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The Importance of a Positive Attitude Towards Authority

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Introduction

An individual is constantly looking for a way to improve oneself, and there are numerous skills to build on in order to become a leader, whether it be in management, on a sports team, etc. In this paper, I will focus on two domains in particular: interpersonal and intrapersonal. Interpersonal communication is the social intercourse between two or more people, whereas intrapersonal communication is the social intercourse with oneself. Intrapersonal skills comprise of three components: self-esteem, attitude towards authority, and self-control. In essence, an individual with high self-esteem is self-confident and stable, whereas an individual lacking in this domain is self-critical and in constant need of reassurance (Hogan & Warrenfeltz, 2003). An individual with a positive attitude towards authority abides by the rules and respects the procedures, whereas an individual with a negative attitude towards authority ignores the rules and procedures. Finally, an individual with self-control is self-disciplined, whereas an individual with poor self-control is impulsive and emotional (Hogan & Warrenfeltz, 2003). Moreover, there are two additional skills which one can also improve on, which are considered components of interpersonal skills: social and self-monitoring. Individuals who are capable of accurately reading others and adapting to social situations possess social skills. It is the use of connecting with others, regardless if it is through verbal communication or merely just gestures. Self-monitoring, on the other hand, is the process of self-regulating oneself in social situations. All five traits: self-esteem, attitude towards authority, self-control, social, and self-monitoring, are crucial in a position of leadership.

Data Analysis

Figure 1, the bar graph shown below, displays the results from the ‘Intrapersonal/Interpersonal Questionnaire’ completed by my friend Ali Alibhai, my colleague Nicholas Jewt, my peer/new acquaintance Amanda Wang, and myself. Following, in the above tables, Figures 2 through 5, I have outlined the scores and calculations from the three informants, as well as my own. The informants were provided with an online questionnaire, about their perception of me across the given skills, and the results were then forwarded to me via email. The results for social skills were approximately the same across the informants — my friend ranked me at 2, my colleague ranked me at 1, my peer ranked me at 0, and I ranked myself at 1. Following, for self-control, the scores varied over a range of 18 — my friend ranked me at 64, my colleague ranked me at 82, my peer ranked me at 70, and I ranked myself at 64. Next, my attitude towards authority varied greatly across each informant — my friend ranked me at 81, my colleague ranked me at 102, my peer ranked me at 83, and I ranked myself at 97. The results from the informants of their perception of my self-esteem were fairly similar — my friend ranked me at 48, my colleague ranked me at 57, my peer ranked me at 50, and I ranked myself at 49. Lastly, once again the scores for the final skill set, self-monitoring, were within a small range of 5 — my friend ranked me at 9, my colleague ranked me at 9, my peer ranked me at 14, and I ranked myself at 9. In order to complete the calculations for the result in each chart, I deducted the class mean from the score for each skill, and divided this amount by the given standard deviation.

Skill Improvement

Given the data in the above graph and charts, it is evident that there is room for improvement. In particular, I would like to focus on improving my attitude towards authority. As mentioned previously, an individual with a positive attitude towards authority is respectful, compliant, socially appropriate, and easy to supervise/converse with. Specifically, one’s respect for the rules, procedures and individuals of higher authority play a crucial role in achieving leadership. Unfortunately, it is not until one is in a position of leadership that he/she will acknowledge the role of respect. One must understand the difference from viewing leadership as a set of behaviours, and viewing leadership as a social relationship. Reason being: “In addition to trust and mutual obligation, respect is vital, and it is this mutual trust, respect and obligation toward each other which empowers and motivates both to expand beyond the formalized work contract and formalized work roles” (Clarke, 2011). As can be seen, I scored 97 in this particular field on the individual questionnaire, whereas my friend ranked me at 81, my colleague ranked me at 102, and my peer ranked me at 83. I noticed that there is a discrepancy in the results, this being the different relationships I hold with each informant. Considering that Ali Alibhai is my closest friend, he knows me on a personal level and I trust the scores I received from his questionnaire — the results are more likely to be accurate for my day-to-day self. However, my colleague Nicholas Jewt ranked me at 102, this being because we only interact at the office (CRA) and he observes how compliant I am with the rules and procedures of the book. Whereas, my peer Amanda Wang doesn’t have a proper understanding of me since we only recently met at the start of this course, four weeks ago. Therefore, the difference in each informant’s results is ascribed to the relationships I hold with them.

Comparable Concepts

A common mistake individuals tend to make is considering attitude towards authority or respect, and admiration, as two similar concepts. As discussed throughout this paper, attitude towards authority is the act of complying with the rules and respecting the procedures, as well as those in positions of authority. Whereas, admiration is what we feel for people when they exhibit high levels of skill or exceptional virtue (DeLellis, 2000). Essentially, an individual we look up to and want to be. An example of an individual that many respect is Donald Trump, since he is the 45th and current president of the United States. Although citizens of the United States must respect the rules and procedures set in place, most don’t admire him as an individual. Therefore, one is capable of respecting an individual without admiring them.

Reflection

The reason I chose this particular skill is because it is something I believe that I need to improve on in order to succeed in my everyday life and in my career. I interact with many authority figures in my everyday life, whether they are professors, supervisors, parents, or anyone else. My attitude toward these individuals is constantly more casual than it should be, which sometimes is an asset however at other times seems careless. For example, this causes me to use my phone and slack off at work as I do not take my bosses seriously. I find it easy to make a good impression but as time passes on I tend to take the things for granted. This type of attitude may hinder my performance as a leader because while I find it easy to build rapport, I can come off careless at times. By not giving the appropriate level of respect to authority figures, I sometimes make rash decisions or am not as assiduous as I should be. Research shows that a great leader is someone who inspires others, someone who is constantly focused and is a great role model. Through my interaction with authority figures, I do not appear diligent and therefore would have a difficult time motivating others. I would need to work on my attitude by being more serious and focused when necessary in order to make a greater impact in my career.

Conclusion

In conclusion, after reflecting on the results of my self-reflection and my evaluation from the informants, I need to make an effort to improve on my attitude towards authority. While I find it very easy to talk to people, once I get comfortable in a relationship I tend to leave a little more room for error. In order to make a real effort to succeed as a leader in my life, this needs to changed, and will ultimately help me make my mark as an individual on society.

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