Arden University Essay


Arden University

BA (Hons) Business

Chartered Manager Degree

Developing Personal and Management Skills

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Portfolio of Personal Development Tasks


Aaron Taylor

Assignment Task – Portfolio

Task 1

Reflect on own management and leadership skills using a range of models, and develop and justify a personal development plan that will facilitate an increased level of effective management and leadership

(1,500 words) 1509

(50 marks)

(LOs 4 & 5)

It is essential for every individual to gain more of an understanding of their own personality traits & behaviours, & how others perceive them.

Within the workplace this is a key step in identifying & establishing their place within the team.

As a manager, having an understanding of the personality types within their workforce can help ensure that the right person is doing the right job, which is particularly useful where distribution of workload is required. Having a mixture of personality types within a team is essential in order to sustain a balanced workforce.

It is also important for a manager to support an employee by identifying areas of improvement, through constructive feedback.

This can be carried out using a variety of techniques such as a 360 degree appraisal or through formal discussions between employee & manager (PDP style). This could also include a self-reflective piece which is a good conversation starter if management have already identified some areas of improvement. If employees are honest, they will already have an awareness of their weaknesses & by working together & with support, enables the employee to be the best they can be & strengthen the team further.

A manager must also be able to self-reflect on their own personality & management style to ensure they are have the skills to be able to motivate their team & provide confidence & credibility as a leader. Strengths can be acknowledged & weaknesses can be used as a development tool, in order to make them a better leader. Being open & honest about areas of development can result in respect from others as they are likely to be aware of your weaknesses.

For the purpose of this report, a reflection of my own management skills & leadership skills was based on the findings from a psychometric style report using the Quest Profiler tool (Profiler, 2019). This was the first time I have ever carried out psychometric profiling & I agreed overall with the results. See Appendix 1 for a summary from this report.

From the report, the results identified my strengths as:-

Scores 8/10 – Supportiveness – agreed

Empathy – agreed

Optimism – agreed

Buoyancy – agreed

I was not surprised to see that these areas scored highly from an external assessment, as from personal reflection I would say that these are my key personality strengths both as a manager & as an individual. These traits make me approachable as a manager & I find that people are open & often confide in me, both at work & in my personal life. This has given me invaluable life experience & given me the ability to provide support & empathy. Supporting other people through difficult times has given me a great deal of resilience.

Where change is required, as a manager I take time to fully understand the service before dealing with any issues & I then work with teams to gain an understanding from their point of view. My optimism & support provides me with the ability to pitch & sell an idea, making others feel involved & then helps to embrace & embed change as my communication skills result in ‘buy in’ from the team. This was also reflected my high score of ‘Motivator’ within in a team setting.

The report stated that I have high transformational leadership skills which are demonstrated in my day to day role. Being an operational manager in the NHS requires a degree of flexibility & innovation. I also scored highly for emotional intelligence. I would say that I agree with this & am highly sensitive to my own personal needs & needs of others.

Daniel Goleman described the following as key traits for emotionally intelligent people. He describes EI in his online video as “how you manage yourself & relationships” (Crucial Competence: Emotional and Social Intelligence in Leadership, n.d.) :-

Self Awareness,- Knowing one’s self & regulate own emotions

Self Management – Being aware of what one’s personal goal is & the drive to get there

Social Awareness – Awareness of other people’s emotions

Relationship Management – Being able to communicate effectively & respectfully

From the Quest report, the results identified my weaker personality traits as:-

Scores 2/10 – Analysis – agreed – area for development

3/10 – Precision – agreed – area for development 4/10 – Assertiveness – agreed – area for development

4/10 – Team Working – neither agreed of disagree

4/10 – Strategy – agreed – currently working towards

4/10 – Sensitivity to Criticism – agreed – positive

4/10 – Conformity – agreed – positive. Shows flexibility

Initially I was slightly disappointed to see that I scored low on working as part of a team. However, on reflection I have been a manager for many years & am indeed used to working alone & providing direction to others. Therefore it is possible that this score would have been higher if I was in a non-management role, or if I would have done the assessment at a different point in my career.

Assertiveness is naturally not in my nature & therefore I would also agree that this is an area for development. I think that I have gained confidence over the years & am much more assertive than when I was in my first management role. There is a fine line between arrogance & assertiveness & I tend to steer clear from both.

I wholeheartedly agree with the low scores for analysis & precision. I dislike working with data & detail & will often leave work uncompleted due to fear & avoidance & am happier to give this to someone else to complete. I have low patience tolerance when it comes to fine detail & get bored easily & I regularly think of myself as a starter & not a finisher. Dr Meredith Belbin’s classification of roles within a team would probably define me as a ‘Resource Investigator’ (RI). “RI’s are generally relaxed people with a strong inquisitive sense & a readiness to see the possibilities in anything new. However, unless they remain stimulated by others, their enthusiasm can rapidly fade” (Belbin2015, 2012)

A common & well trusted technique of assessing personality types is the Myers Briggs tool. It can help to see how personalities fit within a team & can help a manager & an individual to use their strengths & weaknesses & how these can be used to their advantage. This assessment tool is readily available at JPUH as part of leadership training programmes. As part of this course I was required to undertake an assessment & the results have been the same on all three tests which I have undertaken.

As a manager, Myers Briggs has made me more aware of personality types & given me an awareness of how to deal with people differently in different situations eg those who are quiet in a meeting environment & taking the time to speak to them afterwards as they may have good ideas which they just don’t feel comfortable expressing in that environment. It also makes me understand my own behaviours & areas that I need to improve on.

As Myers Briggs assessment was used as part of this module to identify personality types & my results remained as ENFP.

The E represents extroversion which is something that I would generally agree on however some elements of my personality could suggest that I am at times

introverted & enjoy my own company, although comfortable in most social situations. At work I try to be extroverted as previously I lacked confidence in public speaking. I am more aware of this now & try to act confidently so that I instil confidence in others about my own personality & leadership – ongoing area of development.

The N demonstrates itself as intuition as opposing to sensing. This also enforces my lack of attention or interest in detail, as demonstrated in the Quest profiler results, but is suggestive of creativity. This is a significant development area.

The F represents feeling which underpins the Quest profiler results again, suggestion of being sensitive to others needs & providing emotional support.

The P suggests a more spontaneous personality which I would agree with in the workplace & I often refer to myself as “winging it”.

From using the Myers Brigg assessment & ‘The Quest Profiler’, there are some key areas of improvement required & some which are ongoing & currently some actions towards achieving. A ‘Skills Audit Template’ can be used to look at gaps in skills & knowledge & identify areas for improvement. A PDP can also be used as a review against performance & to set objectives, which should be SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Time-Bound). This should be developed with the manager & individual to ensure it is a worthwhile & engaging activity.

To improve myself as a manager, & as part of ongoing professional development objectives can be set in a PDP (Personal Development Plan). A Skills Audit can also be completed to identify training needs or areas of development & then objectives set to achieve competence. See Appendix 2 for full a completed Skills Audit Analysis developed on the development needs identified.

Task 2

Explain the following transferable skills using relevant theory and apply them to your organisation. The skills to consider are as follows:

• Supportive Communication;

• Motivation;

• Empowerment;

• Conflict Management;

• Team Effectiveness.

(1,500 words) 1228 272 left!!

(50 marks)

(LOs 1 – 3)

Transferrable skills, whether as an individual, employee or manager can be personal or professional & can flex between both work & home life. These are basic skills which are demonstrated in an individual’s aptitude & behaviours. Together, these make up a skill set which demonstrates natural behaviours in different situations. Transferrable skills could also be described as technical for a specific industry. In this case these basic skills which are required as a manager or leader.

Supportive Communication

Supportive communication is achieved through a variety of verbal, non-verbal & digital approaches. Face to face communication requires active listening, positive body language & appropriate facial expressions such as eye contact. In order to facilitate an effective conversation, it is also important to allow others the opportunity to contribute to the conversation, providing feedback accordingly.

‘Supportive communication is a style of communicating that has a specific set of goals and techniques. The primary goal of supportive communication is to resolve conflict or achieve change in a situation while preserving, even strengthening, the relationship between the communicating individuals.’ (life, n.d.)

Digital communication, which although is an effective, convenient & cheap method of communication, can be ineffective in terms of conveying a message between the sender & the receiver. Conversations can easily be misconstrued as there is no tone & the reader will create their own. If the reader gets any sense of hostility from written text, the tone will change completely. Within my organisation there have been instances of staff members (often senior) who fail to follow the email use policy & with the use of capital letters, bold etc, can make an email read aggressively. Where possible, to facilitate effective communication, in my opinion it is better to have a face to face meetings & then confirm the detail over email.

An example of a need for professional presence is when presenting to a large audience. This can be achieved by using all of the above positive communication styles to instil confidence in the audience & provide energy whilst conveying a message. Presence can be assessed by physical appearance, by being dressed appropriately for the occasion & therefore providing a professional demeanour. The audience will also be aware of the speaker’s reputation & will demonstrate respect accordingly.


Each individual will have a different set of motivators; some basic & some more complex. Maslow suggests in his hierarchy of needs model that once each of the four basic needs have been met, the individual will be able to progress to the fifth state where they will perform at their best & have the most satisfaction. ‘The basis of Maslow’s theory of motivation is that human beings are unmotivated by unsatisfied needs, and that certain lower needs need to be satisfied before higher needs can be addressed’ (Centre, n.d.).

An example of a motivating factor could include a company bonus. It is important to remember that using a bonus as a motivator will be likely to turn into an expectation & the motivating factor will be lost & short lasting. Therefore if all of the basic needs are met, natural job satisfaction & motivation will happen naturally.

I am fortunate to feel motivated in my job role, mainly due to having a supportive management team. We take time to thank each other for support & help each other as required. This provides a great sense of belonging & purpose within the team. I have regular discussions with my manager who supports me & encourages me on my career path. I have a yearly appraisal to assess my performance, good working conditions & support with training to support my career. Having these measures in place provides me with motivation to go over & above my role.

As a team working in the fast paced & ever changing world of the NHS, we do well to congratulate each other despite the pressures we are facing & remind each other that we are doing a good job.


In my role I feel empowered & trusted to carry out any task that is asked of me, but feel supported at all times. Therefore I give freedom to my colleagues & direct reports the same treatment. We give each other autonomy with making decisions within the remit of our roles. Trust is needed which has resulted in an effective, cohesive team. Identifying ‘stars’ within the workforce helps with motivation & a method of recognition. These people tend to look for more responsibility & giving them this results in distribution of workload & is satisfying the employee’s need to be able to move into their next stage of the Maslow theory.

Empowerment requires a level of power to act (within the remits of the role) & confidence, both mine & that of the manager. Management need to be aware of strengths, weaknesses & skill sets so as not to ‘set someone up to fail’. This can also be switched in terms or a task being completed successfully & member of staff learning new skills from working outside of their comfort zone. This can increase confidence.

‘Organization design aims to clarify roles and relationships so far as this is possible in fluid conditions. It is also concerned with giving people the scope and opportunity to use their skills and abilities to better effect – this is the process of empowerment.’

(Armstrong, n.d.)

I am fortunate within my role & the method of management from my management structure as I am given autonomy to act. I am often given tasks with little or no direction & am required to present a method & solution. I am not micromanaged & I would struggle to work in my current role if this was the case.

Conflict Management

Any conflict, however small must be dealt with quickly so as not to escalate further. This can either be by the individuals or a manager may need to intervene. There is a zero tolerance policy in the NHS & also locally, a Trust’s Values & Behaviours framework. However conflict does occur, between members of staff, patients & members of staff & between patients themselves. There are processes in place for the management of conflict & staff are trained in basic conflict resolution. Conflict can be described as a clash of needs or miscommunication of matters.

Kilmann & Thomas developed a model for conflict management & to describe its use in response to conflict situations & defined them as:-

Two basic behaviours can be described as Assertive or Cooperative which are classed as levels of cooperation in a situation of conflict. This are then the five ways of approaching that situation:-

Competing – Trying to win, fully assertive nature, standing up for yourself

Accommodating – Taking on the other person’s demands & being fully submissive

Avoiding – Avoiding the situation completely or postponing any actions which are required

Collaborating – Inability to fully agree with both parties believing they are right but agreeing to find a way to work together collaboratively

Compromising – Requires some degree of flexibility with both parties & possibly some difficult conversations to ensure that both get an equal part of what they want

This demonstrates that our natural behaviours can have an effect on the outcome.

‘Each of us is capable of using all five conflict-handling modes. None of us can be characterized as having a single style of dealing with conflict. But certain people use some modes better than others and, therefore, tend to rely on those modes more heavily than others—whether because of temperament or practice.’ (Kilmann, n.d.)


Armstrong, M., n.d. How to Be an Even Better Manager : A Complete a-z of Proven Techniquest & Essential Skills, s.l.: Koga Page Ltd 2017.

Belbin2015, 2012. An Introduction to Belbin Team Roles. [Online]

Available at:

[Accessed 30/03/19 March 2019].

Centre, T. P. P., n.d. The Peak Performance Centre. [Online]

Available at:

[Accessed 12th April 2019].

Crucial Competence: Emotional and Social Intelligence in Leadership. n.d. [Film] Directed by Daniel Goreman. USA2016: Key Step Media.

Kilmann, D. R., n.d. Kilmann Diagnostics. [Online]

Available at:

[Accessed 12th April 2019].

life, o. e., n.d. our everyday life. [Online]

Available at:

[Accessed 12th April 2019].

Profiler, T. Q., 2019. The Quest Profiler, s.l.: s.n.

Thomas, R. K. &. K., 1978. Four Perspectives on Conflict Management: An Attributional Framework for Organizing Descriptive and Normative Theory. Four Perspectives on Conflict Management: An Attributional Framework for Organizing Descriptive and Normative Theory , p. 59.


Appendix 1 – The Quest Profiler Summary

Appendix 2 – Skills Audit Analysis

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