Management Skills Learning and Development Action Plan
Career Goal and career Opportunities
Currently, I am midway in my career and all is going well. At this point in time, I have another 20 -- 25 years of service remaining. From the onset, it is important to note that I have spent the majority of my career in Middle Management with a strong yearning to delve into Senior Leadership. Towards this end, I have taken advantage of numerous Professional development opportunities and completed a number of degrees in Education to further my career prospects. I hold a Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Education, Masters of Education and a Graduate Certificate in Theology. I have largely immersed myself into the Catholic Education arena, specifically at the Secondary level. I have also worked in positions of middle leadership such as Director of Music, Religious Education Coordinator, Youth minister and Pastoral Care Coordinator. Within the next three years, I expect to be in a position of Senior Leadership such as a Deputy Principal or any other position of equal value. Having completed my Master's degree in Educational Leadership and having significant currency in Theology and Religious Education, I feel that if combined with my 24 years of teaching experience, these would make me well suited and primed to take on a Senior Leadership position in Education. The marketplace is continually abundant of opportunities for suitably qualified and experienced staff in the private Education sector. As a significant portion of my experience has been as a faculty leader in subject-based disciplines, the reason I have recently taken on a Pastoral Care Coordinator position is to further expand my leadership experience with staffing and students - particularly focusing in the area of behavior management and welfare. This will further develop my skills in human resourcing, time management, and particularly made my self-awareness become a priority.
2. About Myself
In addition to being ambitious, I also happen to be assertive; meaning that I always stand by that which I truly believe in. I also regard myself a caring, thoughtful, and honest individual. Being a courteous person, I have all along been able to relate well with my co-workers and peers. Going forward, I believe that this will also further enhance the way I relate with my subordinates. I also value hard work and creativity. To a large extent, these are the things that I regard critical in not only the way I work and live, but also in the way I relate with others. They determine my priorities -- meaning that I would be most comfortable in a position of leadership whose roles and functions do not conflict with the aforementioned values.
I am alive to the fact that to perfectly fit in a managerial position and execute my duties and responsibilities effectively, it would be prudent to be aware of my personality type. Indeed, as Ricketts and Ricketts (2010) point out, an individual's career choice ought to correlate with their personality type. To determine whether on not my career choice and future career prospects correlate with my personality type, I took the personality test found at the Human Metrics website (http://www.humanmetrics.com/cgi-win/jtypes2.asp). The test is founded on Isabel Briggs Myers' and Carl Jung's approach (typographical) to personality. As per the test results: my personality type was categorized as ENTJ. ENTJ's, according to Butt (2014), "have a natural tendency to marshal and direct." People with a similar personality type as mine have been described in various quarters as being natural-born leaders.
It is also important to note that, in general terms, I tend to be a fast learner. More specifically, I am more of both an auditory and visual learner. This is to say that most of the things I remember are those that I hear and see. Given that I regard myself a life long learner, being aware of my learning style is critical as this makes me aware of the techniques that suit me best.
3. Current Skills Inventory
We all have unique strengths that could make an immediate impact on our planned or future roles. Upon evaluation of my current skills inventory, I have identified three skills strengths that I possess. These include: the ability to delegate tasks in an effective and meaningful way, confidence in not only the way I execute tasks but also in the way that I carry myself, and decisiveness. With regard to the ability to delegate tasks, it is important to note that I do not find it difficult to assign or share tasks with those whom I work with. In other words, I do not regard myself a control freak. Going forward, therefore, as a leader, I will find myself delegating tasks from time to various departments so as to free up my schedule. This will, in turn, impact positively on my performance. Confidence, on the other hand, is also a critical skill that I possess. I do not easily panic in the face of uncertainty. As a leader, I will most likely encounter worrisome situations -- especially when things do not go as planned. Key in such situations will be my ability to remain calm. This will be critical as I seek to maintain team morale. Lastly, I have also been known as a decisive person. When I make up my mind to pursue a specific course of action, I do not waver even in the face of uncertainty. My ability to make decisions without wavering will not only gain me respect from peers and subordinates, but it will also be of great relevance as I seek to enhance organizational efficiency.
Despite the skills strengths I have listed above, I feel there is yet another critical skill set that I need to improve if I am to make it in a position of leadership. These include skills regarding; communication, team building, and time management. I do not regard myself a good time manager. As a matter of fact, I, from time to time, find myself far behind schedule in various tasks. With regard to communication, I am not as effective as I would love to be when it comes to not only issuing instructions, but also maintaining lengthy conversations. I do not also regard myself a good team player. This is particularly the case given that I find it more comfortable to handle individual-based projects, as opposed to team-based projects. These are the skills that I feel I need to improve on.
4. Learning Goals and Action Plans
As I have already pointed out above, the three skills that I intend to improve include: communication, team building, and time management skills. It is important to note that these are the skills I intend to continue working on so as to further sharpen them beyond the timelines I have indicated herein. This is particularly important given that as Hill and Lineback (2011) observe, most leaders fail to fulfill their ambitions "because they stop working on themselves."
Skill 1: Communication
Broad Goal: To further enhance and sharpen my communication skills.
SMART Goal: To be an effective communicator, both in writing and in the spoken word -- and more specifically, in the art of persuasion. The time frame for the accomplishment of this particular skill is six months.
Strategies and Action Plans:
First, to be able to accomplish the stated goals, I need to develop what David and Congleton (2013) refer to as emotional agility. This, according to the authors, has got to do with approaching our inner experiences in a productive, value-driven, and mindful manner. It is only through enhanced ability to manage my feelings that I will be able to project my thoughts.
The relevance of firing up my charisma cannot also be overstated on this front. This is especially the case given that people find it more interesting to engage with charismatic individuals than with those who show no charisma at all. Charisma, according to Antonakis, Fenley, and Liechti (2012), is "the ability to communicate a clear, visionary, and inspirational message that captivates and motivates an audience." I could be more charismatic by; making constant use of body language, showing genuine interest in other people, incorporating humor in conversations, etc.
I will also further develop my listening skills. To communicate effectively and respond to other people's queries and concerns in the most appropriate manner, one ought to be a keen listener.
Still on this front, I will still need to develop the ability to seek or acquire more information without being too inquisitive, be it in conversational or other more formal settings. Towards this end, I intend to learn more on how and when to ask close ended questions and open ended questions.
The further enhancement of my non-verbal communication skills will also come in handy in this case. Non-verbal communication sometimes helps put a message across in instances where mere words can't.
Lastly, I will need to work on maintaining eye contact with those with whom I am in communication. I tend…