December 11, 2006

MGMT251

I am looking forward to next semester's Management 251 sessions because I want to see my personal, career, and academic progress. I think that our Learning Plan assignment is a very useful tool that I will take into account when assessing my growth in all three areas.

In retrospect, I am very confident about the academic goals I have set for myself. The personal goal of joining a sorority and the career goal of obtaining an internship with the IRS still seem extraordinary to me. I find myself fighting the urge to change these into something more attainable. However, I know that if I back out now, I will not only lose confidence in my ability to set and achieve goals, but I will also lose the great opportunities for growth that I have chosen.

Next semester I will apply all I have learned in Management 250, from the Four Phase Model, to the SMART way of setting goals for myself, to get closer to my ultimate dreams.

Hiring and Firing

I was excited to be able to apply the lecture on recruiting, hiring, and firing to my personal experiences. My current work place is experiencing a change in management. Because of this, I am often confronted with mailings and phone calls about the executive director recruitment search. From what I learned in the lecture, I understand that the Cleveland Jewish Hillel Center recruits more through networking than through newspapers, websites, and "Help-Wanted" ads. I now see the importance of having a rich social network for a company from which it can draw potential employees.

HR Project

The year's HR Project has finally ended. It feels like a big relief to have turned in all the forms and quarterly reports. Although our group experienced quite a few problems with inaccurate budget allocation through typos, we learned a lot about money management and executive decisions.

Thinking back on the year's work, I can honestly say that, beyond the numbers, I have also learned a lot by working with a team. I am very happy that all of our team members stood by our original plans to have open communication. I think we all realized how important it is to be able to voice our opinions and concerns to each other and made it a priority to provide assertive feedback before a serious problem arose.

I am also proud of our final product because I know we all did an equal share of the work. I believe the reason why our team finished so strong in the end is because we did not allow free riders. Through constant monitoring and a mutual values system all group members felt like a part of a team.

Because of this positive experience I am excited for next semester's project.

Four Phase Model

Amy Sindelar, the Career Center representative, spoke to our class about the Four Phase Model. The Four Phase Model is a basic way of charting the progression of emotional intelligence clusters. I think it is interesting that there are four levels of competence that everyone experiences that can be applied to any job or skill.

The progression begins with unconscious incompetence, followed by conscious incompetence, then by conscious competence, and finally to unconscious competence. The best way to move from unconscious incompetence to unconscious competence is through self-directed change. Intent to change is the most important factor in mastering a new skill.

I believe that this model can be applied to emotional intelligence as well as to other skills needed to have a successful career. Emotional intelligence is socially learned, not inherited. It can lead from self-awareness to self-management and social awareness, and finally to relationship management.

I learned that through self-awareness I can change my unconscious incompetence to conscious incompetence. With this first step finished, I can start accumulating knowledge, information, and abilities to reach a level of competence. From that point it will take time and dedication to reach the unconscious level of efficiency.

Termination

On November 27th we discussed employee termination in class. We learned that there are four basic grounds for dismissal: unsatisfactory performance, misconduct, lack of qualification for the job, and changed requirements for the job.

Before this lecture I had not realized how important it is to take precautions when letting an employee go. The penalty for being responsible for a wrongful discharge could be a possible lawsuit by the employee that was terminated. To avoid this we learned that it is necessary to make a record of complaints against the employee as they occur, and to have rules and consequences clearly stated in the manual.

As an afterthought, I would also like to add that its important to get different sides of the story from all parties involved. This can make it easier to make a correct decision if there is a problem with a worker. This would be another way of making sure that an employee's termination is just and in accordance with the published guidelines.

November 10, 2006

Orientation

Previously we discussed the training and development process in class. The training and development process for companies must encompass an active orientation program, in my opinion, because it makes a new employee feel welcome, helps him or her to understand the organization and duties, and begins his or her socialization with other employees.

There are different ways of approaching orientation that accomodate the different learning styles, yet it seems to me that most of them favor the Converger and Accomodator. Its obvious that people that learn the best from active experimentation would be more likely to benefit from directly performing a few introductory tasks as they become familiar with the working environment.

I am not a Converger or an Accomodator, yet this summer I went through an orientation program that forced me to dive directly into the work I would be doing. From having that experience I would have to conclude that even though it did not suit my learning style, I learned exponentialy by going through it. I guess this shows that there is a reason why most accepted orientation programs lean towards the active experimentation style of learning.

SMART Everest Goals

Ever since this Monday I have been thinking about the next step of my Learning Plan. We discussed Everest Goals in class both for companies and for individuals. Everest Goals go beyond the normal goal setting. They are visionary and push for extraordinary accomplishment. They require effort, passion, commitment, authenticity, and self knowledge.

In restrospect I have always been prone to setting Everest Goals for myself. Mine, however, were never very realistic and were seldom reached. I can definitely see that this project will push me to rethink my goals. It is time that I reconcile my dreams and reality and construct goals that are more specific, measurable, attaineable, relevant, and time bound. I think that this will also make me more efficient and driven, and thus more likely to accomplish what I set out to do.