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Manage Personal Work Priorities and Professional Development

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This unit describes the performance outcomes, skills and knowledge required to manage own performance and professional development. Particular emphasis is on setting and meeting priorities, analysing information and using a range of strategies to develop further competence. Evidence of the following is essential: systems and processes (electronic or paper-based) used to organise and prioritise tasks, which show how work is managed personal development plan, with career objectives and an action plan knowledge of relevant legislation Participant Name: Ashley Digney Assessment Strategy 1: Written Questions You are required to answer the following questions as agreed with your assessor/trainer. Type your answers in the appropriate spaces below. Identify and describe three strategies you can use to manage Create worthwhile goals is the first step in managing yourself better, you your time. need to have clear written goals that are true priorities in your life. If they are not priorities in your life you will find yourself attracted to the newest “shiny thing” that appears in your life. Without specific predetermined worthwhile goals you will be travelling the ocean of life with a sail boat  that has no sales. Conduct a time study, there is a saying that say’s “If you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it”.

Most of us have no clue on how we really spend our time. One of the tools I’ve personally used is to conduct a time study. For one week record everything you do in 15 minute segments, at the end of the week categorise each task to see where you are spending most of your time. Once you have conducted a time study you can see where your time is being wasted and put that time to work on your business goals. Use a default calendar, to be really productive we have to focus on the “big rocks” in our lives and do them first and all the “little stuff” will fall into place. By determining our worthwhile goals we are picking our big rocks. A tool that should be used to determine the “big rocks” is a default calendar. A default calendar is where you schedule appointments with yourself to do the “big rocks” tasks. By learning how to invest your time and not spend it, you will become more productive. Remember time is your most valuable asset. Once you have spent it, it’s gone forever. Identify and describe five traits of effective leaders.

Trait 1: You must have a vision.  Standing firm when it comes to your company’s policies and procedures is all well and good, but it doesn’t speak to having a vision. As a leader, you have to learn to communicate your vision or the vision of your company to the people you want to follow you. Learn to paint a picture with words. Speak it, write it, draw it, and touch it. Whatever methods you can use to create a picture. Ask each of the other managers in your company to tell you, in their own words, about the vision of the company. How close is it to what you thought they understood? Is your team on the same page as you? As you work, your company’s vision should be in your mind every day, and you should re-evaluate it occasionally so that it stays current with the changing times in which we live. And remember, your staff need to be just as involved as you in keeping it up to date if you truly want them to buy in on the vision. Be sure to keep your key players involved. Trait 2: You must have passion. To build an extraordinary management team, you’ve got to light the “fire in their bellies,” to get them to feel passion about the company and connect to the leader’s vision. Passion is such a key part of being a great leader that if you don’t have it, you simply can’t be a great leader.

Think of all the great leaders throughout the ages and try to name one that did not have passion. And passion is infectious: When you talk about your vision for the company, let your passion for your vision shine through. Others will feel it and want to get on board with you. If you don’t have passion for your vision, you need to recreate your vision or reframe your description of your vision so it’s connected to your passion. Trait 3: You must learn to be a great decision maker. How are major decisions made in your company? What is your process for making them? For instance, do you talk to your management team and create a list of pros and cons to help you make the best decision? Maybe you conduct a cost analysis. Or do you create a timeline for the implementation strategy, process and timing? Some leaders have a set process, and others fly by the seat of their pants. But you don’t want to be one of those leaders who consults no one before making a decision, announces the change the next day and then gets frustrated when no one follows it. If you’re one of those, I urge you to implement a set process. In fact, here’s a system you can use to become a better decision maker.

It’s called the Q-CAT: • Q = Quick. Be quick but not hasty. • C = Committed. Be committed to your decision but not rigid. • A = Analytical. Be analytical, but don’t over-analyze (Too much analysis can cause paralysis.) • T = Thoughtful. Be thoughtful about all concerned, but don’t be obsessive. When you use the Q-CAT, it’ll help you to decide when to bring others into the process and what steps need to be taken to help you make better decisions. Trait 4: You must be a team builder. To become a great leader, you must develop a great team or, one might say, a well-oiled machine. You can start by handing off responsibility to your team and letting your team to run with it. Don’t breathe down their necks and don’t micromanage, but make yourself available if questions or problems come up. Teach your team to use the Q-CAT decision-making system and give them the freedom to work through their own decisions. When projects aren’t on track or your team is falling behind on deadline, it serves no one if you start pointing fingers. This is when you need to rise to the occasion and inspire confidence in your employees, to let them know you  support them and ready to help. Be ready to alter plans and make new ones. Don’t forget to use humor to keep your team’s spirits up during a crisis.

When an emergency hits, your team will look to you to be a tower of strength and endurance. Trait 5: You must have character. Without character, all the other “keys” are for naught. That’s because your innate character strengths and limitations play a critical role in your leadership style. The real question is, are you aware of just what role they play? All great leaders have taken steps to learn about their individual personality and what part it plays in their leadership style. Describe the importance of continually developing professional The purpose of Continuing Professional Development is continually to develop competence. professional competence and in itself forms an integral part of LLL. CPD aims to develop competence for what you are doing now and what you need to do to meet changing demands. CPD is an ongoing process that will allow you to adapt your changing needs and those of your organisation. Staff must undertake CPD in a way that meets their individual and strategic needs and is also right for them.

It is important to understand that CPD is a personal experience. Aspects of an effective CPD programme include continuing education audit,  writing, learning from experience, learning from colleagues, teaching, problem solving and critical incident analysis – to name but a few. CPD is both reactive and proactive, CPD records need to be maintained the actual process of recording can help reinforce learning. Many professionals often find it difficult to record activities in their everyday work. The reason behind this are often based on a fear that the activity may be too mundane – a regular occurrence and not spectacular enough. This can lead to questioning of the importance of CPD records. Another fear is the uncertainty of how their CPD portfolio will be assessed and how these records could be used against them. Practical issues including finding time to record CPD. There is also the case that there are no immediate tangible benefits – maintaining CPD records will not guarantee any instant financial reward. The important point for all staff members is to realise that CPD is a personal experience. Above all, it is a tool to develop themselves.

Keeping a CPD portfolio is seen by many as the first step towards competence based practising rights. Translating newly found knowledge and skills into the workplace involves a change of behaviour. Changing behaviour is no easy task  and there is no overnight fix. CPD involves being realistic, dedicated and above all enthusiastic. Almost all professions require their members to demonstrate their CPD. Explain what action learning sets are and how they allow peopleAction Learning is an approach to the development of people in organisations to develop new skills. which takes the task as the vehicle for learning. It is based on the premise that there is no learning without action and no sober and deliberate action without learning. The method has three main components: people who accept responsibility for taking action on a particular issue; problems, or the task that people set themselves; and a set of six or so colleagues who support and challenge each other to make progress on problems. Action Learning implies both self-development and organisation development.” Mike Pedler (1991) An Action Learning Set is a group of 6-8 people who meet regularly to help each other to learn from their experiences.

A Set Adviser is appointed to help manage the process. The set is not a team since its focus is on the actions of the individuals within it rather than on a shared set of work objectives. Experience has shown that sets often work better when participants come with a similar level of experience. The Set Adviser is part of the set in one sense  but has a particular responsibility to create a learning environment by encouraging, challenging and focusing on learning. Some Action Learning Sets are self-facilitated. The Set will decide on its own way of working but usually a ‘meeting’ involves a series of individual time slots where participants take turns in presenting their project/ challenge/ issue to the set. This will normally involve: • an update of progress on actions from the last meeting • a presentation of current issues/problems • An agreement on actions for the future. Throughout this, other participants will work with the presenter (by listening and questioning) to help them to decide what actions to take. Time is always a limited resource in a set meeting and the Set Adviser must ensure that set participants get their full allocation (it is not a free discussion).

Some Sets develop a fixed agenda to speed up the start of the meeting but in any case, all participants should come fully prepared for the meeting. The project is the piece of work around which the participant learns. It does not need to be linked to specific outcomes such as setting up a safety audit carrying out a particular task but could also be about acquiring skills or knowledge. For the purposes of this programme, however, the project must have a learning focus. Explain, in detail, what KPIs are. Upload your answer for A key performance indicator (KPI) is a specific measure of an organisation’s assessment. performance in some area of its business. It is a very general concept, with different implementations depending on the type of business and goals of the organisation. Examples of KPIs may include such things as the percentage of deliveries made on time, total inventory at any given time, distribution costs as a percentage of total sales, accuracy of invoices sent to clients, or lead time for a product. The purpose of KPIs is to give business quantifiable measurements of things it has determined are important to its long-term success.

Identifying the most important KPIs is the first step towards realising increased profitability and efficiency for most businesses. For KPIs to be useful, they must be consistently quantifiable, have an established correlation to the area of the business in need of improvement, and not give false readings. KPIs may be differentiated in a number of ways. Directional KPIs, for example, give a simple better-or-worse rating for a specific area of your business and track whether or not business is improving. Quantifiable KPIs, on the other hand, are represented as a number and allow for more accurate analysis of the data. Even KPIs that are not initially in numeric form may be translated into numbers. A user rating system of Poor, Fair, Good, and Excellent, for example, may be translated to a number scale of one to four. Lastly, it is important to recognise whether KPIs are within the ability of the business to affect or not. While it may be important to track KPIs such as customer fall-off due to inflation, the active factor of inflation is not actionable for the company, and is therefore less important than KPIs which may be directly acted upon by the business.

Overall, KPIs offer an excellent opportunity for businesses to target specific areas of desired growth and achieve maximum results. What are preferred learning styles? Describe some preferred Many people recognise that each person prefers different learning styles and learning styles. Upload your answer for assessment. techniques. Learning styles group common ways that people learn. Everyone has a mix of learning styles. Some people may find that they have a dominant style of learning, with far less use of the other styles. Others may find that they use different styles in different circumstances. There is no right mix. Nor are your styles fixed. You can develop ability in less dominant styles, as well as further develop styles that you already use well. Using multiple learning styles and multiple intelligences for learning is a relatively new approach. This approach is one that educators have only recently started to recognise. Traditional schooling used (and continues to use) mainly linguistic and logical teaching methods.

It also uses a limited range of learning and teaching techniques. Many schools still rely on classroom and book-based teaching, much repetition, and pressured exams for reinforcement and review. A result is that we often label those who use these learning styles and techniques as bright. Those who use less favored learning styles often find themselves in lower classes, with various not-so-complimentary labels and sometimes lower quality teaching. This can create positive and negative spirals that reinforce the belief that one is “smart” or “dumb”. By recognising and understanding your own learning styles, you can use techniques better suited to you. This improves the speed and quality of your learning. Your learning styles have more influence than you may realise. Your preferred styles guide the way you learn. They also change the way you internally represent experiences, the way you recall information, and even the words you choose. Research shows us that each learning style uses different parts of the brain.

By involving more of the brain during learning, we remember more of what we learn. Researchers using brain-imaging technologies have been able to find out the key areas of the brain responsible for each learning style. For example: • Visual: The occipital lobes at the back of the brain manage the visual sense. Both the occipital and parietal lobes manage spatial orientation. • Aural: The temporal lobes handle aural content. The right temporal lobe is especially important for music. • Verbal: The temporal and frontal lobes, especially two specialized areas called Brocaï and Wernickeï areas (in the left hemisphere of these two lobes). • Physical: The cerebellum and the motor cortex (at the back of the frontal lobe) handle much of our physical movement. • Logical: The parietal lobes, especially the left side, drive our logical thinking. • Social: The frontal and temporal lobes handle much of our social activities. The limbic system (not shown apart from the hippocampus) also influences both  the social and solitary styles. The limbic system has a lot to do with emotions, moods and aggression. • Solitary: The frontal and parietal lobes, and the limbic system, are also active with this style.

What is the individual encouraged to do in the balanced Design of a Balanced Scorecard ultimately is about the identification of a scorecard model? small number of financial and non-financial measures and attaching targets to them, so that when they are reviewed it is possible to determine whether current performance ‘meets expectations’. The idea behind this is that by alerting managers to areas where performance deviates from expectations, they can be encouraged to focus their attention on these areas, and hopefully as a result trigger improved performance within the part of the organisation they lead. The original thinking behind a Balanced Scorecard was for it to be focused on information relating to the implementation of a strategy, and, perhaps unsurprisingly, over time there has been a blurring of the boundaries between conventional strategic planning and control activities and those required to design a Balanced Scorecard. This is illustrated well by the four steps required to design a Balanced Scorecard included in Kaplan & Norton’s writing  on the subject in the late 1990s, where they assert four steps as being part of the Balanced Scorecard design process:

1. Translating the vision into operational goals; 2. Communicating the vision and link it to individual performance; 3. Business planning; index setting 4. Feedback and learning, and adjusting the strategy accordingly. These steps go far beyond the simple task of identifying a small number of financial and non-financial measures, but illustrate the requirement for whatever design process is used to fit within broader thinking about how the resulting Balanced Scorecard will integrate with the wider business management process. This is also illustrated by books and articles referring to Balanced Scorecards confusing the design process elements and the Balanced Scorecard itself. In particular, it is common for people to refer to a “strategic linkage model” or “strategy map” as being a Balanced Scorecard. Although it helps focus managers’ attention on strategic issues and the management of the implementation of strategy, it is important to remember that the Balanced Scorecard itself has no role in the formation of strategy.

In fact, Balanced Scorecards can comfortably co-exist with strategic planning systems and other tools. Describe how you would develop your own set of competencies. Here’s an example of my groupings and sub groupings for general management competencies: • Supervising and leading teams. • Provide ongoing direction and support to staff. • Take initiative to provide direction. • Communicate direction to staff. • Monitor performance of staff. • Motivate staff. • Develop succession plan. • Ensure that company standards are met. • Recruiting and staffing. • Prepare job descriptions and role specifications. • Participate in selection interviews. • Identify individuals’ training needs. • Implement disciplinary and grievance procedures. • Ensure that legal obligations are met. • Develop staff contracts. • Develop salary scales and compensation packages. • Develop personnel management procedures. • Make sure staff resources meet organisational needs. • Training and development. • Deliver training to junior staff. • Deliver training to senior staff. • Identify training needs. • Support personal development. • Develop training materials and methodology. • Managing projects/programs • Prepare detailed operational plans. • Manage financial and human resources. • Monitor overall performance against objectives. • Write reports, project proposals, and amendments. • Understand external funding environment. • Develop project/program strategy.

Creating a competency framework is an effective method to assess, maintain, and monitor the knowledge, skills, and attributes of people in your organisation. The framework allows you to measure current competency levels to  make sure your staff members have the expertise needed to add value to the business. It also helps managers make informed decisions about talent recruitment, retention, and succession strategies. And, by identifying the specific behaviours and skills needed for each role, it enables you to budget and plan for the training and development your company really needs. • The process of creating a competency framework is long and complex. To ensure a successful outcome, I would involve people actually doing carrying out the roles to evaluate real jobs, and describe real behaviours. The increased level of understanding and linkage between individual roles and organisational performance makes the effort well worth it. • Group the statements – I would group my team members to read through the behaviour statements, and group them into piles. The goal is to have three or four piles at first – for instance, manual skills, decision-making and judgment skills, and interpersonal skills. • Create subgroups – Break down each of the larger piles into subcategories of related behaviours.

Typically, there will be three or four sub groupings for each larger category. This provides the basic structure of the competency framework.  • Refine the subgroups – For each of the larger categories, I would then define the subgroups even further. I would ask myself why and how the behaviours relate, or don’t relate, to one another, and revise my groupings as necessary. • Indentify and name the competencies – I would ask my team to identify a specific competency to represent each of the smaller subgroups of behaviours. Then they can also name the larger category. Assessment strategy 2: Work related projects You are required to undertake the following projects. Project 1 Write a personal reflection that explains how you would go about managing your work priorities and professional development. In the personal reflection you should ask and answer these questions: What makes a good role model and how would I ensure that I acted as a role model for employees I supervise? What are the traits of an effective leader? Do I have these traits? How would I develop these traits? How would I ensure that my work goals and plan reflect the organisation’s goals and plans?

How would I ensure that I meet my job responsibilities? How would I measure and maintain my personal performance? How would I prioritise work? How would I use technology to organise and manage my work? How would I ensure that I maintained a work/ life balance? How would I ensure that my personal knowledge and skills meet required competency standards? How would I determine my developmental needs? What is my personal learning style and how would I ensure that I took advantage of learning opportunities? How would I gather feedback from others about my personal performance and how would I use this feedback to improve my competence? How would I use networks to increase my knowledge, gain new skills and develop relationships?

How would I ensure that I acquired new skills to maintain my competitive edge? A personal reflection should be written in the first person, for example, ‘To measure my personal performance I would…’ A reflection paper cites your reactions, feelings and analysis of a topic in a more personal way than in a formal research or analytical essay. Like any other paper or essay, it should be cohesive and refer directly to the course content but do not simply summarise what you have read or done. A reflection paper should be as organised as any other type of formal essay. Include an introduction, and summarise the conclusions you came to during the process.

The reflection should be approximately 3000 words in length. You should demonstrate that you have conducted your own research. You should also use real life examples to illustrate the points made in your reflection where possible. A good role model is the one who can be respected, admired, expected in some ways by employees within the organisation. Role modelling is influenced in the workplace in terms of communication, performance and organisational behaviour. A good role model is able to gain credibility and team cohesion; he also can expect the subordinates to work with you closely.

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