Paper on Themes in Human Relations: Areas for Self Improvement

Personal Values

Personal values are sets of beliefs and attitudes that guide one’s behavior in different aspects of life. Personally, I consider my goals to be the principles by which I live and make my decisions. From my last introspection, my personal values revolved around physical well- being, employment, education, friendship, spirituality, family relations, marriage and community. Presently, I feel these values depict more the things that I consider to be precious and which influence my attitudes and beliefs. As such, they form the basis for my goals in life and provide me with a platform for positive progress towards holistic well- being. Personal well-being entails wellness in all areas of life including emotional, mental, physical and spiritual aspects and I intend to focus on all these areas in my efforts towards personal growth and achievement of organizational goals.

Each of the value driving aspects has a particular purpose towards personal growth. Physical well- being for instance, influences decisions such as foods to consume, exercises to take and general body hygiene. Employment as a foundation of values, is aimed at developing work place ethics including accountability, integrity and tolerance to diversity. Education is based on the desire to enhance my competence in the works I do while spirituality motivates my moral inclinations. Every goal I set in any particular theme in human relations is influenced by the values that guide my life. Similarly, the main factors that influence my behavior only affect me in so far as my values allow them to direct my behaviors.

I intend to center my personal goals on various elements of human relations by identifying the areas for improvement and working towards making the necessary amends to improve my life in each of the thematic areas. Making life changes based on the thematic areas will place me on the path towards personal growth as well as on a journey towards accomplishing organizational objectives in my place of work. In any work place, interpersonal relations affect productivity and I believe that if each individual plays their part in facilitating interpersonal relations, the organizational goals will be easier to comprehend and easier to achieve (Reece & Reece, 2017).

Areas for Improvement

Decision making and goal setting in life is determined by the thematic areas of human relations in which a need for change has been identified. According to Reece and Brandt (2009), human relations are influenced by factors categorized into seven thematic areas. The first theme of human relations is communications. Communications influences human relations as it is the main mode of interactions between humans. Whether verbal or non- verbal, communications affect decision making and application of personal values. In terms of communication, I feel that I need to change my philosophy and competence. Competence in this essence implies the capacity to communicate positively and to get people to understand my intended message (Reece & Reece, 2017). In the past, I have failed in this aspect by being a violent communicator as described by Nosek, Gifford & Kober (2014). On philosophy, I believe some of the attitudes and beliefs that influence my communications practices are misinformed and presumptive. This is because I tend to believe that I am a strong communicator and thorough in my research such that anything that I communicate should be accepted without questions. This may not always be the case and I need to be more open to other people’s ideas.

The second thematic area in which I need to do some personal growth is self- awareness and self- acceptance. Self- awareness in this regard is defined as understanding the values, strengths and weaknesses of oneself. This is based on humanistic approaches to study as is advocated for by Ivan Pavlov. Self- acceptance can only come following self- awareness. In self- awareness and self- acceptance, my objective will be to improve in the areas of responsibility and leadership styles. I am not reliable when I make promises and this affects people’s capability to trust me. Even though I often have the intention of fulfilling my promises, I delay a lot, giving the impression of unwillingness to commit. I would like to improve my reliability and thus enhance my trustworthiness. On leadership, I feel that I do not clearly understand what my leadership style is. While I am comfortable having a combination of approaches to leadership, I think I should at least understand my style to enable me understand people’s reactions to my leadership

I also need to work on motivation. To a large extent, I am intrinsically motivated to accomplish my personal growth as well as the organizational goals. However, I feel that I should work on evaluating my interests and understanding them more effectively. Understanding my interests will lead to personal development through realigning my goals with what I like, and finding my position in the organization where I work. I also intend to improve the meaningfulness of the things I do both at a personal level and in the work place. Finding meaning in one’s activity is one of the strategies for self- motivation and I believe I can achieve this. Another area that I intend to work on is on self- disclosure. Self- exposure entails discovery or revelation of oneself to teams and to other close relations.

In the work place, I have the habit of taking on too much, which results in fatigue and negative countenance most of the time. I intend to change in this area by making it clear to others what my levels of comfort and confidence are in any given situation and only taking on what I can manage optimally. I also intend to improve on my management of expectations. In some instances, too high expectations bring about disappointment while in others, low expectations limit people from performing at their optimum potential. This should change as I seek to understand how to manage my own and other people’s expectations. I also intend to improve on my conflict resolution capabilities by enhancing my capacity to empathize with others, providing emotional support and by working collaboratively towards meeting organizational goals. I have a preference for introversion and I feel that sometimes it hinders my capability to provide emotional support in a social setting or even to work collaboratively with others in meeting goals. My objective is to improve in my interpersonal interactions and build the intimacy component of my trust equation through empathy.

SMART Goals

In each of the areas I want to improve on, I have set goals that will enable me monitor my progress and I believe that working towards the right direction will be beneficial for my personal growth. The goals were set based on the SMART goals principle discussed by Lawlor and Hornyak (2012). The following table shows some of the goals I intend to work with on my journey towards improving my personal goals and achievements of organizational objectives. These should be taken to be the starting goals for the improvement period. After the accomplishment of the first goal in each area, new goals will be established and work focused onto them.

Table 1: SMART Goals for Personal Growth and Organizational objectives (Source: self)

Thematic Area Area of Improvement Goal
Communications Philosophy To adopt at least three new and realistic ideas from colleagues in 2 months.
Competence To listen to at least six people without criticizing them in every week.
Self- awareness/ Self- acceptance Responsibility To be in time delivering my next three promises.
Leadership style To follow up on the reactions of at least four people under my leadership to my decision making styles in the next month and record trends.
Motivation Interests To identify the activities that keep me interested in my work within the next one week.
Meaningfulness To develop a meaningfulness matrix for my roles in the workplace in the next week.
Self- disclosure Abilities To list at least 10 activities and categorize them according to what I am good at and like, what I am not good at and I like; what I am good at and I do not like and what I do not like and am not good at within the next two weeks.
Managing expectations To ask at least three people what they expect from our interactions in a day and to list my own expectations from every interaction in a day.
Conflict resolution Support for meeting goals To participate intentionally in at least three team meetings through the week.
Emotional support To listen and practice empathizing with at least two cases from junior staff in the coming two weeks.

Objectives and Resources

In order to achieve my goals for each of these improvement areas, I will take the first courses of action towards achieving my goals. In order to change my philosophy, my objective will be to practice the believing game experimented by Elbow (2006). As a first strategy to achieving personal growth and organizational goals, the believing game will help me listen to people more and to postpone judging their suggestions. It may also help me to improve my communication practices. I intend to find some resources on non-violent communication and active listening in addition to Nosek et al. (2014) and I believe they will be of help in improving my competence in communication. For these, I will need books and personnel to interact with as the key resources.

For the second set of goals, I intend to practice discipline as a step towards in –time delivery of promises, and information on different leadership styles. This implies that I will need resources for setting reminders to deliver promises and practice based learning resources for leadership styles. In terms of interests, the first course of action would be to identify my roles and responsibilities based on my job description as well as those that I engage in as a result of informal authority. It is these activities that I would need to list and categorize. The first course of action would be to get my job description and feedback from my colleagues about my tasks. These would be the required resources.

For self- disclosure, I need to develop templates for creating the like/ good at quadrants. This would need resources such as writing materials and personnel to give feedback on my work. The same people who give feedback on my work would also be valuable for giving feedback on expectations. The last category of goals is on conflict resolution. On this, the first step would be to attend meetings to which I am invited without giving excuses. This would improve my capacity to collaborate. Reaching out to my colleagues would also help me to build my capacity to empathize and provide emotional support for others.

Conclusion

Personal improvement is one of the greatest challenges in human life. While it is easy to perceive where one is and to recognize where they need to be, it can be difficult to actually push through with plans and dreams towards actualization of what is intended. Through this personal value evaluation and goal setting for personal growth and organizational goal achievement, I believe that it will be possible to keep myself reminded about my future and thus to focus on what I need to do to achieve my goals. Having identified actual courses of action, getting the motivation to push towards a particular end is inevitable. I intend to continue rolling out action plans for my goals in life and hope that in the end, I will realize my ultimate goals of attaining my purpose in life in terms of career, family, education and spirituality.

 

 

References

Elbow, P. (2006). The believing game and how to make conflicting opinions more fruitful. In C. Weber (Ed.), Nurturing the peacemakers in our students: A guide to teaching peace, empathy and understanding (pp. 13- 25). Heinemann. Retrieved from www.procon.org/sourcefiles/believinggame.pdf

Lawlor, K.B. & Hornyak, M.J. (2012). Smart goals: How the application of smart goals can contribute to achievement of student learning outcomes. Developments in Business Simulation and Experiential learning, 39, 259 – 267. Retrieved from absel-ojs-ttu.tdl.org/absel/index.php/absel/article/download/90/86

Nosek, M., Gifford, E., & Kober, B. (2014). Nonviolent communication (NVC) training increases empathy in baccalaureate nursing students: A mixed methods study. Journal of Nursing Education and Practice, 4(10), 1- 15. Retrieved from www.sciedu.ca/journal/index.php/jnep/article/viewFile/4222/3083

Reece, B. & Brandt, R. (2009). Student achievement series: Human relations. Cengage Learning. Retrieved from books.google.co.ke/books?id=PKL7UHLfrJkC&pg=PA18&lpg=PA18&dq=themes+in+human+relations&source=bl&ots=sOfbI8v0v-&sig=mKZ67ur15Q45YT7dZrFfhXTLWGk&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjGv4iE5d_ZAhUJ0RQKHaKmAPYQ6AEIdjAL#v=onepage&q=themes%20in%20human%20relations&f=false

Reece, B. & Reece, M. (2017). Effective human relations: Interpersonal and organizational applications. Cengage Learning. Retrieved from books.google.co.ke/books?id=bHxTCwAAQBAJ&pg=PA18&lpg=PA18&dq=Human+relations:+the+key+to+human+growth+and+career+success&source=bl&ots=0UNndcd1L_&sig=Pi4cVQqN8G4AivBwXtXwkZjHWvk&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjNxJGd_9_ZAhXMYo8KHQz8DeQQ6AEIQzAE#v=onepage&q=Human%20relations%3A%20the%20key%20to%20human%20growth%20and%20career%20success&f=false