply…. I've been out of town for a while. I'm so sorry but I won't … by Melvin Jose on this entry
  • Hi Melvin, I can't remember whether you got back to me about being a presenter – would you like to s… by Han-na Cha on this entry
  • Hi Melvin, Just realised that I hadn't commented on your comment. the event is a WSPA showcase event… by Han-na Cha on this entry

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