At the beginning of the module, I had a lot of expectations. This was based on the outlook of the module materials that gave me a notion that I would learn a lot in the process. My anticipation was that I would learn new things, affirm or refute past ideas and add more knowledge to some concepts that I already had in mind. I have learned various concepts in the module, but the ones I consider to be more significant include:
Emotional Intelligence (EI)
I have come to learn that it entails the capacity for people to identify their own and other people’s emotions and feelings and use them to guide their behavior and feelings. Truth be told, every individual has the propensity to become angry. It is quite difficult to be angry to the appropriate degree, for the right purpose, at the right time and doing it in the appropriate way (Module Slides, 2016). These aspects make the concept of Emotional Intelligence quite intriguing.
Emotional Intelligence is more of the development of skills that can be used to manage and understand emotions effectively. EI normally has an effect on job performance. This is the reason why modern employers seem to be interested in this aspect while recruiting employees. In 2011, more than one out of three hiring managers placed increased emphasis on Emotional Intelligence while promoting and hiring employees. 71% of these managers claimed that it is more important than Intelligence Quotient (e-Learning Infographics, 2014).
Managers seem to be placed in a position where they would really benefit from EI. This is because most of their activities tend to be stressful based on the thresholds that they are required to accomplish. A manager with a high EI would be able to manage the emotions and those of the people around them hence enabling them to move forward and achieve the desired results. Employers value EI over IQ since EI helps in solving conflicts effectively, helps people to remain calm under pressure, employees are empathetic towards their colleagues and more consideration is placed on business decisions (e-Learning Infographics, 2014).
There are things that I have learned through the module; which I had a different notion before the encounter. Among them is the concept of a team. I had the notion that a team with people showcasing high levels of IQ would perform the best. However, I have come to realize that EI is more important for a team to perform effectively. This is because when people with high EI come together, they are aware of what to do and expect from others (Druskat & Wolf, 2001). They normally work as a team. When IQ is put under consideration, the team disintegrates to a group. Here, there are people leading as others follow based on how they perceive themselves as being knowledgeable in a certain area. This reduces efficiency since everyone has a different point of view that they want to be considered.
Before the module, I did not also know that the difference between IQ, EI and personality was that big. EI involves a fundamental element of human behavior that is very distinct from an individual’s intellect. There cannot be a prediction of one’s EI based on their IQ (how smart someone is). Intelligence is more of an ability that remains constant throughout and individual’s life. EI on its part can be developed even for people that are not born with it (Grawitch & Ballard, 2015).
The concept of Emotional Intelligence is quite valuable based on my profession. I work as a uniform consultant in a garment company. This means that I meet with a lot of people that demand different levels of attention and service. There are times when the customers complain about things that are not within my scope. I have to remain calm since they are customers that the company would want to retain. In my daily routines, Emotional Intelligence will help me to manage my behavior, make personal and organizational decisions and navigate social complexities. This is because it enhances both social and personal competencies. These aspects will help me in dealing with the stress that comes with my job. I will have the ability to deal with clients possessing different personalities and expectations. This is regardless of whether they are “annoying” or not.
Understanding Team Dynamics
Through the module, I have had the ability to understand various concepts regarding team dynamics. It involves more of learning about the relationships that occur among the members of a given team. Team dynamics tends to be more of an unconscious psychological force that influences the direction of the team in terms of performance and behavior. According to the module slides, a team comprises people that are working together in order to achieve common goals. The work tends to be interdependent, and the members share in responsibilities and are accountable in attaining the desired results.
There are differences that exist between a group and a team. A group is composed of people that aim at coordinating their individual efforts. A team, on the other hand, is composed of people that work towards attaining a similar objective. Development of a team has four stages. They include forming, storming, norming and performing (Module Slides, 2016). In the forming stage, the team works as individuals since there is not cohesiveness and connections. At the storming stage, conflicts tend to arise since personalities and egos are being tested. The actualization of the norming stage comes with some level of agreement and consensus. Trust and cohesiveness also build in. At the performing stage, the team adopts a clear strategy and vision whereby standards and procedures are followed.
Collaboration is a vital element for a team to be successful. This is because it enhances the component of having a common goal and purpose. Each individual also develops an aspect of trust towards each other. This is because there is an understanding that everyone is working towards a common goal and hence no one is viewed as having ill motives towards the other members. To build a successful collaborative team, the executives should act as role models so that it can trickle down to the staff. Training relationship skills such as conflict resolution and communication will also be very effective. Ensuring that the roles for every employee are clear would also enhance collaboration since it negates the concept of conflict (Gratton & Erickson, 2007).
I had a different understanding of diversity in teams before encountering the module. Initially, I thought that diversity in a team would bring more disadvantages than advantages. I thought that having people with different “everything” would be very difficult to work with. This is because everyone has a belief of what should be done and how it should be done. This was likely to be in contrast to what the others believed in. Such an aspect would mean that there is no moving forward. This is due to the stalemate since not all propositions can be implemented at the same time.
However, the module has brought a different perspective to my understanding about diversity. I have come to realize that diversity would bring along improved performance in a team than I initially thought. To begin with, diversity helps a team in being more effective through cooperation and synergy. This is because the team members are aware of each other and appreciate this aspect. This is because they can combine the strengths of each member and come up with a very effective working formula. This understanding also ensures that they can handle conflicts, communicate effectively and have respect towards each other. The aspects of innovation and creativity also tend to be high. This is due to the different backgrounds and unique experiences of the inherent team members.
The concepts learned about team dynamics will be helpful in my day to day activities in the workplace. In my place of work, there are teams that are designated to work in different areas. Many are the times that people tend to work more like groups than teams. I have come to understand that this is why some departments are lagging behind. You find that there are people that accomplish their work in a better way than others, yet they were working on a similar project. There is always a problem since everyone ought to work effectively for the entire project to be considered a success.
As a result, the idea of collaboration is something that I would push for at my workplace in order to ensure efficiency among the teams involved. It is a concept that I would want to influence the people in my team to adopt so that we can have positive results. The synergy that comes with collaboration is very essential for any organization for it to be ignored.
Based on the knowledge gained, conflict management entails the concept of being able to solve conflicts sensibly within the workplace. Conflict is as a result of people’s needs, interests, values or goals interfering with one another. This is something that is fairly common in the workplace. The workplace is made of people with different priorities hence conflicts are likely to arise. The conflicts might involve departments, boss and subordinate, team members or organization and clients among others (Grawitch & Ballard, 2015). Most of the times, conflicts arise as a result of perceptions. People tend to see the worst in the others based on their actions.
Several strategies can be used for conflict management. They include accommodating, forcing, compromising, collaborating and avoiding. Accommodation involves one party satisfying their concerns while neglecting the others. Forcing entails the use of authority to make people see your point of view and embrace it. Compromise involves identification of a solution that is partially satisfactory to the parties involved. Collaboration on the other hand, entails coming together to find a solution that is mutually satisfactory to both parties (Module Slides, 2016).
To establish a conflict resolution, there are several steps that can be followed. Foremost, the source of the conflict should be identified. This should be followed by an analysis of perspective behind the incident. The resolutions to the conflict at hand should be sought. Identification of solutions that will be acceptable to both parties should follow. An agreement will be arrived at as a result.
Before indulging with the module, I thought of conflict as a bad and toxic aspect for any organization. However, my perspective has changed through the knowledge that has been acquired in the module. There are three levels of conflict; low, optimum and high. The optimum level of conflict results in high performance and effective decision making (Grawitch & Ballard, 2015). It encourages a healthy argument and debate. Through the arguments and debates, people tend to learn more. Conflicts also help in clarification of queries and doubts. This helps to improve the work environment since employees learn how to understand and respect one another. Conflict also increases the rate at which change takes place. Through the conflict, new ways of doing things are identified in order to accommodate everyone for purposes of resolving the conflict. The changes initiated help in increased productivity since the employees feel like the workplace suits their needs.
The concepts involved in conflict management are valuable in my workplace due to the nature of operations. I work in an environment where people tend to be competitive in different ways. The employees have different objectives that drive them. There are those that want to be regarded highly hence they appear as being aggressive. People will argue about things that they think will pull them behind and reduce their chances of gaining “that” promotion. There is always the perception of ill-will from the colleagues. However, knowing that an optimal level of conflict is healthy for operations would be helpful in using this aspect to move forward. The organization can find lasting solutions to some workplace problems based on the conflicts that are prevalent. Despite the conflicts leading to the development of an improved workplace environment, there is a need to put them at optimal levels. Extreme levels of conflict would be detrimental to operations hence bring negative effects to various operations.
Druskat, V. U.,& Wolf, S.B. (2001). Building the emotional intelligence of groups. Harvard Business Review, 79(3), 80-90.
Gratton, L. & Erickson, T.J. (2007). Eight ways to build collaborative teams. Harvard Business Review, 85(11), 100-109.
Grawitch, M. J., & Ballard, D. W. (2015). The Psychologically Healthy Workplace: Building a Win-Win Environment for Organizations and Employees. American Psychological Association.
Module Slides, (2016). Managing Self and the Team.
Roebuck, D.B. (2012). Communication Strategies for Today’s Managerial Leader. Business Expert Press.
The importance of Emotional Intelligence infographic – e-Learning Infographics. (2014). Retrieved June 18, 2016, from http://elearninginfographics.com/the-importance-of- emotional-intelligence-infographic/?utm_source=feedburner
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