This assignment is designed to help you understand yourself. In this course, you will explore who you are in terms of your personality, skills and values. Further, you will examine how you work and interact with others. In it, you will explore two areas of strength, two areas of weakness, and then you will develop a plan of action focused on one of your strengths and one of your weaknesses. It is expected that this assignment will contribute to your sense of self-awareness and thus help you make wise choices about your future.
As part of our in-class activities, we will focus on self discovery. This will allow you to reflect and disclose those aspects of yourself that you feel are most likely to contribute to your abilities as a leader. Further, you will be encouraged to give and receive feedback from others.
In addition, you will have the opportunity to delve into your areas for growth. For this assignment you will also reflect on two areas of weakness (or areas that you would like to develop).
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Understanding your strengths and your developmental needs should help you because a heightened sense of self-awareness should guide you to make career choices that capitalize on your strengths. The first step in this assignment is to identify two areas of strength and two for development. If you are already aware of your strengths and the areas in which you would like to grow, then you simply need to determine whether you are using appropriate terminology to describe them. If you are uncertain of your strengths and areas for improvement, then you will begin the assignment with an exercise in self-reflection.
Increasing Self-Awareness Step 1 Once you have identified two strengths and two areas for growth, you should compare your list with the list of competencies in For Your Improvement (on reserve in the library).
1. Consider how you exemplify the strengths / areas for development. Provide concrete examples of how you demonstrate these strengths / weaknesses in your daily life (at work or at school).
2. Describe how each of the strengths/weaknesses impacts your performance at work and/or how it currently affects your performance at school. If you find that you cannot identify how the strength/weakness helps/hinders your performance, then re-consider why it is a strength or why you would want to improve the skill, or go back to step 1 and identify another area for development.
1. Select one strength and one area for improvement. 2. Drawing on theory, explain why the strength/developmental need might affect your current performance and/or how it might positively or negatively impact your future career. When considering theory, you will want to find research articles (academic ones) in support of your hypothesis that the strength will be of benefit to your career and that the area for development will negatively affect your performance (or alternatively, why improvement in this area will be necessary for your career).
Developmental Plan The next part of the assignment is to develop a plan for improvement. Your plan should be realistic and you should provide a convincing argument for why you believe it will be effective. In order to be persuasive, I recommend that you support your plan with evidence (i.e., research the potential methods that can be used to improve a particular skill and include this evidence in your paper).
1. Develop a plan of action for capitalizing on one of your strengths.
a. Develop a plan for how you believe you can capitalize on your area of strength. Use specific behavioural example(s) to indicate how your plan will give you an opportunity to use the competency to advance your career. The plan should be realistic and you should apply what you know about goal setting to ensure that the plan is likely to be motivating (e.g., consider whether your plan has SMART goals).
b. You will need to indicate what would constitute career success and how your plan will bring you closer to achieving it. Further, you need to use research to convince the reader that your plan will be effective.
2. Develop a plan for how you believe you can improve one of your areas of weakness.
1. Use specific behavioural example(s) to indicate how your plan will be implemented. The plan should be realistic and you should apply what you know about goal setting to ensure that the plan is likely to be motivating (e.g., consider whether your plan has SMART goals).
2. You will need to indicate what would constitute improvement. You should explain the criteria for achieving proficiency on the competency. In addition, you should provide a specific behavioural example of how you would demonstrate improvement in your own life/career.
3. Research the plan. Look for evidence to support the idea that you can improve the identified skill and that your method is likely to be successful. If your idea has not been tested, then you should provide a theoretical explanation for why it will work. Please use academic theory and research to support your plan.
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