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Custom Self-Development Report Essay

This report covers knowledge and skills that I have acquired during a field study project. This field study was conducted in partnership with Morecambe Town Council. The project was carried out in five phases. Prior to the survey process a reassessment survey was conducted to research about the expected outcome and objectives of the study stated clearly. The first phase was between 19th October and 2nd November; this was the first session and it involved carrying out a general overview of the project that was to be conducted. The members of the team got acquainted with what was required and expected of them in order to complete the project smoothly. The second phase was between 2nd November and 23rd November. The major goal of this session was to conduct surveys on the remaining events that had not been investigated earlier. The third phase was between 23rd November and 18th January; during this period the survey result were analysed and evaluated to come to conclusions. The fourth phase was between 25th January and 15th February in which the conclusive reports were prepared on the Morecamble Township population. The team also identifies the focused students from Lancaster University. I was one of the chosen students because of the commendable improvement I had made over the survey period. The fifth phase took place between 15th February and 8th March when final data analysis was made. The final report was also presented to the members of the MTC.

The aim of evaluation was to assess the changes that the 2012-year project had made on the people within the jurisdiction of Morecamble Township. The report also covers various acquisitions and improvements of such different skills as interview, self-confidence and time management skills. It is meaningless to carry out a practical activity and not to reflect upon the activity afterwards (Moon 2004). The reflective session gave me the opportunity to think upon various activities, skills and knowledge acquired during the study. The reflection enables basic skills to stick into one’s mind. More knowledge has been retained when a reflective session follows a practical activity. The reflection also enabled me to find various skills that are not yet perfected and brainstorm on the solutions to different challenges faced. The practical activity enabled me put to practice what I had already learnt in class. Should any information slip it can be easily detected in time and a corrective action be taken accordingly. A reflective report also gave me the opportunity to establish a framework of the activities that I need to engage in. I have conducted my client consultation survey alongside my personal development plan. By 19th March, I had had the outcome for both. I had to deliver the report back to my client and also to acquire skills to deal with my challenges.  The research period was meant to help me learn to deal with my personal challenges.

Reflective Report

This was based on my personal development plan. Self-development involves taking a primary responsibility in the one’s learning; then, choosing the best means of doing so. Personal development helped me improve awareness, identity and potential to fulfil my aspirations of becoming a better person. In this practical activity, my three major activities included, interview skills, self confidence and time management. Self-reflection plays an important role in helping the one to meet their goals as the one can watch the progress against the set personal development goals. Self-confidence has always been a challenge to me since childhood. I was ready to develop new tactics of dealing with this challenge. Self confidence is essential for one to develop other skills such as interview and presentation skills.

The first step towards a change was having the positive attitude towards a problem or a challenge the one is facing and the willingness to change the situation. I had identified self-confidence as one of the skills I needed to acquire. I had made a step towards improving my conditions by taking part in the practical activities. There are two types of changes that could be adopted, either continuous or discontinuous. A continuous change is more comfortable and less dramatic, while a discontinuous change may be uncomfortable to some people and is always dramatic. The discontinuous change is also increasingly becoming popular as it is less predictable compared to the continuous change. The reflections on my four challenges are covered below. These challenges are self-confidence, self awareness, interview skills and time management. The consultation process has involved distribution of questionnaires as a form of interviewing the people of Morecamble Town ship. The trait required was self-confidence and interview skills to enhance approaching of potential respondents. The greatest fear when approaching the potential respondents is that of being rejected from the latter.

Dealing with Self-Confidence

Being self-confident is one of my major goals in the personal development plan. I have had a confidence problem since my childhood, and this could be a cause of me to miss some life changing opportunities. For the one to lose a certain negative behaviour requires confidence and being assured that one can do it. Before we began the survey process for MTC, I had started working on my self-confidence. I have started by focusing on various methods that were available and could enable me to acquire self-confidence. Many write-ups, journals, DVDs and theories are available as adopted to help imparting self-confidence on people. Since these resources were not readily available, I have concentrated on my research books; I have covered the various topics dealing with self-confidence. This productive approach has proved to be informative as there were many techniques to help boosting the one’s self-confidence. During our first meeting with the members of MTC I had been nervous and could not speak freely in front of very body.

There are various behaviours that one should avoid while trying to boost self-confidence. Various texts have given some insights on the particular behaviour that one should avoid; and those they should adopt to improve self-confidence. My other strategy for dealing with this challenge was to try engaging into social events that involved many people. This would help me to put to practice the techniques and skills I have learned from books. Attending social events has helped me to become more outgoing and cut my crowd phobia (Evenden & Anderson 2002). Different texts also have given techniques that could make one seem confident than they really are. I have tried to look more confident in crowds and by attending festivals, I was able to estimate whether those techniques had been working. The progress in increasing my self-confidence would also help to solve my other challenges. During our meetings, I have attempted to always stay active and keep conversations going between me and other members of the consultancy team.

I have been able to chair one of the meetings that we used to hold before parting for the various activities in the survey process. I also went for the winter summers survey on my own and gathered lots of results with not so much hardship. I made progress quite fast with regards to adapting to the new confidence I had acquired. During the festival survey, I have been able to make new friends with who we exchanged contact information and our association has also improved overtime. According to the (Evenden & Anderson 2002), behaviours that should be avoided included putting oneself down, comparing oneself with others, concentrating on past failures and believing in the worst. Generally, these behaviours were a pessimistic view of everything in surrounding being a major hindrance to the one improving self-confidence.

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Activities that were advocated for the one to improve their self-confidence included reminding oneself of the benefits of self-confidence, putting the one’s needs and wants ahead of all other causes and setting reasonable targets. Another technique was accepting the one’s mistakes and moving on. The sentence, “To err is humans” means we are bound to make mistakes in our lives. The sooner one moves on, the greater the progress is made and becomes successful. Various techniques were working and the consistent practice enabled me to learn different skills and abilities. In the second meeting, I was a bit confident and could talk to one or two people in the group.

The research exercise also enabled me to be able me to learn how to deal with mistake; this was also related to one’s self-confidence. I got encouraged to try and accept mistakes and focus on correcting them in future than always regretting. For instance, during one of the field surveys I forgot to carry enough questionnaires to the respondents. Some the respondents did not get the questionnaire and I felt bad about that; I felt that I had disappointed them. I learnt to move on fast to avoid such mistakes in the future.

On conducting the further research at Lancaster University, I came across another cause that was important in achieving my personal development goal, i.e. ego states. This refers to a system of feelings accompanied by a related set of behaviour patterns (Moon 2004). Every person has a different set of ego states that can be categorized into parents, an adult and a child. This means they could resemble those of their parents, which are capable of objective processing or are fixated relics from some early childhood issues. The experiences one undergoes in their early life can influence on their relationships with other people in the future years. A possible reason for me facing self-confidence problems could be based on my parents’ and child’s ego states. Both my parents admitted that they had self-confidence problems at their tender ages. I could have inherited it from them. Having this in mind I could work with various techniques I had learnt in order to cut the chances of me getting into susceptible situations that could further affect my confidence.

Dealing with Interview Skills

To interview it is important for the interviewer to have self confidence. Over time, I had become confident and was ready to get on to interview skills. The interview work provided an opportunity for me to face a large number of audiences and interact with them. The various survey sessions also enabled me to interview the respondents. This situation could be very pressurizing and stressful as I was going to meet people being not familiar to me.  During the research project I had to personally interview some of the respondents and this gave me insights on how to conduct an interview. For example, when I forgot to carry enough questionnaires, I had to personally interview the respondents. I read the questions out for individual respondents and noted their responses. I faced insurmountable hurdles in trying to gather responses using this method. I had not dealt with my self confidence issues fully; this made me feel nervous when approaching some of the clients. Some respondents were also not free to give their responses for fear of being judged. These method was also time consuming and tedious as opposed to questionnaire interviews. The latter did not need much effort and was also timely.

The questionnaire interview did not also give the respondents the opportunity to elaborate their opinions fully. Some clients needed more space to explain their points. Personal interview gave the respondents the opportunity to elaborate further and ones in a while I could chip in to seek clarification on the responses. My next step in the personal development plan was to carry out the further research and come up with other techniques that could help me learn effective interviewing skills. My major focus was learning how to interview effectively. This resource has highlighted the importance of having the knowledge how to interact with people, interview them, and come up with the desired responses and outcomes. Effective interviewing skills are essential in higher education and life. These skills may prove beneficial even in my future endeavours.

I learnt that it was normal for one to feel tensed prior to an interview; that is for both the interviewer and the interviewee.  To reduce the anxiety it is important for the parties involved to conduct thorough research about the subject matter. For instance, I had background knowledge of the Morecamble Township Community members; this boosted my confidence greatly when relating to the respondents. Other necessary skills during the interview process are mood control strategies and how one can get composed with the limited tension. That cannot be seen by the other party. I had been agitated by the fact that I had carried less questionnaires but I needed to control my emotions to avoid passing the irritation to the respondents by such attitudes as arrogance. These techniques could have been more elaborate if presented practically using DVDs or other media methods. This could have enabled me to have a visual picture of what could be expected. I also have learnt a bit on the emotional deprivation. My interviewing skills had also been improved and the MTC also commended me for my great work during the fieldwork.

Dealing with Time Management

Some of the basic time management skills learnt include the need to keep a schedule or a diary on the list of tasks. One can then view what tasks are left versus the remaining time. I was willing and ready to meet the deadlines in place; which promoted the improvement in my time management skills. Another secret for one being a good time manager is that they should concentrate on results as opposed to being just busy. Most of the days I went for field work I aimed at gathering as much responses as possible from the right respondents.

My working schedule over this period was form 7am to 5pm; during this period I worked diligently with limited breaks except when there were no events to cover. One of the techniques that I learnt that kept me focused was the need to focus on the problems statement and the research questions. The members of the consultancy team including me were provided with transport facilities that ensured that we experienced limited delays due to failure to get transport facilities such as buses on time. The private bus also enabled us to avoid the harsh traffic congestion that was experienced during this rush hour times. The members of the team were collectively transported to the venues of the various festivals.

 We were put into groups of two; the members of each group were assigned tasks they needed to accomplish in a given period. I was with Phil who helped me manage time effectively. We worked together so that each assignment was done in time. Him being more experienced I had a lot of time managing skills to learn from him and the general research experience. He also offered me support when I was running late in any of my research works; he could cover for me (Whetton  2007). We succeeded in meeting the stated deadlines unlike other groups which always delayed form presenting their reports for review. We were even ranked the best time keepers in the entire research team. At the end of the research duration I had become conscious of time and always put my schedule in order even for tasks that were not school or work related. We were generally the best partners in the research team a contributing factor was that we had different personalities. He could help me improve in my weaknesses similarly I covered for his weaknesses. The best working team is one that consists of individuals with different strengths and weaknesses; so that should there be a disruption the entire process cannot be cancelled.

Conclusion

Over this period, I had become more outgoing and developed superior self-confidence. I had also become more comfortable in interacting with strangers and speaking with people being not familiar to me. I also became aware of the role I had played in that contributed to my successes in future and I could manage my assignments and activities within the given time. According to Moon Jennifer (2004), a change from the one state to another is possible especially if the person involved is willing to learn. The reflection process also enables the one to check progress in their personal development plan. I had been worried on how I would communicate with people in interviews and present myself before people (Moon 2004). Over the personal development period, I had improved greatly and they were no longer challenges to me. I had not also had the presentation skills earlier, but over the development period I had substantially improved. The personal development program enabled me to be able to adapt to changes and venture into activities which were not within my comfort zone. The entire process had given me a huge personality making over for the better. The personal development plan had worked for me despite the fact that I had had the doubts at the beginning.

I had a broad objective. This could have also been a contributing factor towards the incompletion of the personal development plan. Self-confidence and interview skills challenge had been well covered. My time management skills had also improved greatly. I need to take a break and do a further research on how best I can deal with this challenge. I should have resorted to a more in depth and well broken down an objective (Whetton 2007). I was willing to continue with the personal development process despite having completed my project so as to have a better personality. I had improved greatly over a short period. I had focused on the personal development plan. Being appreciative is also good for self-development. Ones in a while in the course of our plan need to stop and monitor the progress and appreciate the steps made towards achieving the set objectives.

At the end of the personal development plan, I have realized that I dwelled on books as my major research materials. This exercise could have been a more interesting if I used other sources of information such as DVDs and visual aids. This is because the later ones give a more practical outlook at various techniques suggested. It also gives a development process a more practical approach to handling my life challenges. The entire self-development plan was quite beneficial despite the limitations faced. I had a great improvement in my outlook to life and experienced much success in my endeavours. I still hold on the need to keep practicing various techniques so as to perfect on the edges being not polished yet.

Custom Self-Development Report Essay

Code: Sample20

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