After reading this article you will learn about:- 1. Concept of Self-Development 2. Process of Self-Development 3. Methods.
Concept of Self-Development:
To enable management development, managers at all levels apply the concept of self- development (or self-control or self-management) to frame and achieve the goals efficiently. According to Henry Sims, “Self-control refers to those behaviours that an individual deliberately undertakes to achieve self-selected outcomes. The individual employee selects the goals and implements the procedures to achieve those goals.”
In self-development programmes, managers:
1. Set their goals; what is to be done and how,
2. Take actions to achieve those goals,
3. Control the external stimuli affecting their development,
4. Introduce changes when required rather than follow changes, and
5. Measure their progress towards development in the light of goals set by them.
Process of Self-Development:
The process of self-development includes:
I. Developing Awareness about Self
II. Adopting Methods of Development after Conducting the Awareness Analysis.
I. Developing Awareness about Self:
Personal effectiveness is increased through self-awareness. Self-awareness is the level of awareness/understanding of an individual of his own self. This would be high among persons concerned about their selves, their behaviour, feelings, attitudes and mannerisms. Increased awareness of self can assist an individual in effectively using his strengths and competencies in a given situation.
However, understanding oneself alone does not make a person effective. Though generally we feel that we know ourselves, often we are not fully aware of ourselves. Self awareness is an internal concept that helps a person identify what he is. It can be developed by understanding the model of Johari Window.
This concept was developed by Joseph Luft and Harrington Ingham. The term ‘Johari’ was developed by combining the first few letters of their names. The model helps to understand relationships of a person with others. It studies the dynamics of interpersonal relations.
According to the model, there are two dimensions for understanding the self:
1. Those aspects of a person’s behaviour and style that are known to himself, and
2. Those aspects of his behaviour known to those with whom he interacts (others).
A combination of these two dimensions gives four areas about self.
It is depicted as follows:
The model has four quadrants which together represent a total person in relation to others. This relationship is represented on the basis of awareness of behaviour, feelings etc. The awareness about self is dynamic. It keeps changing as awareness changes with parties to a relationship.
The self-awareness or psychological condition of a person in relation to others is represented in the four quadrants:
1. Open self:
This is a state where a person knows himself and also others. The behaviour and feelings they share are, thus, open and compatible with each other. The Arena includes information such as name, age, physical appearance, location, contact address, familial or organisation affiliation.
It contains information that one knows about his own self and which others also know about him. In this square, what others know about us corresponds with what we know about our self. It is an area characterised by free and open exchange of information between others and the individual. There are almost no conflicts and negative feelings about each other. Arena increases when the blind, closed and dark areas decrease.
2. Blind self:
This represents a state where a person knows about others but not about himself. His behaviour and feelings are known to others but not to himself. His behaviour is, therefore, sometimes irritating though it is not intentional. A person may have mannerisms of which he is not aware that are perceived by others as funny, annoying, or pleasing.
For example, an individual might be surprised to hear that his method of asking questions annoys others because it is interpreted as cross-examination rather than curiosity or a request for information. Others also do not correct his behaviour as they do not want to offend him, though they know about his behaviour.
3. Hidden self:
It is a psychological state where a person knows himself but not others. The closed area involves that which is known to the person but not revealed to others; things in this area are secret. He has information which others do not have. He also does not share it with others and his behaviour and feelings represent only his private self.
For example, a subordinate may be annoyed if his supervisor does not ask him to sit down during a meeting, but he will remain standing without letting the supervisor know that he is annoyed. The supervisor may think that the subordinate does not mind standing and accepts his behaviour as part of their hierarchical relationship. Most people have many such feelings in their closed areas that they are unwilling to reveal to the persons concerned.
4. Unknown self:
The fourth area is the Dark area, inaccessible both to the persons and to others. This represents a state where an individual does not know himself and others also do not know about him. The behaviour and feelings are not clear till these unknown aspects of a person come to light.
Some psychologists believe that this is a very large area indeed and that certain circumstances (for example, an accident), particular life stage, or special techniques such as psychoanalysis may suddenly make a person realise some hidden aspects of him. To enhance our personal effectiveness, Openness or Arena contributes significantly to personal effectiveness – the larger this area, the more effective a person is likely to be.
As shown in Johari Window, the size of Arena (openness) depends on the size of the Closed and Blind areas; the smaller the other areas, larger is the Arena. The more a person shares his views, feelings, reactions etc. with others (the larger his Self-disclosure), the less will be his Closed area. Similarly, the more he receives and uses Feedback from others, the smaller his Blind area will be. For increasing self awareness or self-development, thus, a manager should increase his open- self.
This can be done in the following ways:
(a) He should analyse his self and identify his strengths and weaknesses.
(b) He should understand his behaviour and emotional state and try to relate it with others.
(c) On identifying himself, if he analyses weaknesses, he should try to overcome them and develop his strength.
(d) Change is the essence of self-development. He should be open to change and if he is unknown to self, he should accept the advice of others and develop a positive mind set.
(e) He should adjust his behaviour through change in interpersonal processes. He can change from hidden-self to open-self by sharing awareness with others, Similarly, he can change from blind-self to open-self by taking feedback from others. He should be open to disclosure of his behaviour by others. He should take what others give about him.
Although a large Arena or Self-disclosure and Use of Feedback (and small Blind and Closed areas) would be desirable to contribute to personal effectiveness, the matter is not so simple. A person with a large Arena may still be ineffective.
We can understand this as follows:
Self-disclosure is sharing one’s ideas, feelings, experience, impressions, perceptions and various other personal data with others. Openness is an important quality and contributes a great deal to a person’s effectiveness. But openness or self-disclosure alone is misunderstood as sharing everything with everyone.
Openness can be effective if:
(i) The person sees that sharing what he wants to share is appropriate. Inappropriate sharing does not contribute to effective openness. For example, a work place is usually inappropriate for a person to share his marital problems.
(ii) Openness can be characterised as effective if the person is aware of what openness is likely to do to others. Those who practice openness merely by calling others names or giving vent to their feelings are not likely to be effective.
For example, a supervisor who takes out his anger on a subordinate without considering that person’s ability to process and use the data generated will not be effective. The supervisor would be better advised to listen to the subordinate and share his concerns in a manner that will help the latter to use the data he receives.
2. Use of Feedback:
Feedback on a person’s behaviour and its impact on others about which the person himself does not know may be positive or negative. Generally, there is no problem in positive feedback. Negative feedback, however, creates disharmony with self-image, and may be threatening to the ego.
When one receives negative feedback (for example, if one is criticised or blamed for the way he behaves), one tends to be defensive and generally uses defensive behaviour to deal with the feedback.
Methods of Self – Development:
After developing awareness about self, if the manager analyses his weaknesses, he adopts measures to convert them into strengths.
This can be done in the following ways:
1. Constructive behaviour:
The manager should engage in constructive behaviour which leads to goal attainment. This can be developed by managing stimuli that affect his behaviour. He should remove stimuli that evoke undesirable behaviour and promote stimuli that evoke desirable behaviour.
New behaviours can also be created by introducing new stimuli or rearranging the existing stimuli. Once the stimuli are created, rearranged, reduced or increased, the manager measures his behaviour arising out of that stimuli and reinforces it in order to achieve the goals.
2. Time management:
The manager is usually constrained by time in achieving the organisational goals. Time management reduces the elements that lead to waste of time. Internal organisational factors resulting in waste of time are improper planning, overwork, failure to delegate, postponing work etc.
The external factors are noise, unnecessary meetings and travelling, incomplete information about the environment etc. He should reduce these elements and manage his time properly to understand himself, others and relate his knowledge with organisational goals. Various techniques of time management are critical point control, management by exception, delegation of authority, proper planning and scheduling etc.
3. Self study:
Managers should not only do the assigned task or formal organisational activities, but also enrich their knowledge by reading good books, magazines and journals in the field of management. Study of literature leads to self-development and contributes to organisational goals. Attending seminars, conferences and workshops is also helpful in this regard.