8 thoughts on “5.6 Self-awareness & Self-management Skills”

  1. Sample Answer 1, Q5.6

    I would award 12/25 for this answer. He needed to proof read his response prior to submission as there are a number of spelling and grammatical errors. He has outlined many points that indicate that he is aware of his strengths as a manager but not overtly aware of the leadership qualities that need to be further developed. I would suggest that as a leader he should have initiated a forum for discussion with staff prior to developing the final draft of the timetable, allowing individual teachers or subject departments time to specify their needs/requirements within the exam timetable. This would perhaps have preempted issues with individual teachers once the timetable had been finalised. Once a teacher had approached him with a grievance with the timetable, he did allow him an opportunity to speak but it would have been important to outline specifically the factors involved in developing a timetable with him and to discuss with him a potential solution for the current year. It was ineffective and perhaps dismissive to tell him that he “would take the points into consideration for next year. He did reflect on the process once it had been completed and did identify ‘lessons learned’ and this should be commended. He was present every day for the students during the exams and had given them an electronic and hard copy of the timetable. I would suggest that parents, as stakeholders, should have also been mailed a copy of the exam timetable. His responses were measured and he displayed a good awareness of his management skills but as a leader he needed to work with the needs of all stakeholders in mind, he was aware of the importance of fostering good will among staff but needed to have a greater awareness of the long term implications of contributing to one member of staff feeling in some way disenfranchised.

    Sample Answer 2, Q5.6

    I would award 25/25 for this answer. I felt that the individual showed self awareness as a leader. They identified the importance of working as a cohesive team and demonstrated an ability to adapt to new structures and processes for the greater good of the organisation as a whole. They had a vision coming into the role but over time changed that vision to reflect the needs of a larger organisation and senior management team. They appreciated the importance of forming relationships as the basis of good leadership and displayed self management in their willingness to understand that distributive leadership was the most effective way of sustaining effective leadership overtime. Individual strengths were identified and roles demarcated and a dynamic leadership team was developed. While they displayed self awareness and self management skills as an individual, the focus in their response at all time was the leadership team as a dynamic, effective entity in sustaining the growth of a school community.

  2. Sample Answer 1, Q5.6
    I would give this answer 15/25. I feel that the writer has made an effort to outline an example where self- reflection took place. The example gives details of the individual listening to a concern from a teacher and trying to maintain a good relationship with the teacher. I feel it is lacking perhaps in deep reflection on the individual’s own weaknesses. Whilst this individual refers to giving the other teacher time to speak and listening to that teacher’s point of view, it doesn’t give any insight into his/ her own emotions at this time. Whilst the student- centered approach is commendable; this answer may have been stronger if it included more self- reflection/ analysis.

    Sample Answer 2, Q5.6
    I would give this 22/25.
    This is a very solid answer in my opinion. It shows great personal insight and highlights the inner struggles of this leader. It shows clearly who this person is as a leader and as a human being. If I was to try to find a point to critique, I would like to have heard more about how the struggle described in the first paragraph was overcome (with the exception of time as outlined, what else helped) and also, what strategies were employed to help this individual deal with these emotions in order for them not to become an obstacle in the fulfilling of his/ her daily responsibilities.

  3. Sample Answer 1
    I would give this answer 15/25. It was a good example to use as there are a number of people that need to be considered in the preparation of exam timetables and it can be difficult to keep all happy. This can highlight your leadership qualities. I feel the example lacked some details in relation to the complaint the teacher was making, it is unclear if it was a valid concern that may have been overlooked. There were a number of spelling and grammar mistakes that should have been seen and corrected. However there were also a number of positive points.
    1. Identified the importance of good staff relationships and giving people the opportunity to communicate their problems, listened to the staff member that was not happy with the timetable.
    2. Recognised the importance of not taking the criticism personal and the importance of using it in a constructive manner.
    3. There was evidence of reflection on the process of creating timetables for exams but very little reflection on the inclusion of others opinions or requests.
    It may be difficult to please all staff and students when there are a number of requests but maybe this could have been stated clearer and maybe the fact that the students’ interests were the most important should have been communicated to staff. The use of “difficult subjects” might have offended some staff as it is not clearly defined what difficult subjects are. It might have been better to say the exams with two papers.

    Sample answer 2
    I would give this answer 25/25. I thought this was a very good answer and showed clearly the previous experience this person had. It was read over and there were no spelling or grammar mistakes. They wrote about the importance of building relationships from the start. They had a vision of the role based on their previous position but they had to be flexible and adaptable to change as the new position was much different. They showed the importance of having patience and giving yourself and others time in a new job. The relationships did developed and the responsibilities did emerge.They were able to work with the situation and identified individual and collective strengths. They worked together as a team using the strengths and experience each had to offer rather than feeling threatened by each other. They identified the most effective leadership style as distributive. There is clear reflection and learning from this example.

  4. This candidate shows great self-awareness and gives examples of what s/he found difficult and stressful. Self-reflection and evaluation are evident and an honest insight into the struggles s/he encountered.
    Many leadership terms are used to suggest how s/he overcame these issues but only few concrete examples were given, other than time given to settle in and greater team work/ division of roles helped. How exactly was distributive leadership adopted and how did the others react to it? Did s/he actually build the trust and positive relationships with colleagues that s/he felt they didn’t have at the beginning, as it is only stated at the end that the senior management team was now working well together? It was suggested that s/he struggled to realise their vision for the role, but how exactly did s/he improve communication and teamwork with other senior management to implement the vision? It is easy to say improvements were made, but this needs to be substantiated. There is very little reference to how others’ emotions were taken into consideration, so perhaps one or two examples would be beneficial, of how s/he approached changing the status quo with colleagues to improve things.
    This seems like and is a solid answer and shows a candidate with great awareness of how the transition to a new school impacted on their emotions and outlines the processes that helped them to settle in well and to establish a stronger management team. I would award this candidate 20/25, as some definite examples in the second section would give a clearer indication of what actions were actually taken to improve the well-documented situation at the beginning. There is also little reference to non-management staff in the solution section, whereas building relationships and trust with them was a concern in the first part of the answer. It is difficult to ascertain from the answer exactly what style of leadership this person would have, even though s/he stated that they adopted a distributive approach. Certainly it suggests a collaborative approach is favoured, even though no exact examples given to back it up.

  5. Sample Answer 1- I think this is a good answer. This person reflects well over their role as Exam Sec, but maybe needs to reflect more deeply on their own self- awareness and articulate this in the answer. It is clear the teachers works hard in their role. The piece should also be proof read.

    Sample Answer 2- I also think this is a good answer. This person shows good self-reflection/ self-awareness within their new role. I would like to see more detail about how the person managed to achieve this.

  6. Sample answer 1:
    I would award this answer 12/25. To start on a positive note, it was clear that the individual in question was aware of the question being asked. They included that they underwent a process of self reflection after the first set of exams in an attempt to improve or manage the situation better for the next set of exams. In terms of self awareness they also reiterated the importance of maintaining a healthy relationship amongst colleagues and other staff. They listened to the concerns of the other teacher but this is where the answer displayed the weaknesses for me. They included sentences like “I gave him time to speak his mind..” and “I told him..”. These displayed a tone of being a little condescending perhaps and that they let him speak but that they may not have been taking on board the concerns that he had. They did not clarify if this concern was revisited on reflection or in fact considered at all after the confrontation. The self reflection process even though positive in one sense, could be considered as negative as nobody else seemed to be involved in this process. They also mentioned that they ‘fine tuned the model”, but for who? Neither the students or other staff seemed to be asked for feedback in order to effectively fine tune the model. The spelling and grammar is unfortunately very poor in this answer also.

    Sample Answer 2:
    I would award this answer 25/25. An excellent example of self awareness and self management. The answer displayed great patience and allowance for all sides to settle into such a new setting. The writer displayed a level of appreciation of the time that had been awarded to him/her to settle into the new role and to naturally garner strong relationship with staff members before developing responsibility roles further. The writer is quick to recognise and respect the individual and collective strengths that have been developed, and developed naturally rather than forcefully. Within a few months they have a shared vision and have developed into a collective unit as a result of a strong working relationship. The individual didn’t jump into demanding roles and responsibilities and this needs to be commended and displayed a strong sense of self management and awareness of the situation.

  7. I would give Answer 1.1 a mark of 11/25. There was a good attempt made by the person to identify their self awareness and self management skills. First they demonstrated their consideration of both teachers and students feelings/emotion in their approach to assembling the exam timetable. They demonstrated that they were hard working and self reflecting to a degree. They mentioned their interaction with a teacher that was not happy with the exams and stated that would take it into consideration the following year. This shows slight self reflection and barely demonstrates any form of responding to emotions of others. A lot more detail could have been given about their conversation. Also a proof read should have been applied.

    I would give Answer 1.2 a mark of 21/25.
    There was a better attempt made in this answer to demonstrate their self awareness and management skills. There is solid examples of challenges they face and how through self reflection they adjusted and help over come them. There was no grammatical errors that I could see either. This answer has potential to get full marks if they had of given detailed example of how they dealt with their own emotion and the emotion of others.

  8. Answer 2 25/25

    I felt this was an excellent answer. The person gave a clear and honest outline of something they struggled with. I realise he/she did not give details of the actual duty changes they struggled with, but I feel that is the role of the interview – he/she can expand on this in interview.

    He/she explained how they adapted to, and began to understand their new role through cooperation and fostering relationships with other staff members – I think the answer highlights the candidates excellent understanding of the skills required to be part of a successful leadership team.

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