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Personal Responsibility Essay (Gen 201)

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Personal Responsibility Essay
Hiba Sohaib
GEN/201
July 14, 2014
Efren Ordaz

Personal Responsibility Essay
Personal Responsibility is when a person takes full responsibly of their own actions. In more detail, “Personal responsibility is the willingness to both accept the importance of standards that society establishes for individual behavior and to make strenuous personal efforts to live by those standards.” (Haskins, July 2009, The Sequence of Personal Responsibility). Even though you can sometimes step back or neglect personal responsibilities, they are important in order for one to succeed as a student because it gives you an idea of how to go further in life by setting realistic life and career goals for yourself as well as giving you the opportunity to make ethical decisions. I believe personal responsibility is important in order to succeed as a student. When a person accepts their personal responsibilities, they cannot blame anyone but themselves for any failures they may face. Any action I take, not only in my academic life but also my personal life, reflects directly on me and the person I am. As a student I try to study hard and learn as much as I can from all my courses, especially the ones that challenge me. I put in extra effort to help myself understand or solve a problem, as this will help me achieve good grades and evolve and grow as a person. If I fail in any way, I set myself goals to do better and achieve better, and when I reach those goals, I make new and higher achieving goals so that I move forward in my education instead of just staying in one place. Once a person understands and accepts their personal responsibilities I feel that they start to see and think practically, which helps then succeed as a student. However, personal responsibility is not limited to academic life, it is necessary on a daily basis. Decisions made and actions taken reflect directly on how seriously a person takes their personal responsibility. In a professional environment personal responsibility has a similar rule to that of an academic environment. Any decision I make in my profession life I will be held responsible for it. To make sure that I make the best decisions possible, the best technique would be to use my career competencies in challenging situations. Basically career “competencies are the skills, knowledge and attitude with which you demonstrate a high degree of professional ability.” (Johnson & Edson, October 2002, Assessing Career Competencies and Gaps). Once I am aware of my competencies I can use that in my work place to take the best actions that will reflect positively on everyone involved. I can also try to improve my career competencies, by firstly listing my career abilities and then analyzing them to improve them further. With better career competencies I will be able to make better and hopefully more accurate decisions. Personal responsibility also gives you the opportunity to make ethical decisions. Ethical decisions are made based on the individual’s morals, loyalties, and their overall background. As individuals everyone has different set of personal values which help us when making decisions. Our ethics are the decisions we make based upon the values and expectations of the communities we live in, and what they see as the “right” or a “good” decision. In a professional or academic environment, there are many different people from different backgrounds and so we have to try and blend our personal values with the common ethics of the environment we are in by treating everyone with respect to their morals and by behaving responsibly. Taking personal responsibility into consideration when making ethical decisions is most useful during team assignments and projects, as when collaborating with others one will face conflicts due to the different morals and ethics. Everyone on the team needs to realize their common goal and their roles. They need to realize that the work they have been given needs to be done on time and to their best ability as it is their responsibility and all the other members on the team are depending on them to do it. When working with other people, there may be clashes because of different personal values and backgrounds, but an ethical decision will need to be made based on what is best for the assignment or project with little consequence. If, in any case, the decision made has larger consequences then the decision maker will have to take responsibility for it and not blame the other team members. A person’s personal responsibilities and ethics can also be challenged when assigned to a team project. A successful team requires collaboration and a leader that welcomes new ideas and listens to all the members of their team and respects their input. Even though some members may have different thoughts and perspectives due to having different backgrounds, experiences and ethics, which would give the team diversity, they would need to work together to be creative and create the best project possible. I would personally love to collaborate with people who are not afraid to share their ideas and opinions and bring creativity to the table. I feel that in a collaborating team everyone is equally valuable and has an important role to play. A variety of new things can be learned from each and every one of them.
The ability to collaborate with others can be improved by critical thinking and ethics. Critical thinking gives a person the opportunity to step back and evaluate the situation rather than taking action immediately. Having the ability to think critically is a great skill to have when working in a team, especially if you are the leader. As mentioned before a team consists of a number of different people and due to having different opinions conflicts can occur, and the right way to deal with a conflict would be to think critically about the situation and come up with an ethical decision that would positively affect all the team members involved. As mentioned earlier, ethics are the morals and principles of a person that they use to make decisions. As thoughts and ideas are inspired by one’s ethics a clashing of ideas can occur. The ethical thing to do in such a situation would be to avoid making the problem serious and respect you team members by agreeing on a common ground, as every member of the team should realize they have one goal and they need to work together to reach that goal. The best ways to collaborate with members of the team without causing too many conflicts would be to firstly assign a leader that has ethics, critical thinking skills, is a good listener and understands the main end goal. Secondly, the assignment should be broken down so that the load of the work does not fall on one person but everyone shares the work load. Thirdly, a proper schedule should be set as to when team members should meet up and hand in their part of the assignment to be reviewed by other member of the team. Hopefully if these collaborative strategies are followed the team assignment should run smoothly. The most important reason to why personal responsibility is important in order to succeed as a student is because it gives you an idea of how to go further in life by setting yourself goals. Once you are aware that every action and decision you make, you will be responsible for it, then you are able to achieve a great deal in life. You set yourself realistic goals and you don’t give up until you reach that goal, and when you have reached it to make new, more challenging goals. But one has to make sure they achieve the goals with honesty and loyalty and making ethical and responsible decisions. If the goal is achieved while keeping this in mind people can go much further in life. Make a time table and set yourself SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Timely) goals and take responsibility of reaching those goals. If there is a project that needs to be done, make the goal of finishing a specific part of it on a specific day. For example, have a brainstorm ready by day 2, finish the research required by day 3, have an outline by day 5, etc. In conclusion, although you can sometimes step back or neglect personal responsibilities, it is important in order to succeed as a student for two main reasons. First, it gives you an opportunity to make ethical decisions. But most importantly, personal responsibility gives you an idea of how to go further in life in life by setting goals for yourself.

References
Haskins, Ron (2009). The Sequence of Personal Responsibility Retrieved from www.brookings.edu/research/articles/2009/07/09-responsibility
Johnson, Vern & Edson, Judy (2002). Assessing Career Competencies and Gap
Retrieved from academic.engr.arizona.edu/vjohnson/Today%20Engineer/compgaps.htm…...

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