A reflective essay refers to a kind of essay where the writer has to write his own opinion about any given topic. Reflective essay writing is the most common kind of assignment given to students in Australia. In a reflective essay, the writer has to write his own personal view about a topic. However, reflective writing is not that easy a task, as after working part time jobs and studying for continuous evaluation tests students do not have the time or energy left to write an assignment. Hence, they tend to search the internet for a good reflective essay sample.
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Our team of academic writing experts have solved and written a number of essays for students across various universities in Australia. Here is an assignment that was written by our reflective essay writing experts. It was required to write a reflective analysis of the learnings gained by articipating in group activities in the class. The reflective essay written by the expert talks about how teamwork is important for the growth of an individual, as well as of the whole group. The tasks were mostly distributed on the basis of the strengths and weaknesses of the members of the group. These were identified by the team leader.
In the essay, references to Maslow’s Need Hierarchy were made, as it helped in understanding that the needs of the individuals need to be fulfilled before the needs of the group. Moreover, if the lower needs (Psychological, Safety and Social) of the individuals in the group are fulfilled, only then will the motivation to fulfil the higher needs (self-esteem and self-actualisation) arise. Any individual will work for the ‘greater good’ only once he has attained his own goals.
From the insights, I gained in group work. A team can be defined as a group of people working together for a common objective. For teamwork to be effective in achieving the desired results then the members must collaborate and agree in all aspects of the team. Teamwork is very applicable in different sectors and very effective in delivering excellent results. In this regard, this is a reflective essay on working in teamwork. The ideas written in the essay reflects the experiences gained in the presentations on professional competency module. The essay contains literature borrowed from the Tuckman’s and Belbin’s theories. In addition, the essay also contains theories and information on critical thinking skills, skills development for management and business, the expected organizational behaviour, employability skills and the Maslow Hierarchy.At the end, the essay contains a conclusion based on the summary of the key findings.
Forming a team was the most critical section in teamwork. The procedures and process used in the formation of the teams reflected back to the Maslow Hierarchy Needs. The group focused on self-actualization needs (McLeod 2014). The group interest was for self-fulfilment and growth basing in the account of the studies and also personal experiences (McLeod 2014). The group members appreciated the uniqueness of every person and their need for personal growth and development. The motivation for self-actualization defined individuals roles in the group. McLeod (2014) argues that self –actualization individuals have a unique perception of uncertainty and reality. They are capable of working in groups and accepting others opinion. In addition, the self-actualizers are centred on problem-solving, sense of humour, spontaneous in decision making and objective about life. These are important factors that shaped the teamwork and provided ideas for creating effective teams in the future.
The team was very systematic in decision making. Belbin team roles theories were reflected in each aspect of the team decision making (Belbin.com 2016). The theory factors such as norming, performing and adjourning were very evident (Belbin.com 2016). As these factors developed it was possible to learn communication skills, especially when contributing to decision making (Belbin.com 2016). The process of talking and listening was important in developing presentation skills. Writing on the different presentation notes was instrumental in developing writing skills. These skills are expected to reflect in the future employment. One of the most important aspects that developed from the group work is the ability to work with
different members and agree. It is an area that improved confidence and helps in the applicability of critical thinking skills. As discussed by Cottrell (2011) one of the critical thinking techniques is the ability to evaluate the arguments, views and opinions presented by members of a group. In addition, the critical thinking skills are more elaborate in the ability to challenge the group views and provide an informed decision (Cottrell 2011).It was possible to evaluate group members' opinions and provide an informed decision. These features were essential in the group and are also important in bracing my roles as a future manager (Gallagher 2013). The group was very exposing in inculcating elements of creative planning and managing tasks which are also very important in defining and exemplifying future roles as a manager (Gallagher 2013).The teamwork was also effective in the development of interpersonal skills. Working, associating, communicating, presenting and discussing issues in the team was very effective in forming, improving and developing interpersonal skills. Working on the computer for the presentation was good at informing computer skills. It helps in increasing proficiency in Ms Word and PowerPoint. Effective leadership skills such as adapting to change, reliability, encouraging
a positive attitude, honesty, and learning fast were also developed in the teamwork (King and Lawley 2013). In the course of the teamwork, it was possible to understand others views, difficulties, challenges, and use personal wits for encouragement.
The group work was almost important in educating about practical skills such as risk assessment, taking notes, and minutes of every meeting. The skills were important in developing interpersonal and teamwork skills, leadership skills, negotiating and persuading, organizational, self-confidence, self-awareness, listening skills, verbal and written communication, record- keeping and minute-taking (Learning and Information Services 2013).
The presentation section was very enriching in the understanding audience which is a very important skill in future employability (Learning and Information Services 2013). In addition, the presentation skills were very important in the development of the information technology skills,
organizational and planning skills, self-reliance and confidence, audience awareness and listening skills, verbal communication and understanding information as presented by the different audience(Learning and Information Services 2013).
The defining role for each team was also an important process. The nine Belbin team roles were evident during the formation of the team (Belbin.com 2016). The nine roles were clustered into fewer roles that fit the team members. It was a process of identifying the strengths and weaknesses as witnessed by each member of the team (Belbin.com 2016). The strengths and weaknesses were important in identifying the team coordinator whose responsibility was to define the activities of each member of the team. To avoid confusion a monitor evaluator was also of importance in the team. The key function was to weigh the views of every member of the team and help to make the concrete decision for the presentation. The main strengths that were sought for in the area included accuracy in judgment, discernment, strategic and soberness (Belbin.com 2016). The team also required an implementer whose responsibility was creating a strategy for the team and ensuring that the strategy was observed to the end. The main strengths identified were organizing, efficiency, reliability and practicability (Belbin.com2016).The teamwork was also ideal for teaching research and analytical skills.These skills are very transferable in improving future role for a manager (Williams 2016). It was possible to learn skills for self-improvement, self-confidence and prioritizing (Williams 2016). Other important skills developed in the teamwork included the ability to avoid confrontation in a
group setting. Working as a team was also important in the development of social skills (Toseland & Rivas 2004). In the team, it was possible to listen to one another and provide a genuine criticism that encouraged growth and development. The networking among the team members opened an opportunity for future multitasking. In general, teamwork was very important in learning about building outcomes and relationships. It also possible to learn and appreciate diversity in thinking and acting as witnessed in the groups (Toseland & Rivas 2004). The teamwork was very important in educating on defining team roles through identifying the strengths and the weaknesses of every person (Toseland & Rivas 2004). It was easy to develop skills in providing feedback, mentorship, and coaching. In addition, teamwork was important in developing problem-solving skills and strategies (Toseland & Rivas 2004). It was possible to set personal goals and visions (Williams 2016). The group work assisted in the development of monitoring and evaluation skills that are important for future employment (Williams 2016). Most important is inculcating the personal confidence and knowledge with the aim of developing vision and ideas.
Teamwork taught members about taking responsibility for their roles at the personal, the social level and also at the job level (Williams 2016). The issue of managing time was also fully developed in the teamwork. It was possible to learn about taking initiative and forming constructive decisions. The team roles were important in teaching on setting goals and deliverables. It was also efficient in understanding personal life capabilities. It now easier to organize, analyzes, and collect information a value that will be marketable for future employment. Throughout the teamwork skills such as enthusiasm, ability to manage activities, ability to see and respond to open techniques and ideas, the ability to accommodative change, contribute in a learning environment, communicate using different mediums and application of knowledge learnt in the University for personal and technical issues were paramount(Williams 2016).
In conclusion, teamwork is in school is very important in the development of life skills that can be used for future employability. In regard to the requirement of the course, it was possible to identify important skills learnt in the course of teamwork. For instance, it was possible to learn critical thinking, problem-solving, working and appreciating diversity, different communication skills with their importance and technical skills that are essential in working out a role as a manager. In addition, during the teamwork formation and presentation; different theories seem to agree with the achievements made and realized in the teamwork. For instance, using the Belbin team roles the forming, performing and adjourning it was possible to
make a decision about the role of each individual in the team. In addition, using the Maslow Hierarchy of needs theory it was possible to appreciate what motivates every individual in the team and their roles according to their strengths and weaknesses. Finally, teamwork was important in impacting important skills such as time management, problem-solving, critical thinking, and networking.
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