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Skill Development Proposal Report (20 marks)

Due in class during the week of August 7

IMPORTANT: This is an individual assignment, not a group assignment. Please do all the thinking, researching and writing on your own.





This project has two components: a three-part MLA tutorial and quiz and an informal report. You must complete both to earn any marks for the assignment.


  1. The MLA component

This assignment requires you to cite your sources using correct MLA format, both in-text and in a List of Works Cited.

To ensure that you remember and understand MLA citation rules, you must complete the three-part MLA Tutorial on BlackBoard before you submit your report. The three components of the tutorial are

  • Academic Honesty Tutorial
  • Why Cite?
  • How to Use the MLA Citation Guide

You must also complete the 10-question MLA quiz; it will be worth 5 marks.

  1. The informal report

Job-searchers can use three different types of skills to land a job and build their careers:

  • Company-related skills. This is specialized knowledge of how the company operates; for example, familiarity with:
    • Budgeting procedures
    • Proprietary software or equipment
    • Human-resources policies

This is why many companies prefer to hire and promote from within.

  • Job-related skills. These are the technical skills related to the specific discipline; for example,
    • IFRS, for accountants
    • Employment law, for human resources
    • Media planning, for advertising

Most of your program courses teach you these skills.

  • Transferable skills. These are general skills that are needed in every occupation; for example,
    • Negotiation
    • Analysis
    • Leadership
    • Research

For example, this course is designed to help you develop and practice your communication skills.

In this assignment, you will research transferable skills and choose one that will be particularly important to you in your career; develop a plan to improve this skill over the next two years; and write an informal report justifying your choice of skill , outlining your plan, and asking for my approval.

Start by reviewing the list of transferable skills at http://www.quintcareers.com/transferable-skills-set/, which categorizes transferable skills under five major categories. A sixth category, not included in this list, is numeracy; see the description at http://www.nationalnumeracy.org.uk/what-numeracy.

Next, do some research to choose one specific transferable skill from the online lists that is key to success in the field of work you have chosen. This must be a specific skill (e.g., “delegating with respect,” “persuading,” or “interpreting data, charts, and diagrams”), not a general skill (e.g., “organization management and leadership,” “communication,” or “numeracy”). Some suggestions for doing this research:

  • Search online (e.g., “skills needed in accounting”)
  • Review a sample of job ads (at least 10-12) in your area and note how often specific transferable skills are mentioned
  • Ask someone working in your field, or a professor in your program

Be sure to record where you found the information, since you will need to cite your sources in your report.

On the basis of this research, choose one specific transferable skill you will plan to develop over the next two years and construct a plan to build this skill. This plan must include:

  • Taking or working through one online course. Investigate the sites that offer online courses (many are free) – for example, Lynda.com, Saylor Academy, Khan Academy, Athabasca University, and the online presences of institutions such as MIT (ocw.mit.edu). Review two of these courses and decide which one course will be the most valuable for you, based on the material it covers. Discuss the strengths and weaknesses of both courses, and say why you have chosen the course you picked.
  • Reading a book. Briefly discuss two possibilities, and choose one based on the specific topics it covers and the level at which it treats the subject. Discuss both books and say why you have chosen the one you picked. Online book reviews will help you do this.
  • Practicing these skills through volunteer experience; for example, with a campus club or organization, a community or neighbourhood group, or a political or religious organization. Discuss the volunteer position and say specifically how this experience will allow you to practice the skill. NOTE: Co-op or part-time work placements are not volunteer positions.

Remember to be specific: which course will you study, which book will you read, and which volunteer position will you undertake? Why will these particular courses/books/positions be effective in developing your skill?

IMPORTANT: The course you study, the book you read, and the volunteer position you undertake should develop a transferable skill, not a job-related skill. For example, if you are planning to become a financial advisor:

  • General numeracy skills (e.g., calculating percentages, drawing conclusions from tables and graphs, measuring the areas of shapes) are transferable skills
  • Knowledge of financial calculations (e.g., valuing investments, measuring risk) are job-related skills

Next, plan a schedule for these activities. On what date will you start each activity, and when will you finish? Remember to be realistic: this should be a plan you actually intend to follow, so these activities will have to fit into your education, work, and personal schedule.

Finally, write an informal report to me – using the principles discussed in class – explaining why your chosen transferable skill will be vital to your career success; discussing the courses, books, and volunteer position; and setting out your schedule. Cite all your sources using MLA format, both in your text and in a List of Works Cited.

The report should be approximately 2,000 words long, not including the List of Works Cited. It is due in or before our class in the week of August 7. Please print your report and give it to me in class; do not email it to me. Remember to complete the MLA tutorial and quiz before you submit your report.


Subject Report Writing Pages 9 Style APA


Managing Groups’ Skill Development Report

Organizational leadership and management remain among the most important elements in ensuring the industry achieve its goals and objectives. They are also important in ensuring the effective implementation of organizational culture and structure. Organizational heads are tasked with developing a wide array of leadership and management skills which will assist in steering the industry towards achieving the set aims. Broadly, leadership and management entail the ability to supervise individuals in the fulfillment of goals and completion of tasks (Hew, Khe Foon and Wing 45). There are several transferable skills related to leadership and management which are critical to an individual. One of the most important skills is managing groups which involve coordinating and directing several individuals. Essentially, teamwork in organizations is critical to the achievement of goals and objectives through sharing of tasks which simplifies the roles of an individual (Nesbit et al. 915). However, managing these teams may be challenging based on several factors such as different types of group member members, poor communication, and resistance to the group leader directives. In this report I evaluate the development of managing group’s skills through an online course, reading books and actual practice.

Online Course

The current learning sector is dynamic which has been reflected through the introduction of new and profound approaches to acquiring knowledge. Characterized by numerous merits, online courses have been identified as a convenient, cheap and suitable approach in obtaining vast information regarding a specific topic. Considering learning about managing groups, Athabasca University which offers several courses for free will be of great importance (Anderson 2). The first course will be ‘Leadership in Organizations.’ In this course, it is centered on enhancing the learner’s skills through teaching them on leadership theories and management. While covering the broad course of organizational behavior, this course will be important in developing a deeper understanding of leadership approaches and skills in organizations. Among the important topics I am interested in include leadership trait and behaviors, communicating and leader-member/follower relations and the most important topic of team leadership and self-management teams.

Another course related to my transferable skill is that of ‘Organizational Behavior’ which is the foundation of other organizational management concepts. This course covers a wide array of applications and theories including decision making, motivation, negotiation, leadership and team dynamics. In the lessons and topics of this course, they build on each other from an individual to a team level perspective. Specific lessons of great interest to me are leadership in organizational setting and team dynamics. In these two courses, they offer a variety of skills essential for managing groups which are applicable in both organizational and community setups. Comparing the two courses, the merits of leadership in organizations outweigh those of organizational behavior. In the first course, it provides a range of lessons related to the group management skills from leader-member relationship to team leadership. Another merit is that it integrates other leadership attributes such as effective communication and problem-solving in team management. The downside of this course is that it does not provide the dynamism in teams which is provided in the second course of organizational behavior. The disadvantage of the second course is that it limits the information on important skills in team management.

My preference will be for the first course, leadership in the organization. This is based on the fact that it provides numerous topics and lessons that are related to this skill. Specifically, the topic of the relationship between the leader and follower is important in understanding how one enhances their interaction with the group members. Another merit is that it provides the lesson on trait and behaviors that are important for a team leader. Important to note is that groups are challenging to lead as a result of different members’ attributes and personalities. For an effective group manager, it is imperative to understand how to relate to the different members regardless of their strengths and weaknesses (Magie and Deborah 2). This course further provides the topic of team leadership which is central to my transferable skill. This course primarily equips the learner with the group management skills and not only does it provide the theoretical understanding but also the manner in which they can be implemented in the actual practice.

Reading Books

Another approach in developing the group management transferable skills is through books which offer profound and wide knowledge on the topic. Two of the books which I would source in this regard are “Drive” by Daniel H. Pink and “The One Thing You Need to Know” by Marcus Buckingham. In the first book “Dive” by Daniel H. Pink, it is centered on understanding why there are challenges in overcoming the command-control and face-time models in businesses (Landau 1). This book also provides realistic-based knowledge on how companies need to adopt the hybrid adopting managerial behavior to the diverse employees. Pink notes that the implementation of the hybrid model is challenging to implement. The author further identifies some of the critical points related to his book’s topic such as the change in time yet companies remain static, failure to move from conventional motivation world and the wide variation in what the business does and the scientific knowledge. Considering the first point, Pink identifies the change in time and stagnation in the business mode of operation. This is further explained in the motivation point. Apparently, the conventional approach to organizational management and leadership is still applicable such as incentives as forms of motivation rather than the use of mastery, purpose, and anatomy as the current approaches. The central objective of Pink’s book is that organizational managers need to establish the strengths of diversified employees and build on them while developing effective strategies aimed at averting their weaknesses, an important concept in managing groups. 

The second book which is also my preference in enhancing my knowledge on managing groups’ referable skills is that by Marcus Buckingham “The Only Thing You Need to Know.” Buckingham centers his book on three main attributes about effective managers (Buckingham 3). These include the primary responsibilities of an effective manager being to set standards and enhancing high-performance teams rather than enforcing quality. The other point is that efficient managers should turn employee’s talent into better performance. Also, great managers should improve the interaction between employees and the organization while assisting them in achieving the organizational goals. Buckingham further identifies some of the group management skills critical to enhancing team performance. These include selection of good individuals, setting clear expectations and objectives, recognition of excellence among the group members and praising it, showing care and respect to the team members and building on the group members’ strengths while reducing their weaknesses. My selection of this book is further based on Buckingham identification of three levers that group managers should employ in effectively managing team members. These include their strengths and weaknesses, triggers and learning styles. According to this book, every team member strengths require a precise trigger with the most powerful approach being recognition although the type differs. In the learning styles, they are three which are related to group management. These include analyzing, doing and watching. This book is also beneficial in providing examples of practical approaches related to the information it contains.

Practicing the Skills

Once an individual has obtained the theoretical knowledge regarding a particular course or topic, the next approach is practicing the knowledge in the actual process. Several approaches exist through which one can practice these skills. These include volunteering and engaging in activities related to the particular topic such the community and organizational setups across various realms from the religious to political (Nesbit et al. 917). Learning through experience is considered among the most effective approaches. In managing groups, for one to obtain a deep understanding of various concepts, there are specific aspects which should be ensured. These include presence of teams to manage and opportunities to practice these skills while acquiring new ones

In volunteering to various settings for learning and practicing managing groups’ transferable skills, the approach is centered on working with organizations and the community without expectation of any form of reward. In an organizational setup, I am passionate about assisting the disadvantaged. There are several organizations with such platforms for instance homes for the aged and children. In these organizations, teamwork is essential such as coordinating various individuals in achieving the central goals of enhancing the welfare of the people. Volunteering to work in these organization is important to both the organization and me. To me, this volunteering will be critical in understanding how organizational managers work with groups to achieve the set goals (Boezeman and Naomi 161). In the community setup, there are various team setups which are aimed at performing various activities in the society. Such include organizing training and education programs for different people. An example is training people on drugs and alcohol abuse and HIV and AIDS. In such programs among others such as cleaning the streets, people work in groups where there is the sharing of roles and coordinating how these activities will be performed. Engaging in these activities will be essential in not only learning how groups are managed but also the implementation of skills I have obtained in my online courses and reading of various books.

The next approach in practicing these skills is through seeking opportunities in various organizations from religious to the corporate sector. Regardless of whether I will be volunteering in these organizations or getting a reward for my contribution, it will be important in enhancing my skills and putting them into practice. The corporate sector presents an ample opportunity to implement one’s skills in the management sector. As mentioned earlier, businesses operate through teams (Magie and Deborah 2). Participating in leadership and management in these organizations will assist in providing an opportunity to implement the acquired skills while obtaining new ones. Religious organizations also have numerous opportunities for practicing my skills such as their programs. Examples include development and implementation of training programs to the community and assisting other organizations in their operations such as the prevention and treatment of communicable diseases by the Center for Disease Control (CDC). Working with these organizations will provide opportunities for implementing my skills while obtaining new ones. The corporate sector also provides opportunities for enhancing my skills such as organized workshops on leadership and management in managing groups setup.

Goal attainment Approach

Date and Time (From September 2017 – August 2019

Specific Activities

Online Course: Leadership in Organizations from Athabasca University

1/9/2017 – 30/9/2017: Evening hours

Registration and commencing the course

1/10/2017 – 30/4/2018: Evening hours

Undertake the course topics

1/5/2018 – 31/5/2018: Evening hours

Undertake the course examination

1/6/2018 – December 2018

Implementation of the course skills through volunteering and practicing in the organizational setups

Reading the book “The Only Thing, You Need to Know” by Marcus Buckingham

1/9/2017 – May 2018: Morning and evening hours


May 2018 – August 2019 : Weekends

Volunteering in community-based activities such as training and education programs

May 2018 – August 2019 : Free weekdays and weekends

Working in the organizational setup including corporate and religious organizations in activities with group management opportunities

Practicing these skills through volunteering

May 2018 – August 2019 : Weekends and free weekdays

Volunteering in various organizations including those of disadvantaged individuals such as homes for the aged and children.

Volunteering in religious related activities such as the development and implementation of education and training programs such as those related to HIV and AIDS and alcohol and drug abuse issues

Volunteering in community-based activities such as prevention of communicable diseases by health organizations such as the CDC

Table 1: Skill Development Plan

Conclusively, leadership and management are essential in any organization as they assist in the achievement of the industry’s goals and objectives. One of the main aspects of management is the team based approach in conducting organizational operations. As a result, organizational managers are tasked with understanding how to manage groups as well as leading them to achieve their goals and objectives. Numerous challenges exist in managing groups which include conflict among members, the need for effective communication and resistance to change. Leaders are therefore prompted to develop effective strategies for coordinating their teams. Various approaches have been developed in this regard which includes identification of the group member’s strengths and building on them to enhance performance and establishing one’s weaknesses and developing approaches to which they can be mitigated. The above discussion is centered on developing my transferable skills of managing groups. Three of the main approaches I will use in this regard is enrolling for an online course at Athabasca University. This course will be ‘Leadership in Organizations.’ The other approach will entail reading a leadership book “The Only Thing You Need to Know” by Marcus Buckingham which provides vast information on team leadership and aspects that organizational managers need to consider in leading groups with diversified members. The third approach will involve volunteering in organizational and community activities which will be important for practicing my skills while obtaining new ones. The integration of various activities in a comprehensive plan is as presented in table 1.




Anderson, T. “Promise and/or peril: MOOCs and open and distance education, Athabasca University.” (2016).

Boezeman, Edwin J., and Naomi Ellemers. “Volunteer leadership: The role of pride and respect in organizational identification and leadership satisfaction.” Leadership 10.2 (2014): 160-173.

Buckingham, Marcus. Standout 2.0: Assess Your Strengths, Find Your Edge, Win at Work. Harvard Business Review Press, 2015.

Hew, Khe Foon, and Wing Sum Cheung. “Students’ and instructors’ use of massive open online courses (MOOCs): Motivations and challenges.” Educational research review 12 (2014): 45-58.

Jones, Gareth, and Jennifer George. Contemporary management. McGraw-Hill Higher Education, 2015.

Landau, Heinz. “Book Review “Drive–The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us,” by Daniel H. Pink.” ABAC ODI JOURNAL VISION. ACTION. OUTCOME. 2.2 (2015).

Magie, Anna A., and Deborah D. Young. “Experiential Learning and Service Activities for University Students: Development of the Fashion Earth Project to Foster Leadership and Management Skills through Volunteerism.” (2016).

Nesbit, Rebecca, et al. “Leadership and management of associations.” The Palgrave Handbook of Volunteering, Civic Participation, and Nonprofit Associations. Palgrave Macmillan UK, 2016. 915-949.



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