All persons go through some form of transformation when they transition from one state of being to another. The transformation takes the form of personal, physical, emotional, psychological and institutional changes which requires the individual to make an effort to cope with the changes and adopt the requirements. In such transitional times, it is important that an individual applies his personal skills as well as academic theories and talents to enable him make a smooth transition in the changes. This paper shall highlight the organizational transformation process that was experienced in the workplace. It will describe the situation as it was in the workplace, identify the problems that were encountered in the workplace, explain steps that were undertaken to cope and solve the problems and conclude with a description of the lessons and skills that were acquired through the experience with relation to change and how they can enable the individual cope be a better worker in the workplace in the future.
My working at Hills elementary school marked the beginning of my career as a teacher. I started working at the school in 2011 after completing my diploma in education, after which I was posted at the school. I was assigned to levels six and seven as a languages teacher and level five as a physical education teacher. Besides these assignments, I was the assistant guidance and counseling mistress in the school and my core roles in this department included designing policies for the school to adopt regarding handling a number of issues that were facing the children. These included policies regarding poor performing students, disciplinary rules and regulations, handling the cases of children facing various forms of discrimination from their fellow students, and determining possible guests to talk to the children on contemporary issues.
My work in the school was quite exemplary as I put in a lot of effort to ensure that I met all my goals and that the classes I taught did well in assessment tests. Besides, I was keen to ensure that the guidance and counseling department maintained its relevance to the students and the school at large by designing interventions that reflected the needs and issues affecting the students at all times. For my physical exercises lessons, I ascertained that almost all of the children that enrolled enjoyed partaking in them. This was contrary to the general case at the school when I arrived where students did not like partaking in physical education. In my first month working at the school, everything seemed fine for me. The students, my fellow colleagues and the school administration seemed to be working as expected.
However, problems began in the second month of my working at the school. The school administration was the first body to express its objection on the way that I was running the guidance and counseling department. According to them, the department was becoming more and more extravagant in its expenditure. The administration claimed that some of the interventions I designed for the students were too costly and not feasible for their intended results. They cited fear that my approach to the problems facing the students was too revolutionary and was a departure to the traditional interventions that they relied on initially. They, for instance, referred to cases where I had invited motivational speakers to speak to students who had problems with their self image, arguing that the intervention was too expensive and instead I should have given them appropriate literature to read on ways how one can improve their self image.
Another problem was from my colleagues, both those in the teaching staff and those I worked with in the guidance and counseling department. The teachers were highly divided among them and cold toward me for the reasons that were unknown to me. Upon further investigations, I realized that their reason was that they thought I was being favored by the administration for being appointed as one of the leaders in the guidance and counseling department. They believed that this ought to be on a promotional basis. They, therefore, felt that an older member of the staff should have been appointed for my position. This created a major conflict between me and the rest of the teachers and continued deteriorating each passing day.
Feelings and Thoughts
This change in events occurred to me faster than I could comprehend. When I realized the amount of antagonism that the teachers were advancing toward me, I could not envision myself in the situation. I did not have the administration on my side; I was literary on my own. At first I was in denial of the situation and did not want to believe that I had actually created enemies in the very people my career depended on, and who I was required to work with for such a long time. As such, I did not think of any suitable strategy for addressing the issue but rather assumed that it would all go away. I went on my regular duties normally without changing my attitude, though I was keen to note any strange behavior from the teachers. On the issue of high expenditure in the guidance and counseling department, I did not discuss it with the other members of the department as I thought the allegations were unfounded and would go away as well.
However, I was wrong. I realized that the allegations were true when I was summoned to the deputy principal’s office regarding the high expenditure. At this stage, I was quite angry with myself, the administration and all members of the staff. I felt betrayed by the administration, especially because I thought the later ought to have supported me in my intentions to help the students in as much as possible. In efforts to get my way, I tried to bargain with the administration on these allegations. I tried to explain to the deputy principal the reason for my strategies in developing the interventions I had for the students. I explained to her the need for the school to change some of its policies regarding children’s psychological growth and needs, as some of the interventions it adopted were time barred.
In an effort to bargain my way through the teachers as well, I tried to talk to a few of them, whom I considered close to me, the reason for my placement at the department. Despite explaining to them that I had a higher diploma in guidance and counseling, they objected to the idea of a new teacher surpassing all of them to the position. The fruitless efforts I made in bargaining my way made me angrier and my first decisive thought was to quit. This seemed to be the easiest and most appropriate option for me at the time. However, I was drawn to the passion that I had for teaching and the need to see the children excel not only in their academic dreams but to become socially responsible individuals. This was my core purpose as a teacher: to fight all barriers to achieve the best interests of the children under my care (Hechanova & Cementina-Olpoc 2013). I, therefore, resolved to be more resilient to the opposition and pressure and to use my personal capabilities and talents to stay afloat. I decided to fight the situation in the most charismatic way, which would see me have my beliefs of what I knew was right to the children proceeding through. I, therefore, accepted the situation as it was and agreed to work with the administration on drawing a budget for the department’s activities.
Using this situation I resolved to fight from within and imparted the change I believed to be necessary in the institution. As such, I focused on two major areas that I would endeavor to change: the school administration’s perception of children’s psychological needs and the staff’s need to value and appreciate meritocracy in the workplace.<…>
From the experience above, I have learned the importance of effective leadership in the workplace. Therefore, in the future workplace, I will use the transformational leadership approach, as it worked in this experience. This approach is more responsive to organizational needs and by using it, I will be able to transform the manner in which operations are done in the workplace. Rather than dictate the employees how they should perform their functions, I will take the lead in performing them so that they can follow my precedence.
In my future workplace, I will focus more on personal change theory, especially the content paradigm which requires that one assesses the situation and circumstances as they occur in order to adapt one’s behavior accordingly. This will enable me to adapt to various environments and situations in the workplace and devise strategies that will help me effectively deal with the situation appropriately. I will also use the personality theories to study the different personalities of people I will be working with to understand them and the reasons why they might behave in a certain way. This will equip me with the appropriate skills that will enable me to handle them as effectively as possible. Above all, I will be keen to apply the theory of change in the workplace in order to adopt changes and facilitate similar adoption by my fellow colleagues. In this, I will take time to explain to the workers the importance of the impending change both to the organization and to the employees. I will emphasize on the benefits in store for the employees, as this will provide the motivation they need to adopt the change positively. After explaining to them the importance of the change, I will take them through the stages that will make it possible for them to adopt the change (Gul & Sahin 2011). These might include having to acquire new skills for the employees, or having to work under different rules or even under a different management. I will help them adjust to these changes, address their concerns and prepare them for any unforeseeable issues regarding the change such as having to undergo training once again.
In my future workplace, I will need to adopt the following skills in order to effectively participate in the workplace (Schalock & Verdugo 2012):
• I will be a better team player by cooperating and working alongside the other workers.
• I will develop better persuasion techniques to enable me to persuade the workers with whom we might have divergent perceptions and views so that we can share a vision of cooperation.
• I will work to devise effective communication channels for both the employees and for the employees and management.
• I will be more empathic to the needs of the other workers as well as to the situation of management so that we share a common view and perception of workplace processes.
• I will encourage creativity and innovations among the employees to enable them to adopt new methods of performing their tasks to increase their effectiveness.
In order for me to become more and effectively involved in the workplace, I will develop and apply the identified skills in the workplace. This will entail taking simulation exercises to enable me develop the required skills and effectiveness for achieving perfection in performing the functions. I will also undertake additional classes to add on to my skills and knowledge on change management so that I can become an effective worker and easily fit into my future workplace. I will also pay close attention to my personal talents so that I can improve them. This will enable me to adapt better in my future workplace, especially my charismatic nature. In order to help me stay on course in times of conflicts and challenges in the workplace, I will restructure my purpose for the work, so that I will be encouraged to work harder and find ways of handling the challenges as I did in the previous workplace rather than give up.
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