Arrangement of Intersectoral Collaboration
High proficiency in the arrangement of intersectoral collaboration in order to solve any problem of public significance is a great skill to be acquired by a professional. Moreover, it is one of the most important skills required for an individual working in the sphere of public administration. Apart from that, different multidimensional knowledge can be derived from numerous books and articles published by successful and experienced theorists and practitioners in the field and used as a valuable resource for self-perfection. This paper is a personal reflection on the learning experience and outcomes that contributed to my individual evolution as a specialist in the area of my professional interest.
First and foremost, I understood the essence of this profession as a whole. Specifically, I realized that any dilemma that is to be addressed from a perspective of a public administrator has to be considered through the prism of worldviews of different stakeholders who are related to a particular problem in one way or another. What is more, the issue concerns not only people who are directly affected by this solution but also those whose working performance is connected with the policy developed. While this finding was a useful insight gained from the course-related activities, it is relevant to assert that it is one of the greatest challenges in the sphere. In other words, all these stakeholders have differing perceptions and opinions on the issues to be resolved. Therefore, a starting point for decision-making is ensuring understanding of others by means of careful listening and negotiation.
It follows that interpersonal communication is another key skill to be advanced. Indeed, a number of tasks completed in the scope of this course allowed me to collect evidence for this statement in a practical domain. A case studies’ analysis assignment was a good example in this regard. This task was a clear illustration of how a group of stakeholders with different positions on the issue can become united and unanimous. Having analyzed all the points of the case separately, the team discussion of the problem revealed an array of distinct angles and perspectives in the light of which the task could have been solved. Nevertheless, the situation of this kind did not mean that differing views resulted into a collapse of the entire project. Furthermore, none of the participants of the group took on a central leadership role. Instead, the group members communicated their initiatives in an argumentative way, and the whole team regarded each introduced solution by evaluating a number of advantages versus disadvantages they anticipated. As a result, each detail was carefully considered, and an open and constructive polylogue between teammates was fruitful. Thus, I was capable to realize that negotiation and collaboration is possible, but this process requires mutual respect, attention to attitudes of others, and precise argumentation of the perspectives one offers as the best for a specific context.
In addition to enhancement of my abilities in terms of communication, the course enabled me to improve my presentation skills within a variety of domains. Different types of assignments were useful for my comprehensive development as a professional in the intended sphere. In particular, writing a memorandum contributed to the advancement of my analytical and critical thinking in the light of intersectoral perception of the problem considered. Moreover, I realized that precise studying of the case is not enough. A well thought out solution to a problem should be based on an in-depth exploration of its background apart from being regarded from the perspectives of different stakeholders involved. Although this factor implies another difficulty in the professional field I have chosen, it draws attention to its overwhelming significance. Undoubtedly, it must be practically impossible to satisfy the public at large in all its hungers. However, when the policy with an aim of addressing the acute needs of the majority is developed, it is a great success to each professional in the field. In order to achieve this goal, a thorough studying of the issue was performed. Afterward, the information collected was evaluated for significance with respect to justification of the points outlined. Whereas the aspects highlighted were to be succinct and to the point, this is where my writing presentation skills were enhanced. I managed to learn to express my ideas concisely, while being backed up with a well-reasoned rationale from the evidence-based practice and theoretical findings of the up-to-date researchers. Finally, I understood the role of visual presentation specificities for a memo had to be presented in a structured manner to be comprehended easily. The feedbacks of my peers who reviewed the work I have written was a helpful instrument in this respect.
On the other hand, presenting the written materials orally as well as holding discussions with the audience in the process was another valuable experience concerning improvement of my presentation skills. To be more precise, this task required accurate preparation related to substantial reading of the course-focused resources and finding the appropriate scholarly and research material on the topic. In this way, I was supposed to be ready to respond to the feedback and questions of the audience to justify my arguments and demonstrate the relevance of my position for the common good. This skill is vital in my profession since persuading the public is among the core competencies to be mastered by the specialist in the area. It is a focal point in arrangement of trustworthy administrator-to-public relationships, and I believe the presentation I participated in enabled me not only understand the importance of the skill but also to advance it sufficiently. I overcame the fear of being the center of attention. I learned to express my thoughts clearly and concisely. What is more, I understood that conveying the message into which one believes is of great value, and undoubtedly, it reaches the target audience.
It is also necessary to assert that this task and the course at large were the driving forces that developed my leadership skills to a great extent. Specifically, the issue is related to formulation, justification, and implementation of initiatives and innovations relevant for enticing a change within a public dimension as a forward-looking aspiration for success of the entire society. Indeed, a leader is a person who thinks globally all the time. Namely, one’s thinking is always progressive; one has to seek for new options and new ways to advance, enhance, and develop the field to which he/she has devoted his/her professional life. Given the course tasks, I had an opportunity to reconsider numerous aspects of policy-making from different standpoints. At the same time, I realized that a policy is able to survive through the time as once implemented. Conversely, this instrument for improvement of any aspect of social life requires visionary perspectives and constant evolution. First, as it was previously noted, the project has to be justifiable in terms of background and relevance to addressing the needs and demands of various stakeholders. Second, its outcomes and possible shortcomings are to be monitored and assessed. Third, as soon as any drawbacks are detected, the adjustments are to be made in the implemented strategy. Moreover, this list of actions should not end with time. In contrast, a leader has to encourage permanent growth and continuous search of solutions for the public’s vices and troubles. In case there is no room for growth, one cannot be considered a leader anymore. Therefore, this skill is of huge importance in the field.
Apart from arranging smooth operation of the team working on the policy planning and implementation, a public administrator has to work hard on building collaborative and shared-knowledge relationships between the representatives of different sectors related to the problem resolved. This conclusion was drawn from the numerous readings in the scope of the course as well as based on the practical experience gained from the tasks completed. Undoubtedly, the professionals working in the sphere of my interest cannot work as single actors in achieving mutually beneficial outcomes. This would mean thinking narrowly. Moreover, such approach seems to be an egoistic one, presuming some superiority of one sector over the other. On the contrary, working as an intersectoral team and pursuing the goals that would be favorable for more than a few shareholders implies thinking complexly and ahead. Hence, such collaboration will definitely lead to better policy outcomes and a greater level of cohesion between different society members. Although an arrangement of intersectoral collaboration is challenging, I will do my best to be a good negotiator in this respect.
Summarizing the paper, I would like to note that I gained sufficient and multidimensional learning experience during the course. I managed to cognize the essence of numerous critical constituents of public administration, which is of great value to me. On a similar note, there is substantial room for further enhancement of my proficiency, especially with regard to ensuring intersectoral cooperation and shared knowledge for the common good. In any case, I aspire to evolve as a specialist and advance my qualifications in multiple ways, and the course equipped me with the knowledge, skills, and tools necessary to achieve this goal successfully.