Most people instinctively avoid conflict, but as Margaret Heffernan shows us, good disagreement is central to progress. She illustrates (sometimes counterintuitively) how the best partners aren’t those who just follow like sheep and are happy to agree regardless. Also how great research teams, relationships and businesses allow people to deeply disagree. While a lot of people would agree with this it isnt always put in to practice which can and is detrimental. Part of the problem was that it takes time to transform perception, even if data shows that something is incorrect it isnt always that simple. We not only need to Dare to disagree, but also dare to believe in an alternative view or belief based on data and new information. We must ourselves be open to changing our own views or consider other possibilities.
In this talk about leadership Drew Dudley takes a slightly different slant on what it is to be a leader. Instead of holding leaders on some sort of plateau that very few of us will ever successfully reach he breaks it down to everyday tasks. He tries to show how important influence is in everyday life in helping others think and act differently. More importantly, leadership is about getting things done through relationships and interactions with people that are talented and skilled, even when they don’t yet realize it. All too often it’s too easy to get caught up in what the definition is of being a leader and not focusing on what it actually takes and what forms it can take. Leaders come in all different forms and its important to remember that when you find yourself in a situation where you may need to take charge.
The overriding theme that stood out to me was how to improve on the skill sets you already have through collaboration with others via web 2.0. The world has been opened up for people to mine information from all sectors and areas of the world for their own growth. The first reading Professional Development 2.0: Take Control of Your Own Learning. Focused on the blog aspect side of the things and how that can be used to improve yourself as individual. By writing about what you are doing it gives you an opportunity to reflect and reassess what you have done. It also is a way of expressing your thoughts for others to see and in return get their viewpoints on specific issues and build your PLN which was eluded to heavily in the first reading as something that can be hugely beneficial. The idea was to never to settle for what you think you know but to always try and learn more and improve yourself and to never stop trying to improve.
This is something I can definitely agree with having done blogs before and taking the time to rethink what I’ve just learned and giving it time to swirl around in my head. Some times what you think in your head comes out quite differently when you write, spurring on other thoughts and ideas. I think this idea was carried through to the second reading putting together professional portfolios. You want to express what you have learned and show how you have done so. I believe in creating a portfolio as was outlined would stir up many of the same thought processes that goes into a blog. It gives you time to look at things differently and learn even more.
In terms of competencies at this moment in time I am still learning what exactly I am good at and where exactly my strengths lie at. So in saying that I still think its important I understood who I am when learning to work with others. Something I have been accredited with, rightly or wrongly is seeing things differently. I’m not sure this is always a positive but it definitely throws up some interesting thoughts and processes when going about my academic work. Something I have to improve rapidly is time management. It isn’t so much I waste time on one thing and leave none for another. I tend to have a hard time focusing on more than one thing. I have to complete one task before I can contemplate another. This can lead to some stressful situations. Even if I was able to designate specific time for specific tasks I know I would be much more productive. The idea of having a PLN is something not new to me but something I havnt really thought about. The benefits are clear and it is something I should be looking to develop.
Ethically it is a bit harder to define for me. I like to think I take other people’s ideas on board but I know I can also be quickly dismissive which was pointed out in the readings as a negative about blog input. Concerning ethics and values I have learned it is vitally important to let everyone speak but come up with a constructive way of making sure everyone is on the same wavelength. In the SILS course I find people can be too nice especially when it came to the business end of last term. I can be very quiet in groups and laid back but once it’s time to get things done and I think people are hindering progression I was very happy to take the role of the villain for the benefit of the group. I am not saying I was mean or purposefully stepped on peoples toes but I was happy to say “No” we have to do x,y and z. I am sure I annoyed people but I know it was essential and it was an interesting side of myself to see.
At this stage of my life I haven’t decided what exactly I am going to do and doing the course in Information systems is hopefully going to build a platform for me to start opening other doors. So I think it is vital that I get to experience different aspects of the course that are offered and meet different types of people. Learning to deal with types of people I have never encountered before has definitely been a theme of this year so far.