Individual Learning Review

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I rushed back to my office at 2 pm after two long drilling meetings without lunch. There will be another marketing presentation to host later in the day. Another typical day in office I thought. My mind was distracted with half the time worrying about not being able to meet the deadlines piling on my desk and the other half of the time considering which of the tasks I should do first.

I am the Product Manager in my company. A relatively low management position which comes along with high expectations and wide scope of responsibilities. Besides my primary work from branding the products to mapping the product road map, I am also performing the project management as well as the marketing roles for my division. Wearing three hats at the same time is more than I can cope at work and frankly, not coping well at all.

The moment I got back to my messy table, full of papers from my unfinished tasks, I was called up by my boss. My boss, Jim, has just thrown another urgent deadline of a project at me. He also asked for the product marketing plan which is long overdue. I could not find the time to get it done. With another group of guests to host in the afternoon and the new project that I just received from him, I just wonder if I could ever finish the tasks piling up on my desk considering the amount of late nights that I am already putting in for work. I am so used to fighting fire with short deadlines but I really wish I could plan my time better, do more productive stuff and achieve more from the time spent at work.

I often feel overloaded and overwhelmed by the expectations of my role. I question my efficiency versus being overloaded. Not withstanding the slightest chance of the former to a person who has ranked competency and ambition highly among the instrumental values from Rokeach (1973), I know I need to improve on my time management skills. This has also been suggested by Calopio (2005) who advises that with a rating below 80, I should be trained in time management skill to considerably increase my efficiency.

Looking at the problem, being the Accomodator that I am as according to Kolb’s model (1985), who prefers the working style of building concrete experience and actively experimenting, true enough I was always jumping straight into my tasks. Too eager and anxious to get it done the way I have done it before so as to meet the dateline. When a costing proposal was thrown back with the remark that the pricing is too expensive from the customer, I will redo the proposal and cost it lower. Subconsciously, I created the inefficiency by implementing the tasks first instead of analyzing the tasks first. As a result, the tasks on my table never seem to finish.

I never find the time to reflect on what I was doing wrong in my job or think about how I can do and plan things better. Without observation and reflection, I simply failed at looking at my situation from different perspective. I have not realized that what works for a task may not apply to the others. Like different products under my charge have different target markets and require different approaches in marketing, I need to improve on my reflective observation of the experiential learning cycle to get myself moving ahead.

While the Abstract Conceptualizer will use ideas and logics to build theories and approaches to solve a problem, I skipped this learning stage, assuming that I do not have the time and need for this quarter of the learning cycle. One of the many paradoxes of organizing and planning.

Like what all Perceivers are in the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator from Hogan and Champagne (1980), my weakness lies in the fact that I lack the systematic planning at work. The mess in my table says it all. I failed to organize my work nor plan and control my situation. I was too easily distracted from my tasks. When a particular task proves too difficult for me to handle, I tend to leave it aside and work on the easier tasks first. “The natural...
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