Successful and Effective Personal and Team Development
The objective of this work is to write a critical reflection of the personal development and growth of the writers with the Royal Air Force with a view to broadening the knowledge and skills of the writer to be a more effective manager by undertaking a personal SWOT analysis. Accepted Learning Styles Theories should be used to explain how the writer will apply that knowledge to maximize the strengths and opportunities and minimize weaknesses and threats to future self-development. Useful tools that have been suggested are learning styles 'lens' workshop materials and cognitive learning style.
This assignment intends to critically reflect on the personal development and growth over the course of the 15 years of service with the Royal Air Force of this writer. This work will examine both the extent and depth of the skills acquired by the writer of this work and will undertake an analysis of the writer's strengths and weaknesses with a view to identifying potential opportunities to exploit and threats to avoid or mitigate against. The ultimate aim of this work in writing is to make provision of a vehicle by which the writer of this work can broaden their skills and identify the means to become a more effective manager.
Appropriate and recognized mechanisms will be used to assess the preferred learning styles of the writer and with a view to identifying the most effective means to maximize the potential for self-development of this writer. The second part of this work in writing has as its focus the application of current knowledge and learning to analyze, evaluate and discuss how this writer would develop an effective team with successful internal and external communication processes.
Communication is described as "…a process for giving and exchanging information with others." (Roehler, 2007) Effective communication is stated to occur "when the receiver clearly understands the intended message that was sent." (Roehler, 2007) Communication is something that occurs no matter whether it was planned or unplanned. (Roehler, 2007)
I. Personal SWOT
Strengths include the following training events and accomplishments:
Attestation to RAF as enlisted airman (16 Jan 1996)
Elementary Training (17 January 1996-5 March 1996)
Initial Trade Training (Avionics) (Mar 1996 -- Dec 1996)
The weaknesses of the writer of this work at focus in this SWOT analysis include those as follows:
(1) Limited specialization;
(2) Limited experience outside armed forces; and (3) Impulsiveness.
Opportunities noted as presenting the writer of this work and the individual at focus in this SWOT analysis:
(1) Leaving the RAF in three years;
(2) Earning an MBA;
(3) Self-employment in a new career.
Threats that present the writer of this work and the individual at focus in this SWOT analysis include the following:
(1) The threat of leaving secure employment; and (2) The current financial crises.
II. Analysis, Evaluation and Discussion of How to Develop Effective Team Using External and Internal Communication Processes
A. Internal Communication Processes
Internal communication is reported by Raza (2009) to involve "the communication that exists within an organization and can take many forms." Internal communications is called by varied titles in different organizations and includes such as: (1) employee communications; (2) engagement communications; as well as other titles. (Raza, 2009) Raza (2009) reports that the primary theme is that internal communications is "simply communications (in whatever format) amongst, and between a firms' employees."
Formal and informal internal communications exist within the organization. Formal communication is inclusive of such as "planned communication, memo, letter, report, e-mail & faxes that follow company's chain of command…" (Raza, 2009) Informal communication is inclusive of casual communication among employees, e-mail, face-to-face conversations, phone calls, [and] discussions…" (Raza, 2009)
Reported as barriers of communication are such as:
(1) Semantic barriers (convention of meaning);
(2) Physical barriers; and (3) Psychological barriers which include: (a) emotional barriers; and (b) perceptual barriers; and (4) Barriers involving values and attitudes. (Raza, 2009)
The process of organizational communication is reported by Raza (2009) to be interrupted by disturbances such as the following:
(1) Individuals who are not educated or who are less educated fail to completely understand the information;
(2) The channel of communication is weak and information is incomplete or received late;
(3) Messages such as fax messages may not be clear or photocopies may be dim or illegible;
(4) Choice of messages language or matter is inappropriate; and (5) Presentation mode of information is not appropriate. (Razo, 2009)
Razo (2009) importantly notes that communication is representative of the voice of the corporation as well as the corporation's "integrity and the images it projects of itself on a global and regional stage populated by its various audiences and stakeholders."
It is noted that internal communication planning is one of the most neglected of all areas relating to strategic planning and as well many companies and in fact, most companies spend a large amount of resources, money and effort on their external communication strategy. However, these companies also simultaneously fail to expend resources and energy focused on the creation of an organized plan for internal communication. (Roehler, 2007)
Roehler (2007) reports that the objective of internal communication strategy is "to foster a strong communication culture within the business by creating a two-way flow of information that moves information from the top to the bottom and then moves feedback back up to the top." Roehler states that the goal of internal communication is to "filter the message(s) coming from upper management down to all employees to provide them with a better understanding of the purpose, goals and directions of the business." (Roehler, 2007)
The stated benefits of the adoption of an internal communication strategy include the benefits stated as follows: (1) The creation of a workplace in which all employees are "informed and working toward the same goals through clear direction for everyday activity"; (2) Competitive advantage gains; (3) Creation of a common vision and reduction of workplace conflict through reduction of ambiguity; (4)_ Improvement of employee understanding and response to needs of all individuals; (5) Encouragement of a sense of belonging to the whole through information and awareness of business operations; (6) Enabling of all employees ability to articulate the mission of the business, values and goals; (7) Empowerment of employees to make better informed decisions on a daily basis that are adherent with the company meeting its long-term goals; (8) Promotion of a clear, shared understanding of change processes and gain commitment for change as well as counteract unnecessary employee anxiety about change; (9) Ensure the efficient use of resources through prioritizing demands that are in conflict with one another; (10) Enabling of the review of activity of the business and provision of the channels to measure success; (11) Motivation of better performance through linking the efforts to individuals team with a "system-thinking 'big picture' approach that effectively breaks down personal or departmental fiefdoms. (Roehler, 2007)
Roehler (2007) additionally states that a sound internal communication strategy should "enable a two-way flow of information between employees and management" and as well should be "integrated with the overall business strategy." The internal communication plan should also have a focus on the long-term and communicate values and goals clearly as well as being comprehensive in nature. (Roehler, 2007, paraphrased) Appropriate communication methods should be used for internal communication and messages should be consistent and never condescending.
Finally, it is stated that a sound internal communication strategy should "…involve the management team commitment to reinforcing perceptions delivered via the communication strategy -- management needs to 'walk the talk'. (Roehler, 2007) Issues that are necessary to consider include the previously existing communication process as well as who it is that "currently creates and disseminates information" and "who will be responsible for managing the accountability of the communication strategy going forward." (Roehler, 2007)
B. External Communication Processes
External communication is defined as "the exchange of information and messages between an organization and other organizations, groups or individuals outside its formal structure." (BNET Business Directory, 2010) External communication goals include the facilitation of cooperation with groups that are outside of the organization however, which are vital to the success of the organization.
The work entitled, "Environmental Management Roundtable, Focusing on Performance Evaluation and External Communications" published in July 2000 states that external communications support organizational goals through: (1) through ensuring the…