Reflective Essay: Action Learning Set (ALS) Group

Subject: Business
Type: Reflective Essay
Pages: 6
Word count: 1657
Topics: Human Resources, Management, Teamwork

Gibbs Model of Reflection

Gibbs model of reflection (1988) is one of the most used tools in the professional world as it is widely used to help healthcare practitioners, education worker, and other professionals to reflect into their past experiences. The reflection of the past experiences plays an important role in personal development and ensures that individuals within a given working environment are continuously improving their skills (Smith, 2011, p.216; White, Laxton, and Brooke, 2009, p. 32). The Gibbs reflective model is founded on the fact that reflecting on past and current experiences should be systematic to consider all elements (Gibbs, 1988, p. 7). With the systematic reflection, an individual is in a position to comprehend the best course of action to take whenever he or she is faced with the issue in future (Edwards and Thomas, 2010, p. 404). In this regards, Gibbs (1988) model is made up of six main steps that will be the foundation for this reflection. These steps include description, feelings, evaluation, analysis, and conclusion and action plan. 


The center of concern in this reflection will be the experience I had while working in the ALS group. The main aim of this group was to come together and explore scenario which occurred during work placement and prepare a power point presentation that relates to the chosen scenario. To achieve, the group met four times with the aim of exploring, compiling and preparing a presentation of individual scenarios. In the first meeting, we met as a group and got to know each other. During this first meeting, Mrs. C was elected as the meeting secretary while I was elected as the facilitator. Based on the initial agreement, the group agreed that we needed to meet four-times within seven weeks so that we would complete the group presentation. The meeting was to be attended physically and through constant contribution actively to the Whatsapp® group discussion. In this first meeting, each member was required to research on their areas founded on the scenario. 

The second, third, and fourth meeting was objective as they dealt with accomplishing the aim of the group. In the second meeting, it was evident that some of us had not researched as agreed upon in the first meeting. Additionally, it was evident that Mrs. B was experienced and embraced an autocratic leadership style that was good for the development of the group and accomplishing the prior set objectives. Unlike her, other members of the group embraced a democratic leadership style as it was positive.  In line with her leadership style, Mrs. B asked all group members to send their completed work to her for compilation. The third meeting so a growing concern of the autocratic nature of Mrs. B leadership style. Nevertheless, we managed to share the completed piece of work and agreed that we would meet next time to practice the presentation.  On the final meeting, we met and practiced ways to present our ALS group work. After the preparation, we urged each other to continue practicing the presentation during their spare time so that we are ready on the actual day of the presentation. 

Interpretation of the ALS Group Work

Before this ALS Group Work, I was knowledgeable about what it means by having a group work and what is expected of each member. Accordingly, a group refers to a congregation of two or more persons who are interdependent and interact with the aim of achieving a common goal (Levi, 2015, p.9). Per se, having this in mind the ALS group work was a shocker to what I once understood as working in a group. To grimly reflect upon this experience I will use the aforementioned Gibbs model (1988) of reflection. This model of reflection is essential as it comprises knowledge, emotions, actions and the assumption that experiences are repeatable, and this is contrary to Kolb (1984) model. In support of the Gibbs model of reflection Zeichner and Liston (2013) hold the view that reflection needs a flexible and wider approach. Per se, the following is a reflection of the experience I had with the ALS group work. 


In this experience, the role of each member of the group had a positive and negative impact on me. Mrs. C was the note taker; this was an important role as I would find it easy to review what we covered in the previous meeting. Mrs. B, on the other hand, took upon herself to be a group leader. This had a positive implication as we finished the ALS group meeting successfully. Lastly, Mrs. D was a member of the group and contributed to the development of the group’s presentation. 

Personally, I possess a democratic leadership style. This style of leadership is that which allows members of the ALS group to take a participative role in the process of decision making (Nanjundeswaras and Swamy, 2014, p . 58). In line with this, I failed to use my leadership style effectively as I so it wise to leave Mrs. B exercise her authoritarian form of leadership. From my point of view, I did see myself as a team player as I participated in coming up with the groups’ presentation. Regarding communication, my preferred style of communication style is assertive. Assertive communication style is that which involved confidently relaying information (Pfrimmer, 2009; Watson, 2015). This communication style was effective in communicating my work placement scenario and discussing with other group members about the ALS presentation (Riley, 2015,p.16). Additionally, there is an instance where a conflict between group members. This conflict was because Mrs. B had taken charge of the group and lead it using an authoritative leadership style. 


Although there is a difference in leadership style between Mrs. B and the rest of the group, I feel that it was both good and bad for the group work. Firstly, I think Mrs. B had no right to control individuals within the group as they were all required to work equally. However, Mrs. B leadership of the group was called for and good for the group’s performance (Vincent and Creteur, 2015, p.10). Particularly, in the second meeting, some of the group members had not researched as agreed previously. In addition to this, Mrs. B had experience and knowledge of the ALS group. As such, Mrs. B dictatorship was an effective way of conducting the ALS group work. 


The ALS group work was a worthwhile experience. In this group work my role was to be a facilitator. Ideally, I was supposed to be the group moderator and ensure each member comprehends the objective of working in a group (Colgan, Berthold, and Marinoff, 2009, p. 482). As such, Mrs. B taking an authoritative stand in the group was a reason in enough to make her know that she is making other group members uncomfortable and she is inhibiting teamwork. The lack of group cohesiveness may be explained using the model developed by Rutkowski, Gruder, and Romer (1983). According to this model, behavior that is altruistic is a subject to the social norm. As such, the ALS group could have acted in line with the perceived social norm given that there is a high level of cohesiveness within the group.  Additionally, the lack of teamwork can also be explained using the Tannenbaum and Schmidt (1973) continuum of leadership. Based on this leadership theory there is a significant influence of leadership on group members participation. In this regards, if the power given to each member is equal then all members of the team will participate and function properly (Gronn, 2008, p. 142). Mrs. B dictatorial leadership style curbed the participation of other members. 

Although the leadership style contributed to the lack of teamwork, as the facilitator, I also contributed to the failure of the group’s teamwork. In the rise of the conflict of leadership style, I would have utilized effective leadership and conflict management skills. Nevertheless, the motivational factor of not moderating the group work was the effectiveness of Mrs. B dictatorial leadership. This was in line with the conflict theory put forth by Karl Mark. This theory stipulates that in any social conflict is perpetual and social order is preserved through power and domination and not conformity and consensus (Cockerham, 2014, p.32; Henslin et al., 2015, p.30; Levinson, Cookson, and Sadovnik, 2014, p.12). Per se, the authoritarian leadership style led to the success of the group’s output. 


The team members were reluctant in carrying out the first assignment as agreed upon in the first meeting, which I anticipated would make the group to take long or derail us from the intended objective. I feel that if I had not allowed Mrs. B to exercise her authoritarian leadership style the group’s success would have been in jeopardy; however, it is clear that I would have communicated and solved the arising concerns.  I believe that constant communication and assertiveness would have been apt in our ALS group work. 

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Having experienced the negative impact of authoritarian leadership style and failure of communicating arising issues on teamwork, I am now mindful of the significance of communicating and giving each member equal power whenever a similar situation occurs in future. Despite the fact that I believe that the reluctance of other group members called for an authoritarian group leadership, the gained experience has made me more informed of the importance of constantly acting in the best interest of all group members and should not ignore the importance of teamwork. 

Action Plan

My future engagement as a facilitator and a member of any group will take a more proactive approach whenever an issue arises within a group, and I will always assume that democratic leadership style is the way forward for a group at all times. In addition to this, I will also ensure that I reflect on my group practice always using the Gibbs (1988) approach and will aim to maintain effective communication and democratic leadership in all group setting.

Appendix 1

Personal Development Plan: Public Speaking

Main Objective: 

Improving on communication skills and maintaining continuous communication in clinical and social meetings.

Time Frame 

(November 30th, 2017 to January 31st, 2018)

The intended objective will be achieved in the next two month and I do commit myself 100% to achieving the goal. 


  • Comfortable being in charge
  • Sociable
  • Adept at face-to-face conversations

Development Actions: 

  • In the course of the development period I will join the Toastmasters group to develop skills and comfort in public speaking. 
  • I will attend professional conferences, summits and other group-based discussions with the aim learning by observing and taking note of the approaches adopted by group moderators.
  • I will book appointments with the head of our department and ask for some tips on how one builds on communication and public speaking as well.
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Appendix 2

Personal Development Plan: People Management and Effective Delegation

Main Objective: 

Improve on my skills to manage people and effectively delegate whenever necessary. 

Time Frame

 (November 30th, 2017 to January 31st, 2018)

The intended objective will be achieved in the next two month and I do commit myself 100% to achieving the goal. 


  • Assertive communication
  • Comfortable being in charge
  • Sociable

Development Actions: 

  • Leveraging the institute’s know-how and knowledge base by taking part in leadership positions at group level, and contributing in departmental initiatives.
  • Leveraging comprehension and experience of the institute by working with supervisors and colleagues to establish appropriate opportunities. 
  • Pursue self-study on the theories that guide delegation and leadership. 

Appendix 3

Personal Development Plan: Strengthening my facilitation skills

Main Objective: 

Strengthen my facilitation skills in group meetings 

Time Frame 

(November 30th, 2017 to January 31st, 2018)

The intended objective will be achieved in the next two month and I do commit myself 100% to achieving the goal. 


  • Experience and knowledge
  • Open minded and fair
  • Leading by example 
  • Strong communication skills

Development Actions: 

  • Looking for opportunities and actively participating in trainings aimed at being a more effective facilitator.
  • Identifying a coach that will help me to be focused on my efforts to be a better facilitator.
  • Attending group discussions to observe how facilitators carry out their given roles. 
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