Critical Reflection

Career Professional Development II has definitely been an useful module in helping me to improve my interpersonal communication skill in the workplace. The topics shared in classes were essential in helping student to develop a clearer sense of personal brand so that we are aware of others in terms of how do others perceived us. Additionally, I have gained a better understanding of the different approaches to oral presenting, conflict management and active listening.

Apart from the topics covered, the several blog assessments that was tasked to us allowed me to learn the different mistakes that I wrote through your constructive feedback in the comments. We were also tasked to comment on our peers’ posts which enable us to see the understand more about them.

Additionally, the final training video assignment allow us to understand in-depth about the interpersonal communication problem in the hospitality industry. I have definitely enjoyed creating the training video with my fellow peers to showcase the guiding principles that we have for our problem.

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Synopsis Draft 2

Synopsis Draft 2

 

Introduction

The dynamic nature of the Meeting, Incentives, Convention and Exhibition (MICE) industry requires one to be highly versatile as the work environment could be very volatile. As the work is often fast-paced and unpredictable, effective communication and strong interpersonal skills often play a central role in facilitating greater job efficiency within a team. These skills become even more crucial when the team is faced with tight project deadlines, as such skills will reduce the likelihood for miscommunication and misunderstanding, therefore allowing for a seamless event delivery.

Project Thematic Focus

Although a team may be well-oiled, the situation may change abruptly if the team leader is removed from the group. The remaining team members would now be expected to work with and provide support to a new team leader, resulting in a rise of discomfort or even unhappiness. Similarly, the new team leader would feel some resistance or reluctant when attempting to command respect from the team. This is made tougher as the team may have set a benchmark for what they deem as a “good” leader.

The challenge of interpersonal communication arises when the new leader, or manager, is not accustomed to the team’s working style. This may lead the team to view the manager as being uninterested in “blending in” or it may even induce them to “outcast” the manager, causing the team to become divided. In other circumstances, team members may also choose to resign if they feel displaced or are no longer recognised. This can be highly destructive for the team as it not only affects their communication, it will also impact the overall team dynamics, efficiency, productivity, morale and ultimately, bottom-line. The low quality of work output could consequently jeopardize the organisation operating performance.

Objective and Scope of Study

This study will identify several approaches by which new managers can adopt when attached to a new team. The principles discussed in the study will help new team managers understand the concept behind the act of nurturing a healthy relationship with their new colleagues. The principles also aims to minimize the attrition rate faced by organisations, which will eventually result in overall financial savings, in term of cost in hiring and training of new staff.

 

The N.I.E Principle

The team has developed a framework for new managers to bridge their relationship with new team members by adopting the ‘N.I.E’ principles. N.I.E represents noble goals, interdependence and empathy.

Noble goals refer to the commitment of actions by the manager to serve the colleague while upholding certain ideals and integrity. The implementation of noble goal requires values of both the manager and team member to be aligned in order to shape the long-term strategy of the team. Most importantly, the action does not carry any bias against anyone within the team (Berman-Rubera, 2012). The purpose of exercising this principle is to ensure that the manager takes into consideration how he can assist each employee to achieve their ultimate goals, instead of just focusing on his own personal growth.

Secondly, interdependence refers to the manager’s consciousness of how their actions can later impact his team. Interdependence is important as it can impact the degree and quality of interaction shared between team members (Campion, Medsker, & Higgs 1993). Research has also shown that when a team perceive their goals are positively aligned to the manager, they will be more motivated to find ways in which mutual goals can be achieved (Deutsch, 1973). This would consequently result in an integration of ideas which would create an avenue for the team and the managers to engage in more team learning activities together (Runhaar et. al, 2014). Findings from a survey conducted by Fierce, Inc (2011) has shown that 90-percent of respondents believe that decision makers (i.e. managers) should seek out other opinion before making a final decision. However, almost 40-percent felt that their managers has failed to exercise such practice.

 

Lastly, a manager who exercises empathy is required to use his emotional awareness to guide him when making choices. A manager with the ability to empathize with his colleagues will show that he is not focused purely on the results, but instead, include the feelings of his fellow team mate. Research has shown that managers need to exercise  empathy to show their team members that he cares for their needs and achievement (Bass, 1985). Fortunately, empathy can be learned as it is not a fixed trait (Shapiro, 2002). With sufficient time and training, managers can develop and enhance their empathy skills in order to be a better manager.

Implementing the Principles

When entering a new team, the manager should conduct a self-introduction of himself and display enthusiasm and interest in getting to know his fellow team member. This includes finding out and understanding each team member’s strengths and weaknesses (or perhaps what they don’t enjoy doing). By doing so, the manager outlines how he could equip each team member to grow and improve on their weaknesses, while continuing to develop on their strength.

To discern team members’ personal working style and attitude towards the job, the manager is encouraged to sit down with the employee and have a one-to-one conversation outside of the job parameter. By doing so, the manager demonstrates that everyone has a part to play in shaping a team setting, and everybody’s actions can affect the team’s performance one way or another.

As a manager, he must also understand that his decisions will have implications on the team. If the decision made is not aligned with the team members, it may affect the project outcome (short-term), or the interpersonal relationship between the team and him (long term).

As every individual has their own feelings and problems, it is essential for the manager to show empathy towards each of the team member. By doing so, the manager shows that he is trying to place himself into their shoes to understand their point of view or concern before jumping into conclusion.

Ultimately, the performance of the whole team will reflect the manager’s ability to perform. Hence, as the team lead, it is essential that the team does well and progresses together.

Benefits to the workplace

The application of the N.I.E principles will assist a new manager to assimilate well into an existing well-bonded team. This would support the formation of an efficacious team who are able to work collectively to meet tight project deadlines and tough organisational demands. The easy relationship between team members and the team lead would also culminate in a highly effective and efficient team. Thus, the N.I.E principles help improve the overall team dynamics, efficiency, productivity and morale which was highlighted earlier.

Research Methodology

The study is also supported with primary research data. An interview was conducted with Mr Johnny Yip, operations manager of Singapore Polytechnic Graduate Guild, who have had experience in joining a well-integrated team. The thoughts and views shared on the importance of integrating well into a new team resonates with the N.I.E principles that was discussed above.

Concluding Thoughts

The turnover rate in the hospitality industry is high and this applies to the MICE sector as well. As a result, more attentions need to be directed into this area so that incoming managers can better integrate into the existing team. In doing so, it will help to mitigate employees’ attrition, which can be very expensive and time consuming for the organisation to hire and re-train new staff. The N.I.E principles assist organisations, especially those in the hospitality industry, to address this situation and rehabilitate it to increase the overall efficiency of the organisation.

Synopsis Draft 1

Introduction

The dynamic nature of the Meeting, Incentives, Convention and Exhibition (MICE) industry requires one to work in a populous and versatile environment. As the work is often fast-paced and unpredictable, effective communication and strong interpersonal skills often plays a central role in facilitating greater job efficiency within a team. These skills become even more crucial when the team is faced with tight project deadlines, as it will reduce the likelihood for miscommunication and misunderstanding, therefore allowing for a seamless event delivery.

Project Thematic Focus

Although a team may be well-oiled, the situation may change abruptly if the team leader is removed from the group. The remaining team member would now be expected to work with and provide support to a new team leader, resulting in a rise of discomfort or even unhappiness. Similarly, the new team leader would feel some resistance or reluctant when attempting to command respect from the team. This is made tougher as the team have set a benchmark for what they deem as a “good” leader.

The challenge of interpersonal communication arises when the new leader, or manager, is not accustomed to the team’s working style. This may lead the team to view the manager as being uninterested to “blend in”, or even induce them to “outcast” the manager, causing the team to become divided. In other circumstances, team members may also choose to resign if they feel displaced or are no longer recognised. This can be highly destructive for the team as it not only affects their communication, it will also impact the overall team dynamics, efficiency, productivity, morale and ultimately, bottom-line. The low quality of work output could consequently jeopardies the organisation operating performance.

Objective and Scope of Study

This study will identify several approaches which new managers can adopt when attached to a new team. The principles discussed in the study will help managers understand the concept and science behind the act of nurturing a healthy relationship with their new colleagues. It is hope to also minimize the attrition rate faced by organisations, which will eventually result to overall financial savings, in term of cost in hiring and training of new staff. The study is also supported with primary research data, obtained from an interview conducted with a manager who had experience joining a well-established team. The thoughts and views shared by the interviewee regarding the importance of integrating well into a new team resonates with the principles that will be discussed below.

The N.I.E Principle

Managers can bridge their relationship with new team members by adopting the ‘N.I.E’ principles. N.I.E, representing noble goals, interdependence and empathy.

Noble goals refer to the commitment of actions by the manager to serve the colleague while upholding certain ideals. Most importantly, the action does not carry any biasness against anyone within the team.  The purpose of exercising this principle is to ensure that the manager takes into consideration how he can assist each employee to achieve their ultimate goals, instead of just focusing on his own personal growth.

Secondly, interdependence refers to the manager’s consciousness of how their actions can later impact his team. This could cause both short-term and long-term consequences. For instance, the short-term consequences may refer to the project outcome for an event, whereas the long-term consequences may refer to the relationship within the team beyond the completion of the project.

Lastly, a manager who exercises empathy is required to use his emotional awareness to guide him when making choices. A manager with the ability to empathize with his colleagues will show that he is not focused purely on the results, but instead, include the feelings of his fellow team mate.

Implementing the Principles

When entering a new team, the manager should conduct a self-introduction of himself and display enthusiasm and interest in getting to know his fellow team member. This includes finding out and understanding each team member’s strengths and weaknesses (or perhaps what they don’t enjoy doing). By doing so, it would help the manager outlines how he could equip each team member to grow and improve on their weaknesses, while continuing to develop on their strength.

To discern team members’ personal working style and attitude towards the job, the manager is encouraged to sit down with the employee and have a one-to-one conversation outside of the job parameter. By doing so, the manager demonstrates that everyone has a part to play in shaping a team setting, and everybody’s actions can affect the team’s performance one way or another.

As a manager, he must also understand that his decisions will have implications on the team. If the decision made is not aligned with the team members, it may affect the project outcome (short-term), or the interpersonal relationship between the team and him (long term).

As every individual has their own feelings and problems, it is essential to show empathy towards each of the team member. By doing so, the manager shows that he is trying to place himself into their shoes to understand their point of view or concern before jumping into conclusion.

Ultimately, the performance of the whole team will reflect the manager’s ability to perform. Hence, as the team lead, it is essential that the team does well and progresses together.

Benefits to the workplace

The application of the N.I.E principles will assist a new manager to assimilate well into an existing well-bonded team. This would support the formation of an efficacious team who are able to work collectively to meet tight project deadlines and tough organisational demands. The easy relationship between team members and the team lead would also culminate in a highly effective and efficient team. Thus, the N.I.E principles help improve the overall team dynamics, efficiency, productivity and morale which was highlighted earlier.

Concluding Thoughts

The turnover rate in the hospitality industry is high and this applies to the MICE sector as well. As a result, more attentions need to be directed into this area so that incoming managers can better integrate into the existing team. In doing so, it will help to mitigate employees’ attrition, which can be very expensive and time consuming for the organisation to hire and re-train new staff. The N.I.E principles assist organisations, especially those in the hospitality industry, to address this situation and rehabilitate it to increase the overall efficiency of the organisation.

 

Submission 2: Reflection

Dear Brad,

Prior to national service, I was working for an event company. I was assigned to an individual event project. Weeks before the actual event, I had to liaise with several vendors for the different aspects of the event such as creating the stage backdrop, launch mechanism, catering, audio visual, renting of tables and chairs. Prior to the actual day of event, I had informed the audio visual (AV) vendors to report early for rehearsal.

On the day of the event, the client requested for a dry rehearsal run before the actual event begins. However, the audio visual (AV) team had not reach the venue of the event yet. Without the AV team, there was no microphone available and music cannot be play in the background. The client was frustrated as he wanted a dry run without the sound system. As it was my very first event that I was taking charge, I had little experience with regards to running a whole event. I did not take into consideration of the duration timing of the rehearsal as I did not inform the AV team the exact time to report. Over the past half an hour, I kept calling them to check on their exact location and tried to rush them several times. It had come to a point where the AV team was frustrated with my phone calls and made a remark, “Stop rushing me as I am already on the way!”. Both of us was really frustrated at the end of the event.

The AV team is one of the main vendors that my company work closely with.  I do not want the relationship to turn sour after the event. What should I do?

Regards,

Christopher

[Revised]

Personal Branding

Dear Brad,

Personal branding is essential to establish an image in the mind of others.

Self-concept is a term used to refer how someone evaluates or perceives about themselves. It is essential to be aware of oneself to have a concept of oneself. In terms of personal branding, I am aware of how I perceives myself in order to portray a certain image. Most of the times, I will portray myself as a happy and positive person in front of my friends and peers. However, I do have my stress moment which I usually don’t portray out to my friends.

Self-image refers to how one sees themselves where a person self image is affect by different factors such as parental or friends’ influences. Over the years, I have change my self image for my personal branding in order to portray as a stronger male in my friends’ eyes. In the past, I used to be severely underweight where people may perceive me as a weak person. From there, I had decided that it is time for a change where I want to gain mass and achieve a leaner body.

Regards,

Christopher

Formal Email Introduction

Dear Brad,

I am currently an undergraduate studying hospitality business in Singapore Institute of Technology. Previously, I graduated from Singapore Polytechnic with a diploma in Business Administration. My previous work experience includes working as an administrative assistant in Nucleus Connect Private Limited.

In the course of internship attachment in an events company, I had acquired different skills in preparing proposals for client, coordinating with various vendors involved and planning events. One of the tasks that was assigned to me was to prepare and execute an entire competition event where I had to communicate with the various parties involved such as the participants, clients and vendors. It was essential to have proper communication skills in order to communicate with the respective parties.

In terms of communication, I enjoy speaking to different people from all walks of life. Interaction with different people allows me to acquire new knowledge that I never knew and get to know others better.

However, I often encounter difficulties speaking in front of a huge crowd or a group of strangers. Through practicing numerous time in front of my friends, I managed to overcome the fear of speaking to a huge crowd. Through their constructive feedback, I have learned to be more comfortable speaking to a huge number of audience member.

Thank you.

Yours faithfully,

Christopher Chua

[REVISED 27th January 2016]

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