Self-Reflection: Twenty-First Century Competencies - Free Paper Sample

Published: 2023-12-10
Self-Reflection: Twenty-First Century Competencies - Free Paper Sample
Essay type:  Reflective essays
Categories:  Learning Culture Personal development
Pages: 7
Wordcount: 1716 words
15 min read


The course has enhanced my understanding of integrity development, talent development, and manners that one should have in different contexts. As a result of attending this course, I have also identified my competencies, values, strengths, and areas that need improvement in my growth and development path. My competencies consist of the knowledge, skills, and attitudes that I need for successful academic and professional life. The first unit of this course enabled me to reflect on my knowledge base and the so-called 21st-century skills and competencies. These elements are knowledge application, critical thinking, problem-solving, creativity, and interpersonal communication skills. Other competencies are cross-cultural awareness, leadership, and teamwork. After reflecting on these components, I have learned that I am an effective communicator, and I have the potential to be a good leader. However, I need to improve my critical thinking and problem-solving skills because they are core competencies in the present-day world.

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What I Have Learned About Myself, My Competencies, and Values

I have discovered several things about myself in this course. The sub-topic on personal values and workplace ethics allowed me to brainstorm my values and identify weaknesses that I should address. After reflecting on the personal values covered in this course, I have noted that I am confident, assertive, accountable, and decisive. Also, I am honest, quality-oriented, dynamic, and cheerful. An important thing that I discovered in the second unit of the course is that personal values are explored rather than learned.

The values mentioned earlier affect my life at a subconscious level and are my strengths as they help make better and faster decisions. These components have enabled me to understand myself better and identify things that drive or energize me in everyday life. I consider my assertiveness as a fundamental strength that helps me express myself better. In addition to building communication skills, I discovered that assertiveness helps boost self-esteem and express oneself while respecting other people's rights. I believe this value will enhance my leadership competency in the future.

I consider my values as the foundation for developing excellent workplace values. In this course, we learned that workplace values consist of principles that guide individuals to make critical decisions and choose between wrong and right ways. However, it is necessary to align personal and workplace values to ensure that people work towards common goals. According to Branson (2008), an organization can better achieve its mission where there is a proper alignment of personal and workplace values. Several benefits underpin this alignment. First, employees can better understand one another; secondly, people develop a common purpose and work towards similar goals. Thirdly, people would be doing the right thing for the right purpose. Together, these outcomes help workers to build excellent working relationships (Branson, 2008).

After reflecting on the topic, I have realized that my values can easily align with common workplace values. Some of these elements are being honest, positive, tolerant, and accountable. I learned that today’s employers emphasize these values as they help build a responsible team of employees that can use their knowledge, skills, and expertise to achieve an organization's objectives. In this topic, I have also discovered that I have essential personal values that place me in a better position to work with people of different personality types. However, I have identified two areas that I should improve to align my values with typical workplace values. These two aspects are focusing on detail and keeping promises.

Self-awareness, Self-Management, Self-Confidence, and Efficacy

Several elements help enhance student self-management, self-awareness, support self-confidence, and efficacy. Social-emotional learning (SEL) is useful to learners in building self-awareness and self-management. According to Ee and Ong (2013), SEL refers to how individuals learn to make responsible decisions, feel, show empathy for others, and understand and manage emotions.

Self-awareness means knowing one's attitudes, strengths, mindsets, behaviors, preferences, emotions, values, and thoughts (Ee & Ong, 2013). So, a person can enhance self-awareness by developing a proper understanding of one's inner life. Key elements that can help students build their self-awareness are practicing self-compassion, cultivating self-confidence, and analyzing how emotions impact others.

Moreover, recognizing one’s emotions, biases, needs, judgment, and values helps students build self-awareness. I discovered in this topic that I have key elements that enhance self-awareness. Here, my strength is analyzing emotions and determining how they affect others. The major area for future development that I identified is understanding the relationship between emotions, behaviors, and thoughts.

Self-management refers to one’s ability to shift and navigate thoughts, behaviors, and emotions in a healthy way to reach specific goals and make decisions that benefit oneself and others (Ee & Ong, 2013). Key factors that can help students enhance self-management include sustaining healthy boundaries, considering other people's needs when advocating for oneself, and maintaining attention (Judge& Bono, 2001). In this course, I also learned that students could build their self-management by expressing emotions thoughtfully, using feedback constructively, and setting and monitoring goals. After reflecting on the content, I have discovered that sustaining healthy boundaries is my key strength. However, I still have a weakness in regulating emotions. I intend to enhance my competency in this area by exercising the elements mentioned earlier.

Self-efficacy and self-confidence are also essential to students. The former refers to the belief in one's capabilities to achieve a specific outcome or a goal. Research has shown that students with a high sense of self-efficacy are intrinsically motivated because they are likely to challenge themselves with difficult tasks (Judge& Bono, 2001). Key components that support self-confidence and self-efficacy are giving frequent feedback, using peer models, and capitalizing on students' interests. Margolis and Mccabe (2006) found a positive correlation between self-efficacy and successful task performance.

Twenty-First Century Competencies and Skills

The term 21st-century skills are described as a broad set of skills, knowledge, character traits, and habits that employers, teaching professionals, and others believe to be of great importance to success in today's world (Finegold, 2010). In this course, I learned that 21st-century skills are critically essential, particularly in contemporary workplaces, careers, and collegiate programs. Students can apply such skills in all academic subject areas and all career, educational, and civic settings throughout their life.

Key personal competencies needed for the twenty-first century that I learned in class are managing ambiguity, managing emotions, and being responsible. Other elements are leadership skills, adapting and managing technological change, and finding and sustaining the community. The ability to manage emotions helps one prevent reactive outbursts due to adverse changes in thoughts and feelings. After doing a self-assessment, I noted that I have inadequate emotion management skills. I consider this skill gap a weakness that I need to address to control my feelings effectively.

The ability to manage ambiguity is critically essential in today’s world. People competent in this area can handle risk and uncertainty because they can easily cope with change. This 21st-century competency is critical in the modern world, where leaders, organizational managers, and other groups of people struggle to handle goal ambiguity. I intend to build my strategic thinking skills to enhance my ability to manage ambiguity.

Moreover, we learned that managing and adapting to technological changes is of great importance in the 21st century. Individuals must look at such changes positively because they are inevitable in today's high-tech world. Getting training on using the latest information technology can help one adapt to technological changes. Here, I noted that these elements could be categorized as life skills, literacy skills, and learning skills.

Elements Involved in Personal Integrity

In the third week of the course, I learned that having strong moral principles and being honest with oneself and others is the defining aspect of personal integrity. A proper examination of one's value system, beliefs, and moral code is integral to developing personal integrity. According to Huberts (2018), behavior and moral quality should be the principal components underlying personal integrity. It ought to guide an individual to live in harmony with or act according to moral values, rules, and norms (Huberts, 2018).

Other elements involved in personal integrity are trust, respect, responsibility, and helping others. Respect entails excising a sense of what is going on around us and, more importantly, recognizing other people's contributions. Personal integrity also requires responsibility, which refers to caring and demonstrating awareness of other people. I have known by taking this course that I have key components involved in personal integrity.

Manners in Different Contexts

It is important to practice good manners in all aspects of life. In this course, I learned three major typologies of manners: cultural norms, hygiene, courtesy, and approach. We also studied different communication systems as manners in different contexts. In essence, an individual should use a communication style that suits given cross-cultural and intercultural contexts. Choosing words wisely when talking with other people is an essential aspect of manners.

Professional manners can help one earn respect at work. Importantly, it is a way to get positive attention from team members and even supervisors. An important aspect of manners in the workplace is adhering to the rules required of all employees. By doing so, one can earn respect and even possibly contribute to raises and promotions. An employee can show manners by being polite, speaking kindly to others, and allowing other parties to express their thoughts. Treating others with respect and knowing the right words to use at the workplace helps one build a good relationship.

Other things that constitute manners are respecting the elderly, using language relevant to specific situations, and being nice to others. In the third unit of the course, I discovered that bad manners at work could cost one promotion, and at worse, a job. I also understood that bad manners in social settings could make one lose respect.

Personal Insights From the First and Second Speaker Events

The two mandatory speaker events were insightful and informative. The first speaker Mr. Michael Marco Aron, talked about the essence of patience and persistence. I learned two things from the event that will shape my social, academic, and professional life. First, I noted that these two traits are intimately interlinked with one’s self-improvement. Marco (2020) said that persistent and patient people could achieve long-term goals since the two traits help them remain focused on fulfilling their desires. Such people will also spend their time adjusting strategies and finding ways to achieve goals.

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