In management, a reflective skill is an ingenious continuous learning that enables managers to introspectively examine their actions and their corresponding outcomes. In essence, a reflective practice is a way of studying one's own experiences with the intention of improving the way one makes managerial decisions. Therefore, reflective skills in management mean leadership decisions or traits adopted due to the retrospective analysis. In this paper, the emphasis will be laid on ascertaining the extent, to which the reflective practice is significant in terms of improving skills in business management within a telecom company. In order to address this issue effectively, the paper examines the tenets of reflective thinking and its correlation with improving skills in business management.
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How Reflective Practice Has Been Significant In Improving My Skills as Manager
Practically, a reflective practice is highly significant in enhancing a continuous growth. It is possible for an individual to assess himself or herself and identify the areas, where he or she needs to improve. In this perspective, when a manager examines his or her actions in retrospect, he or she may realize the personal weakness, which should be addressed if growth is anything to go by. Notably, as the manager, I have been a beneficiary of the proper application of the reflective practice. After conducting a reflective analysis of myself certain amount of time ago, I realized that there were some leadership skills and anger management skills that I was lacking. After taking some part-part classes to acquire these skills, I noticed that a number of things have changed both at home and my workplace. I found that junior and senior employees under my leadership were freer and could even come to my office for a personal advice, something that was impossible in the past.
In essence, it is impossible, for a leader to lead without courage. Leadership entails a proper incorporation of values, which can be admired by others, and this is majorly attainable through a constant use of reflective skills (De Montfort University of Leicester, n.d). Reflective skills bring confidence in the manner that if a person knows his or her weakness, then it is possible for him or her to come up with means that can maximize the strengths of that person (Hilden & Tikkamäki 2013). In addition, these skills help an individual to respect other people, and this makes it easy for him or her to stand up for what they believe in. As a manager, I have faced a lot of tough decisions to make; at times, it is substantially difficult as it involves doing the right thing irrespective of the outcome. For instance, dismissing employees is difficult to a considerable degree, but due to the possession of reflective skills, I was able to get courage and do what was required of me. Hence, this has greatly assisted me in carrying out my duties.
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More importantly, reflective skills help in fostering human relations. It is impossible for proper relations to exist between the parties involved in communication if they have no reflective skills. A communication process requires that all the parties involved must maintain a certain degree of respect. The lack of respect will lead to one party acting superior to the other, and this will hinder the message delivery (Marshall 2011). In my job, this realization of how reflective skills promote human relations be it at home or workplace has been of paramount significance. I have been able to work efficiently with my workers simply by putting these skills into use. Consequently, we have been able to increase our output not by means of increasing the input, but just by learning how to work together as a team.
Additionally, reflective skills play a vital role in terms of the stress reduction and management. One is able to reduce stress when they take time to assess themselves and try to find solutions to their problems. Stress management requires a personal obligation, and if one possesses these crucial skills, then it becomes easier for them to handle the stress and manage it effectively (Beirne 2006). As a manager, I have noticed that it is a common thing for employees to come to the workplace very stressed, and this majorly affects their output. Having reflective skills has helped me in understanding and consoling them, I have even at times gone up to the extent of paying counselor fees for those who seemed very distressed. In addition, I have created a working environment, in which they are comfortable to work.
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Moreover, reflective skills have brought a lot of progress in regard to the learning institution. In this institutions, teachers and students have the task of re-assessing themselves so as to gauge if they are on the right trajectory. Without this continuous re-assessment, it will be difficult for both students and teachers to determine whether they are benefiting from the programs or not. In my capacity as a manager, I have seen the importance of these skills in the learning process. Comparatively, during our in-service training, I noticed that some employees who have reflective skills perform better than those who do not have these skills. Whenever I attend seminars and conferences, I mostly put into use these skills. They considerably help me to measure myself on my rate of grasping concepts and how to be more attentive.
In addition, reflective skills are highly crucial in terms of the reconciliation process. For a proper reconciliation to take place, all the parties involved must have these skills. Reconciliation requires from all the parties involved to put aside their interests and try to listen to each other and try to understand the other party's point of view (Vince & Reynolds 2012). In addition, it is a common thing that without respect and discipline, it is impossible to reconcile two parties. As a manager, at times, I have been faced with the task of reconciling two employees who for one reason or another found it difficult to cooperate. In those cases, I mostly took time to listen to their sides of story without any form of favoritism. After that, I and those who were involved tried not to fault one another but to find the way of solving the issue. In this regard, it is efficient to a considerable degree as it helps the employees in working together as a team.
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Reflection thinking helps one to appreciate their strengths and build confidence. Confidence is only manifested if an individual assesses his or her self and accepts whom they are. In most cases, it is difficult for someone to lead and inspire others confidently if such a person does not know his or her weaknesses and strengths (Minna & Juhani 2015). As a manager in a dynamic telecom industry, I have faced several instances, where one is supposed to stand out and do what others cannot do; this ability is a manifestation of reflective skills. For instance, as the manager of Telkom Company, I am mostly required to conduct a lot of business meetings and conferences. In terms of these activities, I am required to address the audience and even at times attend television shows, which requires me to have confidence.
Similarly, mediation requires the application of reflective skills. In regard to this process, the mediator is majorly the person who should control and provide a guidance on how the whole process should proceed (Currie & Golding 2012). He or she is expected to be a master of these skills; otherwise, he or she will fail at the task beforehand. Therefore, it is essential for him or her to use these skills effectively. Furthermore, the two parties involved should also be ready and willing to find a way forward and practise these skills. A failure to do so, even if the mediator is good, will lead to the overall process of mediation not being realized. Considering this perspective, I have several times found myself in handling cases of this kind. Therefore, I have applied the basic values and reflective skills. In this respect, I and those who were involved would take the time to freely talk about the issue at hand and try to figure the way out of the crisis. In most cases, I have achieved success, and in those cases that were difficult for me to handle, I would recommend the involved workers to seek someone else or refer them to a counselor for the consoling purpose.
Parenting is a substantially detailed activity that requires many values for one to achieve and perform this role properly. Parenting requires that the parties involved, namely parents and children, forge a good understanding of each other. In this manner, parents are mandated to provide guidelines, in terms of which their children need to act. In addition, they are supposed to impact their children in the right way. For parents to achieve this and be successful, they have to incorporate several skills, which include communication and reflective skills. Similarly, as a manager, I am a parent in a way, since we operate just like a basic family at the work place, where every individual has a role to play. In this perspective, I am seen as the father, thus, required to provide a guidance to those employees who are my juniors. In addition, it is expected of me to be a good example to the rest of the workers.
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Reflective skills play a highly significant factor in helping those people who are coping with change and trauma. People of this kind find it difficult to understand the new environment, in which they find themselves. Therefore, they are guided by professional and family members, so that they can get well and live normal lives (Business Balls, n.d). The application of reflective skills helps those who are taking care of these patients to monitor their respective changes. For instance, these patients are reminded of common names of family members on a regular basis and are asked to recall those names after some time. In most cases, this has shown to help the patients in regaining normalcy.
The reflective practice also enables a clearer thinking and reduces the tendency of people toward the emotional bias. It gives one the time to think about himself or herself, and through that, he or she is able to realize many things which otherwise could not have been realized (Clarke & Holt 2010). As a manager, at times, I am faced with several issues both family and work related, but through taking some time to meditate, I found that it greatly helps to reduce stress and many issues. In this regard, we have constructed a recreational center at our company, where employees can relax, whenever they are on a tea or lunch break. This is essential in providing an environment, where employees can relax their minds.
From the above-presented facts, it is undeniably true that reflective skills are of paramount significance not only in terms of management, but also at a personal level. Reflective skills indeed foster a clearer thinking and reduce the emotional bias. In this respect, reflective practice helps to redefine people, which is a factor that easily makes people improve their skills. Moreover, reflective skills have transformed learning by enabling both students and teachers to regularly assess themselves and determine if they are making progress in their academics. More importantly, reflective skills are very paramount in fostering human relations. For an individual to be equally good in relationships with other people, he or she should put into use reflective skills. In general, reflective skills are very crucial in everyday life, and the attention should be focused on teaching and acquisition of these skills.