I felt extremely nervous completing the assessment as I tend to reflect privately on my decisions and actions within the workplace. I could see the value in discussions of my perceptions of my abilities and weaknesses with my supervisor, and in recognizing task priorities at work. However, that I had to so openly disclose how I saw myself at work was challenging. My family was very supportive as my nervousness was making me anxious.
My mum reminded me that I have a strong work ethic, that I do not avoid challenges (even personal ones) and that those times that I drop the ball should not be focused on because I care about improvement. It also helped that my supervisor was supportive of the assessment process and sought to provide me with constructive criticism, not seeing the assessment as an opportunity to point out my flaws. My weaknesses identified by the assessment. My lowest score was 7 for Creating and giving presentations to groups (Q. 5).
This does not surprise me as I have a fear of public speaking. Also, while I see myself as a leader I am not comfortable with setting myself up as an “expert” on any particular subject. I am also unfamiliar with Power Point and other software or OHP materials that enable visual engagement of the audience with the information being delivered. I have attempted to learn and find the whole thing a bit overwhelming in terms of information load.
My sister is at university and gives presentations often, I would like her to help me develop my skills in presentation as I could contribute more to my workplace, and travel to sister companies if my presentation skills were enhanced. I would also like to develop the tasks where my score was 8 (Qs. 6 & 16), both of which overlap with my presentation weaknesses; training others and innovation and problem-solving. With presentations I could provide training workshops and visually represent ideas, problems and solutions to create more efficient solution processes.
Specifically, my overall managerial competence could be improved by continuous professional development. There are two universities in my city so I can attend short courses at the library or learning center to improve my presentation skills. My employer has agreed to fund a Workplace Assessment and Teaching Certificate IV for me, so I will be qualified to train others. I will then travel to sister companies to learn other aspects of the company to provide training to others by the end of the year.
My supervisor has also made me a team-leader for my section and I must chair brainstorming and other problem-solving and innovation discussions with other staff and management. Overall, I think that this assessment has many benefits to me, my supervisor and my company. Although I reflect on my work day personally, the assessment made much more salient where I actually stand in terms of recognizing important skills to have as a manager, and in becoming aware of where I and my supervisor see my strengths and weaknesses.
Discussing my interpretation with that of my supervisor opened my eyes as to aspects of my abilities that I was largely unaware of. I found this empowering and I am keen for my next assessment in 3 months to see how I have improved. I think the assessment could be improved by triangulating subjective opinions with tangible outcomes such as frequency of innovative ideas, production rates and other measurable variables.
An empirical approach to assessment provides for standardization and decreases the likelihood of participant bias, such as demand characteristics on my part (to answer in a way that I think that I should to please my supervisor), and personal bias on part of the supervisor (for example, I socialize with my supervisor after work whereas other staff members do not so our friendship may bias her perceptions). Empirical comparisons across time would not only tell me if change has occurred in my abilities, but how much they have strengthened.