Business Leadership Skills

Improvement on social skills, in terms of positive behaviors frequency and social skills scores, are very significant. The reason of success and its impact on my life are also discussed. Weekly Progress Tracking Form In evaluating and forming improvement plan, multiple resources were identified and analyzed (Cherries et al. , 201 0; Sapped & Sapped, 1999; Lethal & Sari, 1979; Hickman; Long & Sheerer, 1984; Suffer, 2003 and Rigor, 1986).

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I found that following common patterns for the training program developed or mentioned above: All of the trainings involve peer interaction and evaluation by others. All of the trainings targeted towards managers have presentation, question and answer and critique components. All of the trainings are evaluated using a multi-rater assessment tool. Trainings towards manager have a strong focus on effective presentation, constructive criticism, handling question and complaints.

Trainings toward adolescents and children focus more on establishing social connection and interaction, maintaining conversation and understanding others’ emotions. Considering my age group (22 years old), current status (working as a Teaching Assistant and President for a 200-people not-for-profit organization) and previous experience (16-months working experience as a Business Analyst and several other professional involvement), I chose to Page 2 of 17 Nun promise | 996621918 instruct my plan based on training models that are developed for managers.

Among all, the “Seven El Habits” (Cherries et al. , 2010) are of particular interest: (1)Making a daily effort to compliment someone sincerely; (2)Practicing good listening; (3)Conveying to someone that you trust they will meet their commitments; (4)Refraining from acting when angry; (5)Being transparent; (6)Focusing on a person’s strengths rather than limitations. (7)Not speaking ill of someone when others speak ill of that person.

Furthermore, the effective complaint resolution points are also of interest: (a) Avoid responding with stylist or defensiveness, (b) ask for and listen openly to the employee’s complaint; (c) restate the complaint for thorough understanding; (d) recognize and acknowledge his or her viewpoint; (e) if necessary, state your position indecisively; and (f) set a specific date for a follow-up meeting (Lethal & sari, 1979). The two above behavioral examples were combined together in formulating my own Weekly Progress Tracking Form (See Appendix 1), which is the list of activities that I planned to practice on and keep track of.

Frequency of displaying the Seven El Habits were updated daily to ensure an accurate record. One mark was given for each time a habit is displayed. A week- end retrospective was conducted for each item to record whether the specific technique was used and how many time it was used. One mark was given for having utilized a technique in that week’s complaint resolution, either in dealing with students in my tutorials or in professional environment. Total mark was calculated by adding all the marks of that week.

The validity of this Weekly Progress Tracking Form is backed by the researches cited. Specifically, Seven El Habits is stated to be both practical (as there are plenty opportunities for Page 3 of 17 ACH habit) and easily measurable (the display of a habit could be easily distinguished) (Cherries et al. , 2010). The increased frequency of these habits is suggested to result in an improvement in social skills. Furthermore, these seven habits were developed by several successful Coos from multinational companies.

The complaint handling procedures could greatly improve one’s social skills as it provide a clear guidance as in how to detect other’s emotion, being persuasive and being adaptable to difficult social situation (Lethal & Sari, 1979). In particular, effective complaint resolution is something of my weakness. Social Skills Assessment Tools In evaluating assessment tools, several possible methods have been evaluated: the Emotional and Social Competence Inventory (SEES, Cherries et al. 201 0), the Social Skills Inventory (SSI, Rigor, 1986) and several other questionnaires (Sapped & Sapped, 1999 and Hickman). The 17 sample items of SSI, as provided in Rigging’s paper, will be one of assessment tools for this improvement plan (See Appendix 2). SSI is built to be an effective self-test questionnaire, with empirical and quantitative data to support its effectiveness (Rigor, 1986). The 17 samples items selected were those of clear agreement of social skills and could be easily measured against a short time span.

Each item would be recorded with 5-point scale, from O to 4, from not at all true for me to very true for me. Even though there are 7 dimensions being measured, we will only look at the total score, as Rigor (1986) stated that “it is a balance of social skill components that is critical in determining a truly socially skilled individual”. The form was filled out at the every week myself. The validity of this inventory has been rigorously tested. Furthermore, tested subjects in Rigging’s study are all undergraduate students, who share a similar background tit me and therefore are known to be applicable. Age 4 of 17 Assign meet 2 The other half of the social skills assessment tools came from the questionnaire developed Sapped and Sapped in 1999, specifically for 1800 review, i. E. Direct report review (See Appendix 3). The 20 questions were selected using the same criteria as above. All 20 questions were answered using a popular 5-point scale, Very satisfied, Satisfied, Neither satisfied nor dissatisfied, Dissatisfied or very dissatisfied, from 4 to 0.

This questionnaire was filled out by one of my direct report (Vice-President, Operations) every week. Besides the reasons stated in Sapped and Sapper’s paper, I chose a 1800 review over a 3600 review for the reason that don’t have one specific supervisor nor any peer at my current role. For the same reason as above, only the total score was used for plotting purpose. Again, the validity of the questionnaire and questions within it were proven in Sapped and Sapper’s paper.

Goal Setting After the plan was constructed and the first week’s record was collected (for the purpose of having a baseline for my goal), the following long-term goal and periodic goals were set: BAG: Utilize and improve my social skills through the behavior exercises and methods selected. Ultimately become a better manager and leader through the improvement. Long-Term SMART Goal: At the end of 10 weeks, improve my total mark on Weekly Progress Track Form to at least 34 points from the current 10 points through actively utilizing the behavior examples selected.

Periodic SMART Goal: Each week, I will improve my total marks on Weekly Progress Task Form by at least 3 points through actively utilizing the behavior Results The weekly total marks and projected total mark for the Weekly Progress Tracking Form (as set up in my periodic goal); the percentage of mark from self evaluation SSI, out of 68) and the Page 5 of 17 percentage of mark from other evaluation (out of 80) are listed in Appendix 4. Diagrams plotting from these data are in Appendix 5 and Appendix 6.

The following observations were made in retrospective: C] The long-term SMART goal was met and even exceeded at the end of 10 weeks. While the few early periodic SMART goals were missed, I quickly caught up and surpassed the projection in the process. C] Based on the self evaluation and other evaluation, the BAG goal was met and arguably exceeded. In a recent conversation with my UP Operations, she said the regress was beyond her expectation and she never thought such a clear change and progress is possible. She even said she will try something similar to improve her self-awareness problem. While total mark from behavioral examples increased and was accelerating each week, no significant results were seen in either self evaluations or other evaluations till later on in the plan. C] Overall, my improvement plan was very successful. Self Reflection and Analysis Improvement Methods: At the early stage, I found it really difficult to break out from my old behavior habits and at that time, it was just the periodic goal I set or myself that was pushing me forward. As shown in the result, the periodic goal was constantly missed during that time.

However, as time lapsed, the benefits of these behavioral examples were shown in real work and it was less embarrassed and easier to perform those behaviors. It became apparent to myself that it wasn’t so difficult to fulfill my personal goal and it wasn’t a waste of time: it actually had positive impact on my work result. This actual result was what pushed for my accelerated improvement. Page 6 of 17 Evaluation Method: It quickly came apparent to me that even though improvement in desirable behaviors existed, the marks on social skills received little improvement.

Reasons are two folded: evaluation was based on the overall social skills, not those specific behavior examples; the improvement on behaviors need time to sink in and translate into actual improvement on social skills. While the two reasons are reasonable, the marks on these evaluations were not encouraging. I then decided to have the questionnaires filled out each week but would not calculate the mark till the end of the 10th week. In this way, could focus on what could control and improve on, i. E. He behavior example, yet still keep track of the actual improvement.

Goal: Setting up a BAG and SMART goal was very useful, especially in the early stage. It served as a reminder and achievable target. It is stretching yet realistic. While I definitely needed to make efforts to achieve it, it was neither too big nor too difficult to achieve. Benefits of the Improvement Plan As a result of my personal improvement on social skills, I have experienced many real benefits: a better professional relationship and communications, a smoother conflict resolution process, a more fruitful networking experience.

Among all, I loud like to highlight my experience as a Teaching Assistant. At the beginning of my “teaching career”, tutorial was mainly me talking, they listening. The usual scenario would be me standing tightly behind the podium with a poker face. As I improved my social skills, I was more comfortable in teaching. I gradually moved from behind the podium to the front, from straight teaching to interactive learning, from not knowing any of my students to knowing all of their names. With a small step everyday and every week, I believed I have transformed my presentation style and skills.

It came apparent to me that with little efforts everyday, I could gradually become better and stronger, in my leadership skills. Page 7 of 17 Appendix 1 Seven El Habits Frequency Making a daily effort to compliment someone sincerely. Practicing good listening. Conveying to someone that you trust they will meet their commitments. Refraining from acting when angry. Being transparent. Focusing on a person’s strengths rather than limitations. Not speaking ill of someone when others speak ill of that person. Complaint Resolution Utilize? Avoid responding with hostility or defensiveness Ask for and listen openly to the employee’s complaint

Restate the complaint for thorough understanding Recognize and acknowledge his or her viewpoint If necessary, state your position indecisively Set a specific date for a follow-up meeting. Total Mark page 8 of 17 Appendix 2 Not at all true for me (-2) When I get depressed, don’t tend to bring down those around me. Have been told that I have “expressive” eyes. Quite often I tend to be the “life of the party. ” It is nearly impossible for people to hide their true feelings from me. At parties I can instantly tell when someone is interested in me. People often tell me that I am a sensitive and understanding person. Able to conceal my true feelings from just about anyone. Am very good at maintaining a calm exterior, even when upset. When I am really not enjoying myself at some social function, I can still make myself look as if I am having a good time. At parties I enjoy speaking to a great number of different people. When in discussions, I find myself doing a large share of the talking. Usually take the initiative and introduce myself to strangers. Find it very easy to play different roles at different times. Page 9 of 17 Somewhat not true for me (-1) Between true and not true Somewhat true for me Very true for me (2)