For the Everest leadership and team simulation, my team used shared-leadership approach, everyone in the team has leadership, this improves the internal team environment of the team thus leading to the development of a cross-functional team and an improvement of the team’s overall effectiveness. The workloads are evenly distributed among the team members. The team makes a decision upon all members reaching consensus, and any member with ideas could inform the whole group and the team will debate whether it should be implanted or not. The conflict management style for the group is compromising and the mean of communication is through voice chat and text messages and later, through a face-to-face meeting for a better exchange of information. I was given the role of the photographer. The team scored a 50% overall mark in the first simulation and a 41% overall mark on the second simulation, none of the hidden objective marks are achieved in the first run, and only 1 objective mark is achieved in the second attempt.In the previous plan, I have identified my problem-solving skill and my compromising conflict management style as two of my area that needs improvement. From my peer feedback score of the Everest leadership and team simulation, my problem-solving score raised from 4.8 to 5.0, indicating an improvement. Although I did implement the “Program Planning Model” that was specified in my previous plan to improve my problem-solving skill in the first simulation, the result was not desirable as groupthink occurs, that is the team “strivings for unanimity override their motivation to realistically appraise alternative courses of action”, and when considering alternatives for the solutions in the “Program design” phase of the “Program Planning Model”, the group quickly reaches consensus without considering the respect consequences that can be caused by each alternative , which in this case, the solutions were all wrong. This situation is improved in the second simulation, whereas we managed to score one of the hidden objective marks. As specified in the previous plan, engaging in more constructive conflicts are the specific goal for my SMART plan to improve my compromising conflict management style, in order to do so, I have played the role of devil’s advocate in the team in the second simulation, a proven way to reduce groupthink by counter arguing other people’s purposed ideas, thus reduce the effect of groupthink. This combined with the “Program Planning Model” worked great and scored us a point in the first hidden objective. However, this did not continue for the rest of the hidden objectives in the second simulation as team members had troubles solving problem when under stress and pressure, as we were determined to achieve a score better than the first simulation, thus as a result, decision-making process of all team members start to get affected by anxiety and stress, when that happens, people tend to be risk-seeking and even more so when the if the decision can lead to a potential gain.
Another area that has shown improvement is my goal setting and planning, from 4.8 in the first stimulation to 5 in the second stimulation. This is due to the team meeting after the first simulation, where our lack of planning and goal setting within the team was identified as a weakness since a “thoughtful, careful planning” is needed for a team to function effectively. In the second attempt, we set a goal of “avoiding rescue and summit if possible”, in which is the result of all the team members’ analysis of points of different goals, and ultimately a heuristic was formed, that is to abandon our personal goals if they conflict with avoiding rescue and summit, as both of them awards the most marks. This was successful as it has settled a direction for the team to aim for, eliminating confusions and provide motivation for the team members. Although the team did not meet its goal in the second attempt, the reason of it was due to a previous mistake in calculating the time required for summiting, leading to failure of summiting for all group members apart from the leader and the environmentalist as they had a higher hiking speed. This is again, due to a bad decision influenced by rewards. Overall the plan that was set in the previous report of improving my problem-solving skills and raising constructive conflict has been applied, however the result is not optimum as more of my weakness arises, there is still room for more improvement.
After finishing the Everest leadership and team simulation, the team was given a task to complete during tutorial – unscramble one or more relatively long words and use the alphabet from the word to form new words and eventually, make sentences using the words obtained. By this time, the team has entered the “performing stage”, members performing task assigned with great efficiency, the structure of the team has become organic, with decentralized authority caused by shared leadership, few rules and procedures leads to a high adaptability which is shown in the later part of the game, where changes in rules were made and the team responded quickly to the changes and did well. However, the lack of communication within the team still exists, I and other members of the team did repetitive work due to a lack of information shared leading the team to become inefficient.
Although the way that I perceived my behavior was not aligned with others’ perceptions of my behavior during the first simulation, but due to the implement of the correct strategies and technique, my behavior was able to live up to my team members’ expectation, as shown by the peer feedback after simulation 2, scoring full mark, as well as the positive comment received after finishing the second simulation.
As reflected in the Everest leadership and team simulation and tutorial activities, there are a lot of areas leave to be desired. First being problem-solving under stress and stress management. Although my problem-solving skill did improve from simulation 1 and simulation 2, it is reflected that during the hidden objectives that appear in both simulations creates pressure on me and the rest of my teammates, and despite apply the relevant frameworks and theories, we tend to underperform and develop frustration, which in turn, affects the performance of all the team members later during the activities. To improve this situation, it is suggested that having self-affirmation under chronic and acute stress improves problem-solving skills. Also, having a proper stress management technique will be useful, such as relaxation during problem-solving, this is ignored during both of our simulations as we were trying to accomplish it with as little time as possible. In the “model of emotional intelligence, self-leadership, and stress coping”, it suggests that having effective emotion regulation under stress tend to improve one’s self-efficacy level and thus leads to a better confidence level in one’s own ability and capability to perform a given task, which could indirectly contribute to a better outcome for the task. A strategic stress management technique combined with emotion regulation will be able to relief part of my stress and pressure during an event of a stressor being present, also, having understood that self-affirmation will improve problem-solving skills under stress provides me with a method to reduce the effect of stress on my problem-solving in such situation.
The second area that needs improvement is my communication skills. This is also reflected in both simulation and tutorial activities where me, as well as my team, tend to not share enough information with each other. In the hierarchy of internal communication, I am able to identify that my interpersonal communication skills need improvement. During all the activities, I did only communicate to people to share information just to affect “people’s behavior and attitudes” during decision-making process, that is the reason why there was a lack of communication during the start of the simulation where we were given role information and during the producing stage in the tutorial activity where no decisions were required to be made, and I neither disclosed enough information to my teammates, nor listened enough of my teammates information. It is suggested in the article that skills such as “active listening” will be useful to improve interpersonal communication. It is also suggested that to become an effective listener, which is part of the communication skill, requires the understanding of the message conveyed, and a listener should pay attention to what a speaker does not say, omit factual detail and not to draw possible conclusions, and in the case of the simulation and the tutorial activities, this is not implanted, we proceed to the next step or draw conclusion and make decision without obtaining all information from the speaker. By integrating the skills needed for improving my interpersonal communication skill and skills needed for me to become an effective listener, I should disclose the information that is relevant to the project, not just limited to the decision we are going to make, also, to pay close attention to the speaker, question them if information is fracture, and not to make any conclusion with incomplete information.
To implement the concepts, I decide to use SMART goals. The specific goal for my SMART goal will be to improve my problem-solving skills under pressure, stress management, and my communication skill. My measurable goal will be attaining feedbacks and comments through my friends as well as my partner for my future group project in the university to seek further development. For the attainable goal, I will implement the theories and techniques obtained through research to improve my problem-solving skills, stress management as well as my communication skills. For a realistic goal, I will seek to improve my problem-solving skills, stress management, and my communication skills through the rest of the university degree. And for timely goals, I will allocate time to do a self-reflection at the end of each teaching period to review my progress on improving my skills, review the theories and techniques and draft a plan on how to implement them in the following teaching period.
In conclusion, I am looking forward to improving my identified weakness in my skills throughout the rest of my degree using plans, model and theories obtained through the research, getting closer to the practices and skills that an exceptional manager should have and hope to excel as one in the near future.