Last Updated 04 Jan 2023

The Effects of Critical Life Experiences on Personal Values, Motivations, Beliefs, and Behavior

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This essay is about the impact of critical life experiences on personal values, motivations, beliefs and behaviour and its implications on leadership. Specifically, it aims to show the impact of my life experiences on personal values, motivations, beliefs and behaviour on a particular situation at my work place and its implications on my leadership. The situation involves me in making a critical decision in my capacity as the Principal to guide a newly recruited teacher to improve in his performance, particularly in submitting of teaching plans on time, not being punctual to duty and displaying unprofessional conduct in his interaction with other fellow staff members. This has been ongoing issue for that new teacher in complying with the expected standard of our school.

As a leader, I am confronted with this challenge in analysing the issues, including underlying ethical issues and making a decision in the best interest of our school as part of a private organization known as International Education Agency (IEA) of Papua New Limited.

To provide contextual background to this critical life experience associated with my job, IEA has an ethical responsibility to its employees as well as its clientele throughout Papua New Guinea. It is equally important for all its employees at different levels to uphold ethical values in the provision of our private educational service.

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Dalglish, Dubrin and Miller (2006) pointed out that as organisations become increasingly large and complex, the importance of guiding ethical framework increases. The rationale for the Principal to guide that teacher to improve his performance is particularly based on the teacher's performance and personality character as expected of him by the organization as a high quality private education provider. To achieve this aim, the impact of my decision to help him improve his performance will be analysed according to my personal values, motivations, beliefs and behaviour and its implications on my leadership in the organisation.

The Principal's beliefs were challenged in that context where he made that decision to guide this new teacher to improve his performance and perform at an expected standard. The new Oxford Learner's Dictionary (2010, p.125) defined belief as an opinion about something that you think is true. As a private education provider, we have high expectations on our employees in terms of their performance, particularly in complying with performance competencies. This includes time management, submitting of teaching plans and developing strong interpersonal and communication skills with colleagues and other people in the community.

My belief is part of the organisation's belief on delivering quality educational outcomes through our students as parents pay a lot of money for their children to get that kind of education. We believe that we can deliver high quality education as we have highly trained teachers and adequate resources. The organisation expect all our staff to perform and deliver outcomes in contributing to the organisation's standard. On the contrary, the Principal's responsibility to guide the teachers in their personal and professional growth plays an important part in enhancing the teacher's performance.

In this case, the Principal has to strategise to help the teacher as a new recruit to our organisation. The Principal has to instil these beliefs in the new teacher, which aligns to the organisation's context, goal and mission. Thus, IEA is an ethical organisation where we have our values and beliefs that are embedded in our practice, and it is part of the leader's role to instil the beliefs in a new employee.

Furthermore, it is also important to indoctrinate these beliefs to that particular teacher, which aligns to our goal and mission in our context. Our beliefs grow from what we see, hear, experience, read and think about. We develop opinions that we hold to be true and cannot be changed at times. Hence, from our beliefs we derive our values, which can either be correct or incorrect when compared with evidence, but nonetheless hold true for us.

As it is the Principal's role, he is obliged to make this decision to improve the new teacher's performance in order to comply with the policy under teacher performance management. Although there is a provision on teacher termination related to under performance, it is unethical to recommend the teacher for termination if the teacher is a new teacher. Besides, the new teacher has to be given an opportunity to improve his performance. This is a decision that the Principal has to make in order to comply with the organization's expectation to uphold the standard of quality teaching and learning. This, however, decision has also challenged my personal values.

Dalglish, Dubrin and Miller (2006) state that values are not facts, but personally held beliefs. They are enduring and provide guidance for personal behaviour and personal goals. For instance, some values include truth, loyalty and justice. This decision was made because the needs and rights for the students to learn is extremely important. Also, it is a win-win situation for the school and the new teacher.

Also, I am indebted to my employer to make a decision in the best interest of our organisation as far as quality control in education is concerned in our system. Duignan (2007) points that educational leaders must incorporate ethical analysis as part of their thinking and reasoning because ethics is at the core of human enterprise. The Principal has the responsibility to lead him to respond to the organisation's needs, goals and strategic purposes, even though this may conflict with the needs, goals, desires and strategic intentions of the individual. In other words, I cannot compromise with the teacher on his underperformance, but will have to provide professional assistance to help the teacher to improve on his attitude towards his performance.

On the other hand, I will have to consider the teacher's continuity of employment and his family. I have an ethical responsibility to my employer to carry out my duties. If I compromise, the standard will drop and that will have an impact on the organisation as well as my leadership role as a Principal. This is an example of a deontological approach to ethics. As stated by Clark and Jonson (1995), we know our moral duty by rational reflection, and if we are to be ethical then we must fulfil the demands of duty. In this case, I have a moral duty with the teacher, and we are both obliged to make autonomous decisions to live in accordance with the demands of moral duty in our roles and responsibilities.

Furthermore, it is important for the Principal to go through the values that are embedded as part of our practice. For example, being punctual, submitting plans on time, and respecting each other's rights and opinions are important values within his line of duty that can be developed by the teacher over time and are influenced by family, education and peers through different experiences. In contrast, it is also important for the Principal to let him know that bad experiences can shape us to develop good values. Thus, if I don't provide the professional support, it will reflect poorly on me as the leader in the organisation.

Our values and beliefs affect our behaviour in a given situation. Dalglish et al (2006, p.142) found that members of any organisation are to behave ethically and the leaders of that organisation must articulate a set of values and standards, and these values and standards must be understood and shared by the members. In our system, the values and standards are embedded in our 'Blue Print', which is our strategic management plan. Ethical management and leadership are fundamental principles which guide work practice across the organisation (IEA Planning Blue Print 2014-2018, 2013, p12) As such, all employees (including teachers) are expected to behave ethically in their interaction with others.

Also, all our endeavour in our IEA Schools is designed to ensure that each person whether a teacher or student will be self-directing, communicate effectively, behave ethically, work collaboratively, analyse and solve problems. As an ethical leader, the Principal has to examine the teacher's behaviour, which led to his underperformance and the ethical issues associated with his performance and attitude.

Firstly, occasionally, the teacher has submitted his teaching plans late and this behaviour will affect the students' learning in his class. We are now faced with the dilemma whether the teacher is delivering according to his plan to meet the needs of students in his class. In fact, it is wrong for him to submit teaching plans late and it is a compliance issue. It reflects on his own commitment to his employer. Secondly, he has been coming to school late couple of times because he was attending to other things during school time.

This behaviour is unethical because he is obliged to come early to school as expected of him. Last, but not the least, his unprofessional conduct with the ancillary staff members has been an ongoing issue. In particular, he does not communicate well with cleaners in the school. This behaviour is unethical because he needs communicate fairly with all staff, including cleaners in the school. These ethical

Our values and beliefs affect our behaviour in a given situation. Dalglish et al (2006, p.142) found that members of any organisation are to behave ethically and the leaders of that organisation must articulate a set of values and standards, and these values and standards must be understood and shared by the members. In our system, the values and standards are embedded in our 'Blue Print', which is our strategic management plan. Ethical management and leadership are fundamental principles which guide work practice across the organisation (IEA Planning Blue Print 2014-2018, 2013, p12) As such, all employees (including teachers) are expected to behave ethically in their interaction with others.

Also, all our endeavour in our IEA Schools is designed to ensure that each person whether a teacher or student will be self-directing, communicate effectively, behave ethically, work collaboratively, analyse and solve problems. As an ethical leader, the Principal has to examine the teacher's behaviour, which led to his underperformance and the ethical issues associated with his performance and attitude.

Firstly, occasionally, the teacher has submitted his teaching plans late and this behaviour will affect the students' learning in his class. We are now faced with the dilemma whether the teacher is delivering according to his plan to meet the needs of students in his class. In fact, it is wrong for him to submit teaching plans late and it is a compliance issue. It reflects on his own commitment to his employer. Secondly, he has been coming to school late couple of times because he was attending to other things during school time. This behaviour is unethical because he is obliged to come early to school as expected of him. Last, but not the least, his unprofessional conduct with the ancillary staff members has been an ongoing issue. In particular, he does not communicate well with cleaners in the school. This behaviour is unethical because he needs communicate fairly with all staff, including cleaners in the school.

These ethical problems can be solved by using the ethical theory of principlism. Josephson's study (as cited in Duignan, 2007, p.81) has suggested three set of agreed principles. They are autonomy, common good and justice. These principles of the principlism model of ethical theory can guide him to improve in his performance and attitude as a teacher. It is now my responsibility to guide him using this theoretical approaches of ethical behaviour.

Providing the right kind of motivation can be a big step in enhancing someone's performance in any organizational setting in terms of their ethical ability. It must be recognized that standard managerial approaches to problem solving and motivation are failing to keep basic moral standards and the overarching goals of a capitalistic society alive in today's changed competitive and social environment (Clark and Jonson 1995). IEA is in the education industry for many years in Papua New Guinea. Even though we operating as a business entity, the company is responsible for promoting ethical behavior within their organizations.

Motivating moral behavior can be difficult, but with a thoughtful combination of discipline and rewards, we can encourage our employees to adopt attitudes and behaviors that result in a positive workplace and satisfaction is given to our customers.Clark and Jonson(1995, p28) pointed out that business ethics is a fundamental term that is applicable to all workplaces. Irrespective of the nature of an organization and its function, an unethical employee promotes corruption and also could be a liability to an organization.

Therefore, it becomes important for an organization to encourage its employees to adhere to ethical behaviour. It is now the Principal's responsibility to restore the right kind of motivation in this teacher. That motivation must be embedded with ethical and moral values aligning to the goals, standards and strategic mission of the organisation. For example, the Principal must tell the teacher that it is ethical to communicate fairly with everyone in the school despite their status in the school.

Certainly, critical life experiences can have an impact on personal values, motivations, beliefs and behaviour and its implications on leadership. Our values and beliefs can affect our decision making. This also depends on the motivation that we have in discharging our duties. Members of any organisation are to behave ethically and the leaders of that organisation must articulate a set of values and standards, and these values and standards must be understood and shared by the members.

Our organisation's (IEA of PNG Ltd) values and standards are embedded in our 'Blue Print', which is our strategic management plan. This includes ethical management and leadership, which guide work practice across the organisation. As such, all employees (including teachers) are expected to behave ethically in their interaction with others. This teacher's dilemma has put the Principal in a situation where his ethical leadership abilities are challenged in terms of making a decision to strike a balance between the teacher and the organisational needs, goals and strategic purpose. In this case, a teacher teaching in a private school setting and the expectations that go with it.

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