I was a bit disappointed by this book, it was hyped up quite a lot in the reviews, but I found it a real struggle to read and it was just "ok". It's t...moreI was a bit disappointed by this book, it was hyped up quite a lot in the reviews, but I found it a real struggle to read and it was just "ok". It's taken me over 4 weeks to read this one, and I think that probably didn't help because it made the story seem disjointed at best.
I think this is one that should be read when you have a concentrated period of time to look at it. Definately a holiday read or something, not one to do whilst trying to work long hours.(less)
This is one of my course books for my new course. Its an MA level course in the Management of Human Resource, currently i'm studying this as a PG Dipl...moreThis is one of my course books for my new course. Its an MA level course in the Management of Human Resource, currently i'm studying this as a PG Diploma as this is what the company funds as standard, but there is an option to turn this into a full MA for an extra £2k and the dissertation unit...
I've just read the first chapter of the book, as I've just started working my way through the first module handbook also named - Developing Skills for Business Leadership. It was an interesting introduction to the book, the module guide said that this would set the scene for the module and I think its given quite a good overview of why we should focus on developing skills for business leadership. I especially like this section: "Research indicates that building and developing skills - whether transferable or specific to an industry or organisation - remains underdeveloped in many organisations because managers themselves lack vital interpersonal, people management and leadership skills to deal effectively with the increasing pressures in their daily routines" (Developing Skills for Business Leadership, Watson, pg. 9). This rang very true for me, particularly in my current environment, which is very fast paced and tasky - there isn't the time to be reflective always and spending time on development courses is a lower priority than getting the day-to-day job done.
As I work my way through this book, I hope to be able to review the chapters as I work through them with the module guide in line with the fact that this is supposed to be a reflective piece of work....
Chapter 4 - Developing your Professional Identity - Personality, Values, Norms and Emotions - this is what makes up your professional identity and these can change... I get the theory bit covered in the book, although I found this chapter a bit heavier going than the first chapter. I think it might be because a lot of this is subjective and was relating to case studies. I think this is a chapter i'll have to read again to really get it...
Chapter 5 - Concepts of Self and Self Management Skills - I don't feel that I took much out of this chapter. I actually found it quite wordy in places. I think that when it comes to planning my assignment, this chapter will prove to be quite useful but i did find it hard to read as I went through it for the first time.
Chapter 6 - Effective team building and Communication - I really enjoyed this chapter and found the information really interesting. Working in a large team at site I hope that this will provide some valuable steps to take but will also help me to understand the difficulties I face with my virtual project team. a well worth read.
Chapter 7 - Negotiating and Liaising within the political organisation - a little woolly for me as a chapter - I'm hoping that this will make a bit more sense in the context of the study guide as I'm not sure how I should use the material covered here.
Chapter 14 - Decision Making and Problem Solving - not really having anything to do with this in my current role I wasn't aware there were so many ways of decision making and problem solving. I have only ever been a participant in a group and due to my introvertive nature not a very obvious problem solver. I guess when reading this chapter I can think of the way I have dealt with issues to make peoples lives easier when people have pulled out of interviews for example and I have helped them avoid having to spend several hours wasting time waiting for the next interview by rearranging their later interviews to fill the earlier vacant spots. Or making a decision about how to make sure everyone has the relevant information. However, this decision making does not follow the methods described in this book, so this has given me some new avenues to investigate next time I need to solve a problem or make a decision.
Chapter 15 - Decision Making and Problem Solving in Practice - this is a case study chapter which i think will prove most useful when I come to thinking about how and what I will write in my assignment.
Chapters 16 & 17 - I found these hard work and I don't really get it....
Chapter 2 - I think this is the most stressful chapter I have read yet. I'm sat here trying to plan what I will write in my reflective log about study skills and all I can think is how can I be reflective about a course I've barely started where the first piece of work is a reflective log and well study skills don't really come into my day to day job. This chapter is all about being critical - which I am trying to do - and types of reading...which would be great if we were actually doing a module where reading was a big thing. I don't know how I can use this stuff in my reflective log, hence the stress...I thought these chapters were going to be more tied to the content of the units but it feels like this one has been thrown in to the study guide and doesn't quite tie with what I'm supposed to be thinking/ writing about...or maybe I'm reading it the wrong way?
Chapter 3 - useful information about the project/ dissertation I will at some point have to do and some good reminders of referencing - which I really should look up the university regulations for...
Chapter 10 - this is one of the chapters I have to read for the finance and budgeting unit. It's a slog of a chapter to get through unless you have some knowledge of finance and budgeting. I struggled my way through it, trying to get to grips with the terminology and think about how I can use any of this to support my current (virtually non-existent) experience of finance and budgeting so that I can be reflective about what I've done. What this chapter has done is open up a whole pile of questions that I really need to get some answers to - and I think this is probably where my reflection will come in. Yes, I've had this experience, yes, I've seen a budget - but no, I don't have a clue what it means!
Chapter 11 - a further chapter of sheer confusion...I need to get myself some understanding finance lessons
Chapter 12 - Statistics and IT - something I'm at least a bit more familiar with. Theres a lot in this chapter that I currently do (good job for the ol' reflective log really), and theres a lot of this I haven't done since GCSE Maths (and I didn't really get it then). I'd like to say that this has given me some inspiration for my business reviews which will start again next week, but it really hasn't - I don't know how to use these, but maybe my action plan is an investigation into how we could use some of these tools?
Chapter 13 - looking at IT - I forgot that online recruitment systems were a use of IT - maybe with this I ca talk about how we use our online system but also others to data mine, and reflect on the effectiveness and how this enables us to take over each others work as necessary. But some of the pitfalls come with uploading information, and using a checklist to make sure that everything is updated correctly?
Chapter 18 - Project and Talent Management - thankfully this chapter put my mind at rest somewhat that I am doing the project I'm working on currently right. This chapter gives you an overview of project management, its not the be-all and end-all of project management but it gives you the tools to get started, the rest comes with experience. I managed to make a few notes in the margin of this text for stuff to either think about going forwards or use to support my reflective log, and despite the fact that it was a very long chapter, it was easy enough to read and understand.
Chapter 8 - Interviewing and Managing Performance - I think I got the most out of the selection interviewing section in this chapter as it is where I am most experienced, I really don't have much experience of appraisals, except as being an appraisee, and my appraisals have never really followed the structure in this book, and I've never been involved in a disciplinary so I have to take that one at face value a bit. I think what I found most difficult about this chapter was that it covers some of the stuff that has been covered in earlier chapters, and now I am concerned I'm not going to meet all of my assignment objectives with the plan I have in place...
Chapter 9 - Learning Professional and training skills for the contemporary business environment - this is the last chapter for me to read this time through the book. I've struggled to get to grips with this one, though I think this may be from lack of experience rather than the content of the chapter.
I've worked my way through this textbook along with the module guide and all that is left now is to write my reflective log and use the information I have learned to develop an action plan, which given that I struggled with a lot of the content covered in this module should be easy to do. I expect that I will be dipping in and out of this book continuously over the next month while I work to complete and improve my reflective log and that areas of this book will probably prove useful as my course progresses and material covered here is re-covered and expanded on in the specific units.
Overall a good book, a challenge to get through at times, and its taken me two months to read on and off but its been a good starting ground for my course - and hopefully will provoke me to be more reflective and look for more opportunities for development.(less)
Stephen Fry was the perfect choice to read this audiobook. Not only were his different voices entertaining to listen to,it was spoken in soft tones wh...moreStephen Fry was the perfect choice to read this audiobook. Not only were his different voices entertaining to listen to,it was spoken in soft tones which meant listening to it on my commute at 6am in the morning was enjoyable rather than hurting my ears as some audiobook voice overs do. Still a great story,even if it is meant for kids(less)