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A Financial Manager as a Reflexive Practitioner

Introduction and Research Design

The reflexive practice involves assessing an individual’s thoughts due to their professional development. As a result, the scope of this research is to determine the role of reflective practices and the essence of self-awareness on financial managers. I selected self-awareness due to its integral role in the effective management of financial operations (Ciaunica and Crucianelli, 2019). A finance manager, I should understand themselves to perform their operations effectively. Therefore, the goal that I intend to achieve in this reflection is to better understand myself as a finance manager by increasing my self-awareness regarding the values I intend to adopt in my profession.

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Aim of The Research

Self-awareness is a concept that is integral in the effective performance of an individual in personal and professional life. I choose self-awareness because it is an important trait for a leader to cultivate. To become a more effective leader in any field, one must be able to reflect on how their traits affect the goals of the business and those they lead (Kho, Saeed and Mohamed, 2019). By definition, self-awareness is the ability for an individual to see themselves vividly and objectively through reflection and introspection. Effective leaders usually use self-awareness to manage their behavior and relationships (Kho, Saeed and Mohamed, 2019). As a result, I would perform effectively when I understand my strengths in industry skills as well as personal attributes.

This research aims to understand how to increase self-awareness in financial management. Self-awareness is often ignored because people do not know its impact on individual and organizational performance (Ciaunica and Crucianelli, 2019). As a result, what inspired me to do this research of increasing self-awareness is to increase knowledge about myself. The focus of this study will be on reflexive digital bricolage, which is the bedrock of professional identity. The evolution of reflexive consciousness is framed by digital reflections (Lumsden, 2019). This logical and beneficial information for practitioners will be determined using relevant research approaches. Thus, the goal of this study is to improve my self-awareness in an organization.

Research Context

The research context that I intend to use for this assignment is financial management. In this profession, I work in the department that handles the organization’s finances. Some of the aspects that inspire me to this profession are my behavior, interest, capabilities, and good communication skill (Shapiro and Hanouna, 2019). I will also focus on self-awareness for a better understanding of myself and assist in developing my professional identity and improving performance. I intend to use the Johari window and run some personality tests to understand myself effectively. I will ask the general manager to describe my behavior and values. These methods will enable me to understand my strengths and shortcomings. Therefore, the finance manager must have the required skills to perform effectively and achieve their goals.

Literature Review

Metaphorical approaches

Metaphorical approaches are founded on the reasoning that the mode of understanding has a background. It plays an integral role in professional development because it enables one to question their attitudes, values, processes, and assumptions. For example, according to Shapiro and Hanouna (2019), a finance manager plays a critical role in ensuring that information about action plans is conveyed to other organization members. As a result, I can make use of the advantages of reflective learning techniques to attain corporate goals and objectives (Armstrong, 2018). This can also aid in the effective implementation of managerial functions and procedures like organizational change, dispute resolution and many more. As a component of reflective practice, reflexive strategy is thus essential for professional development.

Writing Through-The-Mirror Technique

Writing through-the-mirror is a technique that takes an individual through their past.

As a result of this realism, there has been greater recognition of reflexivity as an essential strategy to successful and effective financial management from the standpoint of researchers and management professionals. Furthermore, Leaky (2020) addressed the use of personal data as well as other reflecting instruments such as music and other arts to increase reflexivity in management practice. For example, I will use this technique to reflect on my behaviors and values and seek feedback from my colleagues, mentors, and organization’s leaders. The technique also assists me in identifying and improving my values in management as well as my personal life.

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Critical Incident

A critical incident is an important reflective tool for professional development. According to Yu (2018, p.771), critical incident is a sudden, unexpected, and overwhelming event that falls outside of the normal spectrum of experiences. In such an incident, I may experience great fear, helplessness, horror, and a sense of being utterly out of control. Most people have disturbing and difficult to tolerate reactions after such an unusual encounter. I should be aware that the first round of support is crucial. This means that how I supported and responded to a critical incident may showcase my behaviors and values. Therefore, I should look at the previous critical incidents to discover and learn about myself and adjust appropriately.

Mirror Metaphors

Mirror metaphor is an important professional reflective technique that involves getting feedback from colleagues. According to Kress and Frazier-Booth (2018), an individual can use mirror metaphor by asking colleagues and leader to help them describe themselves. I must engage in continuous and effective reflective learning procedures to accomplish this task properly. I must also be conversant with change management processes (Shapiro and Hanouna, 2019). The corporate climate today is highly dynamic at all levels, both local and global. For effective performance, I should be able to understand myself and colleagues in an organization.

Cycles of Reflection

Reflection remains an important concept to individuals in their personal and professional development. According to Cirocki and Farrell (2017), cycles of reflection as a practice also promotes creativity as a component of consciousness and self-reflection. This is performed in accordance with the emergence of art-based techniques or study and metaphorical approaches to consciousness and unconsciousness. Despite the fact that it is sometimes disregarded, unconscious imagination is critical and often leads to conscious thought for application in the framework of management in an organization (Cirocki and Farrell, 2017). Thus, I should be able to use imagination when handling issues in management.

Experiential approaches

Experiential approaches involve using past experience to learn and discover about themselves. Education qualification is the most important foundation for professional development, and that it is best achieved through reflective interactions (Vanblaere and Devos, 2018). Another important approach in this regard is that reflection for educational engagements makes a concerted attempt to assist me in developing a meaningful identity, which is important in my professional and personal life. As I gain knowledge into my identity, capabilities, and prospects, it enlightens and leads me through the process.

Biographical Approaches

Biographical approach is an integral reflective approach for an individual. According to Bainbridge (2018), biological approach involves going through an individual’s educational background to their profession. Based on this, I can choose to look at my transition through education can reveal their behavior and values. For example, my performance in schools shows attributes such as academic excellence, commitment, and hard work. Thus, going through an individual biography is also a source of information for reflection.

Artistic approaches

Artistic approaches help in my reflection through personal and professional levels. The technique examines significant developments in the works of artistic tradition (Hall and Whannel, 2018). It majors on finding out my contribution in the field of art. In regards to this, I can check my contribution to art and use that to understand my values. The approach is crucial when I want to reflect on myself especially in the area of art.

From the standpoint of epistemology, there is a requirement for me to deliberately obtain knowledge into my capacity to deal with obstacles in life and the workplace. Even when I apply knowledge demonstrated by prior research endeavors, reflection is needed to confirm the validity, dependability, or extent of the proposed approaches (Sundler et al., 2019). Thus, it is important for me to use appropriate reflective approaches for discovery in personal and professional life. This is well accomplished through creative thinking and reasoning. Therefore, I needs to analyze my information to influence my thoughts.

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Professional Behaviours- Integrity, Objectivity, and Professional Competence

The professional behaviors expected me are integrity, objectivity, and professional competence. The first behavior is integrity, which involves behaving honorably even when no one is watching. I am supposed to display integrity through my actions at all times. One is expected to be truthful in their activities and make their own decisions (Žárová, 2019). The second behavior is professional ethics, where I must have the necessary skills to perform my operations effectively. The third behavior is objectivity, which involves being able to make decisions in a fair manner (Žárová, 2019). Objectivity is also an important standard in the code of ethics guiding the financial management profession. As a result, I am expected to support the interest of my clients and employers (Žárová, 2019). These professional standards help me in driving professionalism in financial management.

Research Design, Methodology and Method

Research Design

The research design used in this study was reflexivity, which involves self-reflection as a researcher to offer more effective analysis. Leaders in various organizations encounter complex situations that necessitate reflexive ways to identify difficulties and generate solutions. The reflexivity research design is appropriate for this study because it allows me to systematically pay attention to the background of knowledge gathering at each phase of the study (Cassell, Radcliffe and Malik, 2020). I am part of the research, and my previous experiences, beliefs, and perspectives are likely to influence the process (Willis, 2019). Research reflexivity is a critical reflection on one’s position and how attitude has been incorporated into my work.

Reflexivity allows me to identify my modifications resulting from the study and how these changes affect the investigation. Willis (2019) posits that reflexivity is an idea that focuses on a specific level of self-awareness. It connect me to the social world and encourages me to rethink my ideas on a regular basis. The reflexivity study design, on the other hand, has serious limitations. These challenges include the likelihood of my inability to control emotions, which leads to prejudice. In addition, using the reflexivity study design makes it easy to influence and be influenced by the research subjects (Crabtree, 2019). This research design is influenced by how I analyzes the outcomes.

Methodology

The research aims to increase self-awareness and productivity in the finance management department. The Johari window will demonstrate how self-awareness may be developed in the workplace (Oliver and Duncan, 2019). In this context, self-awareness is an individual’s ability to focus on their feelings, ideas, and behaviors in relation to their internal standards. In addition, Gibbs’ Reflective Cycle will help make sense of the situation (Nayda, 2019). As a result, following the steps provided in the cycle and adhering to the Johari window model is crucial in understanding how I might enhance self-awareness.

Gibbs’ Reflective Cycle

The Gibbs reflective cycle will help me comprehend the many acts that emerge from self-awareness. As shown in the figure below, it provides resolutions to previous instances that an individual experienced (Sekarwinahyu, Rustaman and Widodo, 2019). The cycle will help me understand myself and improve where possible. It is critical to assess how I feel, act and my experiences after self-reflection. For instance, due to the lack of self-awareness, I can make rash financial decisions that could harm an organization. The cycle invites me to reflect on my experiences in a certain scenario systematically (Nayda, 2019). It also allows me to reflect on my experiences, making them more conscious of my behaviors and enable me adapt to change more efficiently.

Gibbs reflective cycle
Figure 1: Gibbs reflective cycle

Johari Window

The Johari window allows the Gibbs reflective cycle responses to be sent and accepted. It is a theory depicted as a four-paned window and is used to increase self-awareness. The top left corner of the window is marked “open,” and it reflects what we know and what others know about us (Oliver and Duncan, 2019). The “blind” element, which is at the window’s upper right, represents what other people know about me that I do not know. The bottom left corner of the window, commonly known as the “hidden,” shows what I am aware of and what others are unaware of in a given setting. Finally, the “unknown” area at the window’s bottom right discusses stuff about which no one is aware (Oliver and Duncan, 2019). The Johari window is largely used to enhance replies and, as a result, increase my awareness.

 Johari window
Figure 2: Johari window

Personal Cultural Texts

This research is influenced by the feedback I obtained from people I have interacted with in my life. The reactions resulted from my failure to develop self-awareness, which had a negative impact on my performance and overall productivity as a financial manager. Poor self-awareness adversely influenced my capacity to do my assigned tasks on time and effectively, undermining departmental cohesion. According to Whiteside and Barclay (2016), when individuals lack self-awareness, they fail to know what they are feeling and how it manifests in their daily actions. For example, I do not trust other people easily because they are more likely to perform poorly. In addition, lack of self-awareness has been linked with poor leadership and self-destructive behaviors.

Data Coding

Data coding involves labeling and organizing data to determine different themes and relationships between them during analysis. The goal of data coding is to extract the essence and meaning of the data provided by respondents (Williams and Moser, 2019). The data coder extracts preliminary codes from the observed data, filtered and refined to provide more precise, precise, and succinct codes.

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Table 1: The Codes Used During Evaluation

Themes Symbols
Self-awareness SA
Teamwork TW
Good communicator GC
Cross-cultural awareness CA
Inadequate management skills IMS

Critique of The Research Outline

The Johari window was used in this study to understand ways to develop my self-awareness through replies. Using this concept, I can attain greater self-awareness through artistic expression. Since I can go through the data, the findings may be objective (Law and Rowe, 2019). However, because I choose the personal data to be evaluated, this model is prone to bias. In addition, due to absence of an in-depth study of the data, the results may not accurately depict the situation (Law and Rowe, 2019). Therefore, though the model is integral in data analysis on my self-awareness, it has some shortcomings, such as bias and the inability to provide extensive research on the data collected.

Problems Experienced in Qualitative Inquiry

There are various challenges experienced when doing a critical qualitative investigation. One of the critical issues I can face when carrying out this type of investigation is that the outcomes are impacted by my interpretation of the facts and information (Denzin, 2017). I am always susceptible to being swayed by the study’s findings. The other challenge is that assigning codes to artistic works can be difficult and time-consuming. Thus, these challenges affect the outcomes obtained through a qualitative inquiry.

Digital Storyboard

Critical Incident Analysis

The goal of this study was to increase self-awareness, as indicated through the storyboard and the data obtained. In this situation, the Johari window will explain the various happenings (Law and Rowe, 2019). This study’s storyboard was a critical incident analysis because it involves a situation I experienced in the workplace. The analysis uncovered the circumstances leading up to the incident, the challenges experienced during the event, and the lessons learned. The incident was integral in my professional transformation to become a good finance manager. Therefore, the Johari window can be used to assess this occurrence methodically.

Identification of The Situation

As the finance manager, I was confronted with a problem that occurred due to my failure to provide timely financial reports for the board of directors of my previous organization. The reports were submitted late, and the board failed to make an informed decision. As a result, I became aware of the challenges between my expectations and my performance as a finance manager. Based on this, I conducted a self-evaluation to determine the source of the variation and improve. At this point, I asked myself what made producing reports so difficult despite starting to prepare the report on time. Thus, I did not know why I struggled to complete the report.

The failure to submit the report on time greatly affected my self-esteem because it caused some damage to the organization. The failure adversely affected my productivity and performance (Jaber, 2019). I decided to determine the reason for the failure through self-evaluation. The people around me played an integral role in this process. I requested them to respond to a survey about myself. I used themes such as self-awareness, teamwork, good communication, cross-cultural awareness, and inadequate management skills to achieve this. As shown in the table below, I realized that I lacked self-awareness. The report shows areas that I need to improve to become a good finance manager.

Table 2: Codes and Results

Code Score (range from 1 to 5)
Self-awareness (SA) 2
Teamwork (T) 4
Good communicator (GC) 4
Cross-cultural awareness (CA) 3
Inadequate management skills (IMS) 4

I also resorted to using a personality test to determine my traits. Personality tests such as the DISC assessment and Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) can also help people who want to become better in their careers (Sari and Bashori, 2020). These exams are valuable because they highlight my strengths, allowing me to focus my abilities. People who have a better awareness of their personalities may discover jobs and places suitable for them (Hancock, 2016). Knowing who I am can also help me discover my shortcomings and become the ideal employee. The outcome from the tests revealed that I am extroverted and judgmental.

Following this experience, I recognized that I needed to practice being conscious while executing my activities. Also, through self-evaluation, I understood that I needed to pay more attention to my ideas, feelings, and behaviors, which would lead to self-analysis and increased knowledge of finance management and productivity. The evaluation represents the Johari window’s blind stage, and it depicts what other people know about me that I do not know (Oliver and Duncan, 2019). Using the report from the analysis, I opted to develop my self-awareness through meditation, setting goals and tracking progress. In addition, I requested my colleague to watch my actions when I have the assignment to complete. I developed new and better financial management habits due to this occurrence.

One of the techniques I majored in to improve my self-awareness was asking for feedback. This is a mechanism used to obtain information or criticism that can help one improve on their performance (Thompson, 2019). However, I discovered that feedback is most valuable from those who understand me and will be honest with me. It is critical for one to be told what they need to hear rather than what they want to hear. When soliciting input, avoid questions concerning their behaviors since they create the narrative, preventing them from coming up with their thoughts (Thompson, 2019). Based on this, I made sure that the people who gave me feedback were honest and trustworthy.

Self-awareness plays an integral role in the performance of an individual. According to Dierdorff, Fisher and Rubin (2019), self-awareness is directly tied to emotional intelligence and success. First, it aids in the creation of attainable objectives since it allows me to examine my skills, shortcomings, and what motivates me while making goals. Second, it enabled me to steer myself in the proper direction by pursuing changes that fit my skill set. Third, it allows one to predict their reactions by making it easier to identify situations and people who trigger their triggers (Ingram et al., 2019). After becoming self-aware, I made beneficial behavioral changes that can lead to improved interpersonal success.

I also discovered the need to improve my competencies and teamwork. This event gave me the experience to fulfill my objectives as a modern finance manager. As a result, in order to strengthen my technical skills, I need to take more finance management lessons. In addition, I need to learn more about how to manage people from different cultural backgrounds in the job. Since organizations now hire people from a variety of backgrounds, so financial managers must have the necessary abilities as well as an appreciation for diversity (Jacobs, 2019). In addition, I must adopt a collaborative mindset and engage with people in an organization.

My reflection has revealed that my negative work experiences have helped provide opportunities to learn more about life. It has strengthened me and provided me with a much-needed understanding of the dynamics of society’s social milieu. This information is, without a doubt, crucial to obtaining success in the professional business world. The reflection gives me an opportunity to learn about and participate in opportunities for personal growth and development in everyday life. For example, I improved on my self-awareness, which contributed a lot to my overall performance as a finance manager.

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