All entries for Thursday 04 July 2013

July 04, 2013

P2 – Becoming More Assertive – Follow–up

Follow-up to WSPA– Becoming More Assertive – P2 from Sean's blog

P2 - Becoming More Assertive - Follow-up

Workshop Tutor: Bev Walsh

Date: 03/07/2013

Assertive behaviour is possibly one of the best traits I have now acquired during my time at Warwick. I cannot emphasise enough the improvement in my communication skills following the workshop. I have continuously been surprised by my original attitude of being open-minded but assuming that the information learnt in workshops would be relatively self-explanatory. This has completely changed having witnessed the vast changes in my character at a professional and social level.

Although I did not realise it at the time, becoming more assertive has assisted my organisational skills and my ability to build important relations with staff that can help me further my career as is the case with BPP law school who always say it is an absolute pleasure to speak to me. I feel much more confident in tackling issues as they arise and clarify points I am unsure of as soon as they arise which makes both my life easier and the person answering my inquiry.

Several situations of conflict have arisen where I feel comfortable remaining calm and assertive. I would even go as far to say that I now enjoy being in situations of potential conflict especially where it comes to negotiating and meeting a satisfactory resolution. This has been the case when I renegotiated my mother’s contract with her broadband supplier to make a saving of around £8 per month. Even in the gym today, I found myself in a situation where I had been waiting quite a while for a member of staff to give me an induction and free trial. Whereas before I would have continued to sit there, on this occasion I complained and clarified the situation which seemed to be down to miscommunication and the issue was resolved within a few minutes.

As far my aims to improve my mild lordosis, I am making slow progress. My lower back pain has reduced during walks and standing and the curvature is reduced. I am gradually feeling more comfortable holding a neutral stance and believe that the main issue with my back is tight hamstrings and overly flexible quads which have caused an imbalance resulting in a slight pelvic tilt.

P3– Working in a Team – Follow–up 1

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P3 - Working in a Team - Follow-up 1

Workshop Tutor: Trudy Hillier

Date: 23/06/2013

Having attended the Training Contract workshop, I operated closer to a shaper as oppose to a co-ordinator. The reason for this was that the timescale for the task was a brief 20 minutes which provided little time to identify others strengths and delegate activities. The group challenged involved an ethical conundrum in which our group had to decide who to save in priority order which could be based on personal information provided on each person. I allocated time slots for reading, coming up with a scale to assess priority, applying said scale to each survivor and finally ordering them chronologically and any final discussion for agreement.

During the task itself, I found myself having to keep focus on the task and time within the group to ensure we finished. On two occasions I had to cut off an MO for this reason but was sure to do it assertively and politely to avoid offending them and avoid the weaknesses of some shapers.

More interestingly, I took on the role of a plant which I had previously assumed was my least preferred role. This is partly due to my own ignorance in associating coming up with ideas and being creative with product development and more artistic endeavours. However, I proposed the point-scale system we used based on whether the survivor had dependents, their contributions to society and their general health/age. This was then developed by my team to operate within the time constraints given.

This has made me realise that Belbin’s roles are much more fluid than they appear and while I may have a preferred role that I feel most comfortable with, that is not to say that I cannot work effectively when taking on another role in a different context. Furthermore, having been equipped with the knowledge of team roles and remaining aware of this learning I feel much more confident within a team and I am sure that in the future I will be able to identify and utilise the talents of my team more effectively because of this.

A3 – Academic Writing – Follow–up

Follow-up to WSPA Academic Writing – A3 from Sean's blog

A3 Academic Writing Follow up 1

Workshop Tutor: Dr Laura Davies

Date: May 10th 2013

On completing my Labour law assignment I managed to achieve a 2.1 with the same mark as previously at 65. However, due to a change in the finalist exam timetable making them earlier I had less time to concentrate on my assignment and had to move on to revision. The planning techniques from the workshop especially helped me apply a structured approach to writing so that I could finish my essay as early as possible. My essay had a much more focused introduction and conclusion by avoiding the ‘story-telling’ technique which begins with a ‘you’ll-have-to-read-on-to-find-out’ criminal thriller style of writing.

In taking a strong position and developing it from the outset, I felt much more engaged with the essay and it read more fluently. Analytical additions on quotations also forced me to strengthen my critical analysis skills while tackling the essay. However, while I was much more engaged during the opening and closing of my essay and it was well-structured, I think that some of the main body lacked the same flare and relevance. In part this has to do with my approach to drafting the main body which involves formulating random paragraphs within the essay and then reorganising them later. I am not sure if this is the best approach to drafting, but I do not want to forget a sentence or part of a paragraph once I think of it – perhaps I have much to learn about planning more effectively. This option will not be available to me during my exams, so I will have to work on my planning technique and essay structuring through practice papers in order to address any weaknesses.

July 2013

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