Sample Paper on Individual Learning: Self Assessment Activity


This paper entails an analysis of the outcome of self-assessment on 10 activities. The rationale of the assessment activities is to develop a comprehensive understanding on my strengths and weakness with reference to management. The self-assessment activities focus on providing insight on my personality and managerial strength.  The activities involve determination of my personality with regard to introversion or extraversion, personal need assessment, determination of active listening capability, ability to influence co-workers and peers, team roles preference, effectiveness in handling conflicts, ability to make change as a leader, preference for organisational structure and corporate culture and degree of tolerance to change. The high score on the respective self-assessment activities indicate my strength and capacity as a manager and leader.


Individual Learning Project: Self Assessment Activity

Pursuing personal and professional development is critical in one’s quest to achieve future career progression. To succeed in improving personal and profession development, it is imperative for one to adopt effective tools. Conducting self assessment activities is one of the tools that can be integrated towards achieving this end (Werner & DeSimone, 2011). The purpose of this paper is to help estimate my level of self-monitoring personality. My actual score was 68 points, 33 (A) + 35 (B) = 68. However, in all the self-assessment activities, I scored relatively high.

Extraversion-Introversion Scale

Assessment on the degree of extraversion/introversion showed that I am highly extraverted. This aspect has played a fundamental role in improving my ability to serve different customers. In line of my duty as a banker, I am required to ensure that the customers’ needs are adequately met in order to enhance their level of satisfaction. Over the period that I have worked within the financial institution, I have managed to optimise the level of customer satisfaction. This outcome has arisen from my unique personalities of being friendly, sociable, assertive and outgoing.  As a result of these personalities, I am able to establish and maintain a strong rapport with clients hence improving my effectiveness in serving the clients. This has played an important role in improving the customers’ trust in banking with the institution.

Personal Needs Dimension

To improve the chances of progressing through the desired career path, I am focused on pursuing my personal goals as indicated by the high score on need for achievement. One of the personal goals that I am focused on achieving entails improving my managerial skills. The rationale of developing managerial skills arises from appreciation of the value of effective managerial skills in enhancing a firm’s sustainable development. Some of the areas that I will focus on improving include people management and change management. The need for high achievement with respect to these areas is underlined by recognition of the dynamism in the contemporary workplace. Conversely, the high score on need for social approval arises from recognition of the importance of social approval in being change agent. Hollander (2012) asserts that being socially accepted is critical in promoting organisational transformation through entrenchment of inclusive leadership. Thus, improving my skills in respect to these areas will enhance my contribution in assisting the organisation achieve long term success hence improving my relevance to the contemporary workplace.

Team Roles

In spite of the fact that the financial institution has assigned job roles to individual employees, the organisation’s management team appreciates the value of group work in achieving organisational goals. Subsequently, the firm has entrenched the concept of teamwork in accomplishing specific projects.  This aspect has provided a unique opportunity for collaborating with other individuals in executing different tasks. To assess my effectiveness as a team player, I focused on evaluating my performance with reference to team role. The results on the team roles preference scale showed that I scored relatively high with regard to different team roles such as encourager, gatekeeper, initiator, summarizer and harmoniser. High performance on these dimensions indicates my strength as a leader.  Parsaie (2002) asserts that developing strengths on these team roles is essential in promoting team development. Therefore, I will be in a position to enhance team functionality. The ultimate outcome of this aspect is that I will be in a position to meet the requisite team objectives.


Active Listening Skills Inventory

My job role at the financial institution involves extensive interaction with clients. Thus, I am concerned about the efficiency with which the clients’ needs are achieved. One of the issues that I focus on in achieving this outcome entails developing effective communication skills. Amongst the dimensions of communication that I am largely concerned with relates to being an effective receiver in the communication process. My effectiveness in being an effective receiver is underlined by the high active listening score. Davis and Davis (2008) accentuate that ‘active listening is as important to communication as effective sending’ (p.73). The strong performance with reference to active listening skill is founded on my efficiency with reference to three core dimensions of active listening, which include sensing, interpreting, evaluating and responding. The sensing skill contributes to improvement in my ability to understand the customer by evaluating the verbal and non-verbal components of communication.

Some of the elements that should be considered in order to be effective in sensing the client’s needs entail evaluating the client’s body language, facial expression and vocal intonation. My effectiveness in sensing the clients’ needs is as a result of extensive effort and practice on concentration and paying attention to clients. For example, I maintain eye contact with the client in the communication process and provide the client adequate time to express their concern or need without interrupting them.  Subsequently, I am able to develop a comprehensive understanding of the customers’ needs as opposed to just listening to the information provided by the client. The effect of this effect is that I am able to establish effective communication with the client on the basis of both verbal and non-verbal communication clues developed.

The second phase in active listening entails ensuring that the message from the client is effectively interpreted. Ingram (2008) is of the opinion that the message received must be correctly interpreted in order for the right action to be taken. In interpreting the message, I focus on understanding the intended meaning by evaluating the content and context of the message. Some of the elements considered in interpreting the message entail the client’s knowledge, words, symbols and experiences. The process of interpreting the message further entails evaluating the sender’s attitude.  My effectiveness in interpreting the client’s message is enhanced by desisting from the temptation of interrupting the client. By focusing on these aspects, I am able to develop a comprehensive understanding of the intended meaning of the client’s message.  In the evaluation phase of active listening, I ensure that the information received is optimally understood by summarising the key points.

The outcome of the evaluation process enhances my ability to respond to the client through integration of two-way communication. Therefore, my active listening skill has played a fundamental role in developing collaborative communication with the client. This approach has significantly contributed to improvement in by ability to serve clients. For example, the collaborative approach in responding to the client provides an opportunity to request for further clarification on the issues raised. Thus, the client has an opportunity to provide further clarification on the issues, which increases the likelihood of addressing the right issues. To ensure that the client is satisfied with the response provided, I ensure that non-verbal cues such as smiling and nodding are integrated. As a result of active listening, I am able to paraphrase and restate the customers’ message, which is critical in developing a positive perception on the client with regard to the extent to which the message provided is understood (Ingram, 2008).

Influencing Co-Workers

Similar to the above performance, I scored relatively high with reference to my ability to influence co-workers. In addition to the job roles and responsibilities outlined under the job description, I am required to assist the organisation in executing specific project tasks, which is in line with the organisation’s project-based approach to tasks. Thus, in completing the projects, the organisation has entrenched established project teams, which are comprised of team members derived from different departments. As one of the team members, I am able to influence my peers in making a decision on the approach to adopt in completing the project task. My effectiveness in influencing my colleagues is underlined by developing effective skills such as that include persuasion, assertiveness, coalition formation, upward appeal, and ingratiation.

In persuading my peers, I ensure that they develop a comprehensive understanding on the rationale of my perspective in dealing with the project task. Thus, I am able to influence the strategies adopted in dealing with the issues faced. My ability to influence peers is further enhanced by being assertive, which is actualised by explaining and stating my point of view openly. However, in being assertive, I ensure that legitimate power is adopted, which is achieved by desisting from disregarding my colleagues point of view.  Therefore, I ensure that a diplomatic approach is followed by respecting my peers’ rights. Lumsden, Lumsden and Wiethoff (2010) argues that observing diplomacy in influencing others is ensure in ensuring that all the parties focus on the problem at hand as opposed to the individual raising the issue. By explaining the rationale of my point of view in executing the project task, I have been able to gain the support of my peers hence contributing to formation of strong coalition. Quinn (2015) asserts that forming coalition is important in gaining support for one’s proposal. The success in influencing my peers is further underlined by my capacity to share ideas on how to deal with job related issues with the top management. Thus, I am able to influence the top management on the approach to follow in executing certain organisational projects. By providing the organisation’s top management insight on how to deal with different job related issues, I have been able to positively influence the top management’s attitude and perception on my skills and capabilities.  This aspect has positively contributed to improvement in my persuasive capacity. By influencing my peers and the top management on different job aspects, I am able to enhance attainment of the desired organisational goals hence improving the organisation’s overall productivity.

Dutch test for conflict handling

According to Schabarcq, Winnubst and Cooper (2003), workplace conflicts are inevitable, which underlines the value of developing effective conflict resolution skills. The high score on Dutch test indicated my strength in handling conflicts. Success in handling conflicts is underlined by my effectiveness in being an effective facilitator in the conflict resolution process.  One of the approaches adopted in facilitating conflict resolution entails being a neutral mediator. Subsequently, I am able to understand the points of view from all the parties involved in the conflict. This aspect is achieved by adopting a neutral position, which enable the parties understand the fact that the conflict resolution process will be fair and just.

In the quest to ensure that the workplace conflicts faced are optimally resolved, I focus on developing a mutually beneficial solution by encouraging information sharing with the parties involved in the conflict. Sharing information with the parties involved has played a critical role in enhancing the probability of achieving the most acceptable conclusion on the most effective approach to deal with the issue.  Integration of a collaborative approach in resolving the workplace conflict has played an essential role in establishing and sustaining an effective environment for working. In addition to these benefits, optimal conflict resolution skills have greatly improved my contribution in ensuring that the organisation operates as a unit hence achieving the intended level of synergy. Alexander (2003) asserts that achieving synergy in the workplace is valuable in promoting cooperation and creativity in dealing with job tasks hence increasing the probability of achieving the best solution.

Do leaders make a difference?

Working at the financial institution has provided an opportunity understand my effectiveness as a leader because of the organisation’s teamwork approach in dealing with specific job tasks. As a team leader, I am able to enhance organisational success by integrating effective leadership approaches. One of the leadership approaches that I have integrated entail transformative leadership. My success in entrenching transformative leadership in the workplace is underscored by ‘romanticization’ of leadership. Bligh et al (2007) asserts that romanticization of leadership is enhanced by integration of a high degree of charisma, promotion of self esteem and heroism in making and implementing leadership decisions. This approach is based on the belief that developing an effective internal organisational environment is critical in achieving organisational change. In line with this aspect, my leadership approach is largely concerned with developing a high degree of organisational citizenship amongst the employees. This leadership approach has significantly contributed to improving the employees’ productivity.

In implementing transformative leadership, I ensure that the organisational decisions made are based on a comprehensive analysis in order to determine the degree of success on implementing a certain decision. On the basis of this approach, I am able to influence my workmates to develop positive attitude towards the assigned job. In doing so, I ensure that the employees appreciate the fact that their capacity to progress through the desired career path in the workplace depends on the organisation’s performance. In addition to ensuring that employees develop a positive attitude towards their job, my leadership skills have also contributed to improvement in the effectiveness with which the organisation implements organisational change.

Organisational Structure Preference Scale

Results on assessment on preference of organisational structure showed a high preference for a formalised organisational structure. The rationale of integrating a formalised organisational structure is founded on the need to ensure that the employees are adequately informed of their job roles and responsibilities. The preference to a formalised organisational structure is further underlined by the fact that the organisation adopts a formal approach in formulating organisational policies, procedures and networks. Through formalisation of routines, as indicated by formulation of job description, the organisation is able to assess the employees’ performance. This arises from the fact that the employees are required to adhere with the stipulated standard operating procedures in dealing with job tasks or dealing with organisational problems (Kortmann, 2012). Therefore, if employees cannot resolve recurring workplace problems, they are required to follow the formulated guidelines or standardised procedures.

The preference on adoption of a formalised organisational structure is further anchored on the fact that I will be able to monitor the employees’ performance on the basis of the assigned roles and responsibilities stipulated by the job description. Therefore, integration of a formalised organisational structure will make it possible for implementation of employee evaluation tools such as performance appraisal. Incorporation of performance appraisal tools will create an opportunity for the firm to undertake the requisite organisational development such as implementation of employee training and development program in order to improve the employees’ skills.

Corporate Culture

Assessment on corporate culture preference showed a high level of relationship culture. The preference on relationship culture is founded on recognition of the importance of establishing and maintaining a positive relationship amongst employees’. However, to succeed in entrenching a strong relationship culture, an organization’s management team should focus on developing positive cultural values. Some of the core values include open communication, teamwork, sharing and fairness. By focusing on these elements, I will be able to enhance the organization’s long-term performance. For example, open communication will contribute to development of a sense of inclusiveness amongst the employees while sharing work related information will improve the efficacy with which job tasks are executed. The element of open communication will make employees feel valued in the organization’s operation. On the other hand, teamwork will enhance the extent to which employees adopt a collaborative approach in undertaking job tasks. Incorporating fairness in the organization’s corporate culture will contribute to development of the degree to which the employees identify with the firm. Therefore, their actions will be in the best interest of the organization. Nieuwenhuizen, Rossouw and Badenhorst (2008) affirm that the nature of relationship developed between employees influences their productivity. Nurturing a positive employee relationship improves the effectiveness and efficiency with which job tasks are executed. This arises from the fact that the employees are able to share information on work related aspects.

Tolerance of Change

In my effort to become an effective manager, I have developed adequate understanding on the importance of appreciating and responding to change, which is evidence by the relatively high score with reference to tolerance to change. This has arisen from recognition of the fact that the dynamism that characterizes the contemporary business environment is does not only contribute to destruction of organizational value. On the contrary, responding to dynamism can significantly enhance a firm’s competitiveness. Therefore, a high degree of tolerance to change will improve my effectiveness in steering the organization through turbulent time. By being tolerant to change, I will be in a position to enhance the organization’s success in progressing through uncertainty that might arise in the organization’s operation. For example, my tolerance to change will enhance the effectiveness with which I assist the employees in accepting change as an unavoidable component in the organization’s operation. In summary, a high degree of tolerance to change will contribute to improvement in the organization’s long-term sustainability by optimally responding to internal and external forces of change.


The high score on the different self-assessment activities indicate the strength of my managerial capability. Thus, the likelihood of achieving career progression by improving the respective skills is considerably high. Moreover, application of the respective managerial skills will improve my contribution in assisting organizations achieve long term sustainability.


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