Within the framework of the current paper, I am going to address the key insights that I have gained in the course of studying and embracing this unique atmosphere. This is a reflection paper that dwells on the core concepts that were learned during the course and which are the most appealing to me; it is a reflection on the conceptual and instrumental aspects that are important to point out, as well as the takeaways that I will definitely apply in my future work.
First of all, I would like to stress that my expectations regarding this course have not been overwhelming. I had very little idea regarding its content and the way the information would be presented to us and the way the studying process would be organized. Evaluating all these aspects in retrospective, I would like to express my gratitude to the organizers of the course and to thank everyone for all the pleasant moments with the team members and for the insightful and exceptional meetings with the experts, as well as for all the efforts that have been invested into this course, in order to make it as effective and organized as possible.
The course leadership and culture have briefly covered the concept of emotional intelligence. It should be stressed that this concept is relatively new, though it is extremely important for leaders of various levels. The emotional intelligence helps the leaders to respond to the employees, partners, supervisors and etc. in a proper way; moreover, it helps leaders to recognize the emotions of others and to react to them in an efficient way. Thus, emotional intelligence might be helpful in keeping the employees at work, assisting them in overcoming their hardships and possible challenges. I consider that the leaders, as well as the managers, should also develop the emotional immunity that provides for the standard reactions towards the events or emotions of employees and subordinates. Of course, it should not lead to the rigidness of the leader, but it should make him bulletproof from various challenges and problems that need a less emotional response and less energy. In other words, it should be equated to physical immunity and the significance of the person’s survival.
Another concept that turned out to be important for me was the intercultural intelligence. This topic is currently on the edge since the globalization develops at an enormous pace and the cultures tend to clash. Virtual teams are established and the managers have to ensure that no conflicts will occur on the basis of cultural differences. Intercultural intelligence is currently listed among the qualifications that are required from the leaders of various levels; therefore, there is a need to master this skill on a daily basis (Wayne, 2005). Intercultural intelligence is especially important if one considers taking an international career. Personally, I have decided to become more open to the cultures that surround me. While working on various projects with various team members, I try to catch the manifestations of their culture in order to expand my knowledge regarding the cultures and to better understand the way the world works. Additionally, I have raised my level of tolerance and, sometimes, I specifically pick up the place that is full of people of different origins in order to make my consciousness used to such an intercultural environment. I believe that in future this skill will be in more demand by the employers, since the trade barriers are removed and more states prefer the strategy, providing for the liberalization of trade. Thus, evaluating future perspectives, as well as the functions of the leaders within the team, I have made a decision to master the skills related to intercultural intelligence.
In the course of the studies, I have also realized the importance of flexibility, as the skill or ability of the leaders. I consider it to be the top feature of the most effective leaders. The flexibility is to be applied in the relations with the partners, employees, and followers, board members, etc. The leaders should adapt to the organizational cultures, in case they enter the new environment that needs to be changed. In the turbulent times, the leaders should be prone to the new tendencies and trends in order to get the organizations out of trouble.
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The final concept that I found personally appealing was related to the values. I used to consider values as amorphous and vague concepts that are never really applied in practice. Yet, with the help of this course, I have realized that I was mistaken. The values that are correctly incorporated into the policies of the organization are rather effective in everyday operational management (Manning, 2014). These values help to resolve a number of issues and serve as the guidelines in the decision-making processes. When the person is recruited the HR managers and leaders have to ensure that the potential employees’ values correspond to those of the company, otherwise, the organization will not let him inside. It is especially important, in the case of the non-profit organizations that tend to fight for their values on a daily basis and reinforce them for the sake of the better tomorrow.
As to the conceptual aspects, I would like to stress that I have reassessed the significance of teamwork. Before that, I believed that teamwork served more as a barrier towards effective collaboration and honestly, I preferred individual work and assignments. Yet, in the process of studies, I realized the advantages of teamwork, referred to as the synergy of the talents that were created during the common cooperation. We all were experts in certain fields and, thus, we could enhance the final version of the work and make it closer to reality. Furthermore, the teamwork also provided us with the opportunity to get to know each other better, which is important for future projects and cooperation. Apart from that, I had the opportunity to experience various stages of group development that we covered during the course. I inferred that the storming stage is one of the most challenging, as the team members should all try to reach a compromise in regard to the issues that they might have contrasting opinions on. This stage might indeed tear the group from the inside and be the barrier for the future development of the project and the team.
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All of the insights that are reflected in this paper will definitely be employed in my professional career. Yet, I would also like to stress on human resource matters, as well as the humanistic approach towards the handling of the business and human affairs. One of the experts that we met stressed that we frequently do not try to understand the needs, situations, and problems of others. We, as leaders, do not try to wear their shoes and understand how it feels. When the employee is late for work or experiences the low productivity rare leaders tend to find out the true reasons for such behavior, though it is important for the employee to know that the organization and the leader that employs the employee actually care about him. Therefore, having incorporated that knowledge, I have decided to bring a difference and more understanding of the workplace.