Reflective Essay: 1st Key learning: The importance of having a vision

Introduction:

A workshop session was conducted based on the subject Principles of People Management and Development held on January 29th and 30th.  This is a reflective based on my learning on those two days. I will be using David Kolb’s experiential learning (1939) format for this reflective assignment. It starts with concrete learning, reflective observation, abstract conceptualization, and active experimentation (Kolb, 1939).

Here are the 5 key learning points from the workshop:

1st Key learning: The importance of having a vision:

Concrete learning:

The uncertain future has restricted me from developing a long-term plan or vision for myself. From a very young age, I have always wanted to do something a certain way. But, it never turned out to be how I had planned it. As I moved on to college, I had endured the same thing. So I never really bothered to have a plan. However, this session made me rethink that choice. She had asked us to draw up a vision tree which had this question that I always pushed away. And that question: ‘where am I going?’

Reflective observation:    

The vision tree made me think that I should be concerned about where I am going. I cannot be wasting my time and sit with the attitude – go with the flow. Creating a vision tree would help me attain clarity on my life goals, both personally and professionally.

Abstract conceptualization:

I understood that I was careless about my future and career and that it was time to do something about it. It was dangerous for me to not have a plan or a goal that I needed to meet.

Active experimentation:

The different parts of the tree represented aspects of my vision. I went home and did the vision tree, and as each day passes by, I try to remind myself of what I want to achieve from this life that has been gifted to me.

2nd key learning: The self-concept wheel:

Concrete learning:

We had to go through something called the self-concept wheel. This wheel helps one understand where one is at life in the 6 main areas of their life; namely work, family, social, physical, value, and self. We were supposed to give each section of our lives a score out of 5.

Reflective observation: 

 As I wrote down the scores for each field, I was more aware of how much more I should be working on myself. Fields like family and social had 3 points, although I thought they were a 5.

Abstract conceptualization:

I always thought that I was doing alright concerning the 5 fields in the self-concept wheel. But this whole exercise made me realize that I have a long way to go. There is so much that I need to do to reach a stage where the wheel has no puncture in it, is full of air, and is rolling.   

Active experimentation:

Now that I am aware of where I stand concerning the main fields in that self-concept wheel, I plan to take a day at a time and improve myself. 

3rd Key learning: The value of values:

Concrete learning:

There was an assignment in the second session where I had to identify values that I have. There were so many values to choose from. And trimming them down to 5 values was a difficult task. The five values that I discovered I treasured the most were: dependability, accuracy, spirituality, commitment and, forgiveness.  

Reflective observation:    

Right before the very first workshop, I was going through a week where I was trying to understand myself and who I was as an individual. And this exercise did help the process.

Abstract conceptualization:

I understood that values are an integral part of who a person is. I understood that these values accumulate over time and shapes the way that a person thinks.  

Active experimentation:

I knew that if there was a need to understand the value of holding values, there should be, at first, an awareness of the values that I consider valuable. The exercise of choosing 5 values helped me understand what they were and how different each value is in its own way. 

4th Key learning: Core values change:

Concrete learning:

My lecturer said something that caught my attention. She had mentioned that core values can change. I was a bit skeptical when I heard that. The reason is that they are called core values for a reason. They are core to who we are. But what I was missing out on was that factors like maturity and time affect those core values.

Reflective observation:     

Through an exercise given to me, I understood the values that I hold dear to me. I understood that our values can change. For example, when I was in school, I did not need to worry about my parents or their health. But now that I am working and slowly getting planted, I know that my values now have been my parent and how I need to get them settled back in their home country.

Abstract conceptualization:

Key learning from this whole exercise was to be aware of my values and how prone they are to change. I feel in identifying the shift in priorities of those values, I should adapt to them accordingly.  

Active experimentation:

I was able to think through my present values and what I had held on to as important to me. The shift helped me understand my maturity and how much more I should be growing.

5th Key learning: Professional Development Plan (PDP):

Concrete learning:

In this session, I was asked to connect the values that I had identified and implement them in a business environment.

Reflective observation:    

This is what the PDP aimed to do: Create a plan for oneself to be exceptional at Human resources.

Abstract conceptualization:

After identifying the values now, it was time for me to relate them to someone who wants to work in Human resources.

Active experimentation:

The PDP is a table. And the format helped me through various questions, which I had to answer honestly, and set targets for myself, which I should try to reach within a time frame.

Conclusion:

I was excited to see what I would learn from the workshop. But after those two days, I was left realizing that there is so much more that needs to be done and achieved than be comfortable where I was. A key learning was that I need to have a plan of where I am going. As immature and careless as it might sound, I was never serious about it, and the class made me aware of it. I am glad that I was able to take away so much from those two days.

References:

Kolb, D., 1984. Experimental learning. Englewood Cliffs: Prentice-Hall.

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