This is my journal for MBA class 890. Each week, I have included a snapshot of the module for the week as well as a brief synopsis of my learning. I shared pictures, cartoons, videos, and personal stories on how I related to items in the course. This journal is my take and view on what we did, how I viewed it, and what I learned.
Week 1: Introduction to the Course and Each Other
HIGHLIGHTS & LEARNING WEEK 1
Updating Your Profile-I I appreciate that Professor. Beck asks people to create a profile in Canvas if they have not already done so. This should be something that everybody is required to do before they can even access all the functions in Canvas. Many business websites have profiles of major leaders. This profile set up is great practice for someone who hasn't done that yet for a company website. Somewhere down the line individuals may be asked to create a profile for marketing to upload to the company webpage. I have included a snapshot of my profile from Canvas.
Introduction to the Course and Each Other-This discussion board would be a fantastic introduction to any LVC MBA course. I have had several classes with several of the people in this class. Even though we have spent time together in other classes, I have learned new things about some of these individuals. In addition, the simple questions of "what do you expect from this course" are logical. We all chose the class for a reason and if you cannot explain effectively why, maybe another course should be pursued. I am hoping this course adds to my professional development as a leader. I am involved in negotiations, conflict resolution, and problem solving every day. I need to find out what I do not know that could make me more effective as a leader.
Power, Influence, and Perception-TED Talks were introduced to me through previous classes in the Lebanon Valley College MBA program. The site is just as addicting to me as Pinterest or Facebook. There are many interesting topics from influential speakers. I like that the TED Talks are incorporated into this week. It is easy to learn from a format that I like plus it sparked my interest. Each assigned TED Talk gives a unique perspective on perception as well as influence and power. I did not have to agree with the views but I have learned or see things differently from each one. From Liu, it was that people are illiterate to power. With the Norris TED Talk it is simple in that communication is considered influence and be careful how you use it to provoke the influence you are seeking. Lastly, from the Lidksy presentation, it was perception is all in how you decide to shape it.
Week 2: Assessing Ourselves
HIGHLIGHTS & LEARNING WEEK 2
Self Assessments-I do not like taking personal assessments tests usually but the ones for this week were short and not time consuming. I wrote in my weekly assessment that I think my answers could differ at any given time depending on what I am experiencing in my life. After viewing the You Tube video below, that most likely may not be the case. Assessments typically measure interests, personality, values and strengths-these things typically do not change. I wants others to tell me too what I do well and my opportunities for growth. The outcomes of the assessments were interesting and I learned from each one. The one take away was from the creativity assessment. I realized that idea formation, sharing and execution sparks creativity. I viewed it as something that is part of what I can do to make something physically look attractive. Creativity, especially in work, is different than the physical appearance of creativity.
Personal SWOT-The personal SWOT analysis was a bit challenging this week. It is easy for me to state what I am good at doing but difficult to say where I fall short. I never did a SWOT analysis on myself and I learned what opportunities I have to tackle in the future. I also enjoyed assessing my threats. Figuring out what external factors could interfere or have an influence was an interesting exercise.
Week 3: Conflict
HIGHLIGHTS & LEARNING WEEK 3
The Upside of Conflict-Conflict gets a bad rap. Individuals view it as fighting, uncomfortable, and sometimes confrontational. What I have learned from my work, my experience, and by watching this week's Ted Talk, is that conflict is an opportunity. It is the chance for people to work and think together. Conflict can be productive if it is done respectfully and without personal criticism. I realized by reading some of the discussion boards this module that my classmates have great insight concerning conflict. Specifically, recognizing that some people are good at conflict and others resist it. If people feel "heard" they might be apt to participate in discussions surrounding conflict.
Conflict: Peer Review Articles-I like when I can learn or think differently from others. One of the posts included training for leaders on conflict resolution. This made me realize that at my own place of work we are not adequately teaching managers how to effectively manage conflict. This could be extremely helpful with new leaders and even teach seasoned leaders new tricks. On a regular basis, I spend time coaching leaders on dealing with employee conflict. Educating staff about conflict resolution is an opportunity for leaders to use the type of training in all facets of their life. The only time some of these leaders face conflict directly is when I coach them on how to do so.
Conflict: Primary Research-This exercise was assigned to my group. I learned something new by interviewing my professional. The "one down" approach for conflicts is what he introduced to me. "One down" is a reference to a western gun fight that if someone puts their gun down first, the other person tends to lower their weapon too. In conflict, if someone calms down and approaches the situation civilly, the other party tends to de-escalate too. Since the emotion lessens, conflict resolution can start to occur. The meeting becomes productive rather than reactive to tempers. This makes sense to me. I practice this at work. I know through my HR experience that if I stay calm when dealing with an upset person that they too will remain calm or they will eventually calm down. If I engage with them and raise my temper or emotion to their level, neither one of us will hear each other and the session could turn into something that is not pleasant. By staying calm, the other person eventually simmers down because I am not giving them a fight. When people are calm, they tend to listen better and can rationalize their wants better so a resolution can be successfully reached.
Conflict: Online Professional Research-Listening was mentioned in the research as an approach. The longer I am a professional in the working world, the more I realize how many people do not listen. Of course, this is not unique to work. Interrupters and people who talk over each other are common. It is disruptive and creates road blocks. Also, one post mentioned that a group in conflict needs to agree on what the issue is. This is such a simple concept that I have not considered in relation to conflict resolution until this module. You cannot solve what is not clearly acknowledged as the issue. Someone listed a Ted Talk to share with a group. I could be utilizing Ted Talks at work more readily than I do. I present often at meetings and trainings. Maybe I am working too hard when there is a wealth of great Ted Talks at my fingertips to share with leaders.
Looking at Conflict Differently
This TED Talk below from Clair Canfield points out that things that cause us conflict tend to have meanings that are not obvious. One example he uses is how the chore of doing the dishes caused conflict with his siblings, parents, roommates, spouse, etc. He points out the conflict was not about actually doing the dishes but about others not caring enough about him to do the dishes. He points out understanding ourselves and what we can do to get the change that we want. He also expresses that conflict has loss. I can relate to the dishes conflict-this was one of the only chores that my sister and I had to do as kids. We were spoiled and my mom liked to do everything plus she was a control freak so she did not want us touching anything. My mom came home at 4:45 everyday. Almost every week day, my sister and I stood in the kitchen and argued about whose turn it was or we tried to negotiate with the other one to get out of doing the dishes all together. These transactions usually occurred at 4:30pm, 15 minutes before my mother was due home. We usually worked together to get the dishes done so they would be finished before my mother arrived home.
WEEK 4: Problem Solving & Decision Making
HIGHLIGHTS & LEARNING WEEK 4
Problem Solving and Decision Making-The Tom Wujec TED talk for this week resonated with me because I am a visual learner. Draw out the steps for me and I am engaged, ready to tackle whatever you throw my way. If you simply try to explain something to me, most likely it takes me some time to understand what you are trying to accomplish. This is mainly with complex problems. Most employee relations situations that I deal with do not need visuals but believe it or not, some do. Especially those involving emails or some type of correspondence. I need to see what was written to make sure the message was adequately conveyed. Sometimes the receiver's emotions can change the meaning of the original intent of the sender. So much is occurring with changes at work due to a hospital integration. I could have benefited from the visual of using the collaborative visualization. We had attempted collaboration that I interpreted as silo driven rather than mission focused. Change is difficult and people wanted to maintain the integrity of the legacy systems. Some instances it made sense to keep the legacy systems and in other instances, it did not. It became difficult for others to see things differently. Maybe collaborative visualization could have assisted with helping others to see the progression from current process to new.
Peer Reviewed Journals, Primary Research, and Professional Online Research-Again, compared to last week, I liked seeing what others found in their searches. I want to post on the Coffee Shop or Optional to Share discussion boards to find out how others found their research. I like to learn new ways of doing things ( I am sure, in fact 100% positive this is not the first time I have mentioned this on this blog!). I learned that I easily confused problem solving and decision making. As a member of the senior leadership team at work I should know the difference! There were a few references to human resources in the discussions. Hello! That is what I do so I was eager to comment and provide feedback. I love to coach-if the person is willing to accept the coaching.