Self-Assessment and Reflection Term Paper

Excerpt from Term Paper :

Self-Assessment and Reflection

According to Daniel Goleman, author of Emotional Intelligence: Why it Can Matter More than IQ (July 1997): "Self-awareness includes the competencies of emotional awareness, accurate self-assessment and self-confidence. Skill in knowing about personal strengths and limits and self-worth are related to these competencies." Various professional tests I have taken have provided me with some insights into my own personality characteristics and personal and professional strengths. For example, according to the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, my personality type is ISTJ (introverted, sensory, thinking, judging), which I find useful in assessing my own personality style and strengths. The Fundamental Interpersonal Relations Orientation-Behavior (FIRO-B) test, an assessment tool used for improving working relationships and individual effectiveness, places me at the midway point between 'need for inclusion' and 'need for total control'. In other tests I have taken, results indicate personality characteristics including self-confidence; adaptability; initiative; empathy; service orientation, and ability in conflict management.

Discuss your strengths and opportunities for professional and personal growth.

In both educational and work endeavors, I have been fortunate to be able to take advantage of insights offered by myriad tests, inventories, self-assessment instruments and personal characteristic inventories. Each of these has offered me information valuable in formulating goals that suit my abilities and potential. Underlying that, however, is a goal I plan to work hard to attain, and would have wished to attain even without the benefit of the assessments: to follow in the spirit of the first African-American ever to earn a Ph.D. In the United States, Father Patrick F. Healy, S.J. (1834-1910).

Explain why you desire to obtain a terminal degree.

As Father Healy inspired others, to wish to learn on their own, to benefit themselves and society and for the joy of learning, I would also like to make a positive difference, in an education setting, in the lives of others. Like Father Healy, who has been called the "second founder" of Georgetown University, I would like to inspire interest in and love for education, particularly in the area of business education (and for minority group members and women in particular) from within the federal government's Senior Executive Service (SES).

I believe that, especially in today's competitive world, and business environment, my goal to inspire business employees toward a passion for ethics, is worthy of Father Healy's own example, and one toward which I could put to use my past business and military experience. The less-than-positive public image business has acquired, due to recent scandals; bankruptcies; incidents of accounting fraud, etc., has cast business (and, by association, business education) in an unfortunate light. For that reason, I believe business education today, more than ever, must include learning and teaching of not just procedures and processes, but ethics. Business education must deal not just with 'bottom line' issues, but also, often ignored, ethical aspects of 'bottom line' creation. I believe responsible future business leaders must begin incorporate ethics into business practices, and also inspire those they influence to do likewise. Both today's and tomorrow's business leaders, then, must aim to be exemplars of ethics among those they supervise and manage.

Having spent over 23 years as a working professional, and being a retired member of the United States Army, I have, on numerous occasions, also found myself in roles of 'educator' within organizations. Even early in my military career, I understood, even if only intuitively, the influence, positive or negative, educators typically have on attitudes, actions, and outlooks of those they teach. Since then I have come to believe, even more than then, in the many positive effects, in all walks of life, that an inspiring, conscientious, ethically-minded educator can potentially have on those he or she teaches. Further, I recognize the (potentially) hugely beneficial effects of business leaders' also being willing to educate as well as lead others.

An optimally effective educator, within any setting, academic or professional, is potentially able to engender not only passion for learning within students, but also willingness to act responsibly and ethically, not only in a classroom, but in life. Using that influence, then, an educator or business leader in a position to influence others may encourage them not only to learn or to work their best, but to be their best.

I have been very fortunate to be taught by excellent teachers, many of whom could both explain and inspire. It is well-known that individuals who set definite goals, educationally, professionally, and personally, are most likely to succeed, professionally and otherwise. Carolyn Nilson, author of How to start a training program, observes that, today, all across America, "companies are rediscovering the enormous potential in individual employees." That suggests that tomorrow's business graduates may well be able to find satisfying professional niches, if educationally and otherwise prepared to fill them, and also willing to continually adapt and learn on the job. Already, many companies have increasingly begun to invest much more in inspiring the personal best among workers, a dramatic shift from yesterday's typical, purely 'bottom line' business mentality. However, in keeping with that new emphasis, employees must themselves pay careful attention to more than just profits and their own careers. Those who thrive in the future will be those who not only possess sound educational backgrounds and critical thinking skills, but who also possess and demonstrate commitment to society's well being, including belief in ethical business practices.

Increasingly, an employee development approach to workplace atmospheres and practices is the method of choice, for CEOs and human resource departments alike.

However, for employees to fully benefit from this change, they still need to be as well educated, trained, and prepared as possible. Education and training, in fact, will play increasingly pivotal roles in workers' continuing to be up to the tasks of today's, and tomorrow's leaner work environments.

Create an improvement strategy based on this assessment and your understanding of critical thinking processes and concepts (note -- this portion of the assignment assumes that the learner has read the study materials for the Critical Thinking Proficiency Assessment)

Within adult education, the concept of central learning theory has to do with self-directed learning. In terms of my own self-directed learning experiences, I have invested in my own professional and development, in order to best be able to meet my professional and personal goals for the future. For example, as an aspiring member of the federal government's Senior Executive Service (SES), I have been involved in the VA SES Candidate Development Programs (CDPs). The Office of Personnel Management has defined the Senior Executive Service (SES) Candidate Development Programs (CDPs) as "competitive programs designed to create pools of qualified candidates for SES positions." At the end of a two-year course, completers share values enabling them to become leaders in their fields. A statement often heard within the SES corps is "To lead a Government that delivers great service, senior executive service (SES) members must have broad experience, professional integrity, and a commitment to the highest ideals of public service. They must continuously push themselves to learn more, and they must be equipped with the best tools. Finally, they must be held accountable for results and outcomes set by the President and Congress and expected by the American people."

There are 27 core competencies that exist, within the SES Executive Core Qualifications (ECQ). Those same competencies are also stressed within the University of Phoenix's doctoral programs. During the next five years, I would like to pursue developmental education, as well as experiences and opportunities having to do with those 27 job competencies. Among the most important objectives encompassed by the core competencies is that of developing critical thinking abilities. Toward that end three characteristics -- clarity, strategy, and accuracy, are key. It is not by chance that those same characteristics generally allow successful people to define goals and reach them.

My chosen career field is public administration. Within that field, I would like to become a member of the federal government's Senior Executive Service (SES). That goal is based on a projected work life of 20 more years, which would allow me to retire after 43 years of federal service, in the year 2026. I have two career goals: one short-term and one long-term. My long-term goal is to become, within five years, a career member of the federal Senior Executive Service. My short-term goal is to obtain work experience, training, and education that can help me reach my long-term-term goal. My background, skills, and experiences, I believe, may enable me to optimally meet, in the future, the high demands of SES service. Moreover, descriptive terms that emerge from results of tests used in business today, indicate that I possess characteristics that might help me to succeed, as a future SES member: accommodator; integrator; clarifier; developer, and implementer. Members of that service occupy positions just below Presidential appointees, and operate and oversee nearly every government activity in approximately 75 federal agencies.

As we enter the 21st century, today's senior executives face tremendous new leadership challenges. The government needs to assure that…

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