Australian Business Leaders (Australian Institute of Management, 2007) identified
certain attributes that are important in the workforce, including communication skills
and the ability to reflect, learn and grow from experience for continuous professional
development. Thus, this assessment was designed on the sole basis to allow students to
reflect on their current competencies, identify weaknesses and set SMART goals to
improve them for professional development.
In this portfolio, I will be discussing about my intrapersonal effectiveness using the NEO
IPIP test, which follows by my preferred team role based on Belbin’s Self Perception
Inventory and CATME analysis in the interpersonal effectiveness section. By doing so, I
can set SMART goals based on the evaluation of my strengths and weaknesses. This will
help me in improving myself and achieving my ambition of becoming a partner of a top
tier accounting firm.
1 2.0 Intrapersonal Effectiveness
Intrapersonal effectiveness is defined as the process of understanding and improving
oneself, including strengths, weaknesses and personality (De Janasz, Wood, Gottschalk,
Dowd & Schneider, 2006). Psychometric tests were widely used in organisational
settings to identify individuals’ strengths, limitations, coping style and attitudes for the
implantation of strategies to achieving particular goals (Weiner, 2004).
I have decided to use NEO International Personality Item Pool (NEO IPIP) to evaluate
my interpersonal effectiveness because of the many researches that supported its
validity and consistency. Besides the empirical research by Costa and McCrae (1992),
researchers in New Zealand (Guenole & Chernyshenko, 2005) also found that the IPIP
scales have good internal consistency, relate strongly to major dimensions of
personality assessed and can be used reasonably confidently in subpopulation. I
considered it as a useful and reliable taxonomy for personality research.
2.1 NEO IPIP and Personal Development
The NEO IPIP test that I have done is a 50-item questionnaire that calculates my score
for five dimensions – neuroticism, extraversion, openness to experience, agreeableness
and conscientiousness (Costa & McCrae, 1992). Collectively, they are known as the Big
Five Model of Personality.
Table 1 shows how I scored on the NEO IPIP test:
Openness to Experience 44
Table 1: YingLing’s NEO IPIP Results (Costa & McCrae, 1992)
2 Based on Table 1, my highest score is agreeableness, a trait which describes individual
in being likeable, warm considerate and harmonious in relationship with other
(Graziano & Tobin, 2009, p. 46). This is important for my career development in
becoming a partner because I need to have the people skills for relationship
development with clients (Wilson, 2012).
I was involved in the preparation of a welcome party for the new batch of international
students when I was studying my pre-university programme in Malaysia. The
organising committee is culturally diverse, with students from Indonesia, Malaysia,
Korea and Tanzania. On top of that, there was age diversity too. The president was only
sixteen-year-old, with little experience in managing an event. Due to the cultural and
age differences, conflicts were easily formed. Hence during meetings, I tried to engage
the conflicts in a positive way to prevent any major collision. This may be explained by
the fact I have high agreeableness. Reports demonstrate that individuals with high
agreeableness are more likely to engage in more constructive conflict resolution tactics
compared to their peers because of their underlying motivation to get along with others
(Graziano & Tobin, 2009).
Furthermore, I was involved in my college’s Yearbook Committee, the Organising
Committee for a conference and even became a volunteer teacher at a Somali refugee
centre in Malaysia. I believe that my drive to volunteer is also fuelled by my openness to
experience, a characteristics where individuals are “willing to entertain novel ideas and
unconventional values” and that “their lives are experientially richer” (Costa & McCrae,
1992). Without the will to take up challenges, I would never take up various roles and
experience different things.
On the other hand, comparing my score on agreeableness and openness to experience,
my conscientiousness, extraversion and neuroticism level is relatively low.
Conscientiousness is seen as being efficient, organised, dutiful, thorough, self-
disciplined (Costa & McCrae, 1992) whereas extraversion is characterized by traits such
as assertiveness, activity, positive emotionality, and sociability (John & Srivastava,
2008). Meanwhile, neuroticism is defined as a characteristic reflecting the propensity to
feel negative effects, such as anxiety, anger and depression (Costa & McCrae, 1992).
3 Although a moderate level of neuroticism is a good indication of emotional stability,
being moderately conscientious and extravert can be seen as indecisive, non-persistent,
vague and non-committal (Witt, 2002, p. 839). Besides proving that high
conscientiousness is related to strong work ethic, dependability and organisation skills
(Jawahar & Carr, 2007), a combination of high conscientiousness and extraversion is
also positively associated with leadership development (Bartone, Eid, Johnsen, Laberg &
Snook, 2009). This is unfavourable for me as my goal in becoming a partner of an
accounting firm requires me to have strong work ethics in navigating complex client
issues, management skills, flexibility, interpersonal skills, as well as eluding leadership
behaviour (Wilson, 2012).
Therefore, in order to improve my extraversion and conscientiousness dimension, I set
the following goals, one for each dimension, based on the SMART criteria – specific,
measureable, achievable, relevant and time-bound (Hogan, 2009, p. 16). For my
extraversion-related goal, starting from Semester 2 2013, I will raise my opinions in
tutorial classes, be it Computerised Accounting System, Company Accounting, Finance 1
or Qualitative Methods for Economics and Finance, as suggested by Professor William
Fleeson, a psychology professor in Wake Forest University (Juttla, 2012). I will then
seek feedback from the tutors by the end of the semester to evaluate my performance.
As for my conscientiousness-related goal, I will keep a diary for the record of tasks and
deadlines. By the end of the semester, I can judge my organisational skills by looking
back at the diary.
4 3.0 Interpersonal Effectiveness
Interpersonal effectiveness is the ability to manage conflict, to build and manage high-
performance teams, to conduct efficient meetings, to coach and counsel employees, to
provide negative feedback in constructive ways, to influence others' opinions, and to
motivate and energize employees (Whetten & Cameron 2011, p.130). In short,
interpersonal effective is the ability to interact with others effectively.
3.1 Belbin’s Self Perception Inventory
Teamwork can be defined as a team of people with distinct roles, working closely and
interdependently to team’s objectives or complete a clearly defined, challenging task
(Woods and West, 2010). Hence, using the Belbin’s Self Perception Inventory, I will be
discussing on my preferred role for an effective team.
The model was created for team formation purpose, where according to Belbin (1981),
a productive team includes a variety of members with different preferred roles, as
different roles complement each other. A series of 43 empirical research related to
Belbin’s Self Perception Inventory was examined and on conclusion, the model and its
accompanying inventories show adequate convergent validity (Aritzeta, Swailes &
Senior, 2007). Another reason I chose this model for my discussion over the Dutch test
because I did not experience conflict in my presentation team.
5 Graph 1 shows my preferred team roles based on Belbin’s Self Perception Inventory
Belbin's Self Perception Inventory (1981)
Team Worker (TW)
Resource Investigator (RI)
p Plant (PL)
Company Worker (CW)
0 5 10 15 20 25
Graph 1: Summary of YingLing’s Belbin’s Self Perception Inventory (1981) results
Based on the results, the team worker role suits me the best. This did not surprise me
because research showed that females scored significantly higher on the role of Team
Worker (Anderson & Sleap, 2004). Besides team worker, I am also a complete finisher.
This affirms my behaviour