Can the power of reflection help you to be a better leader in 2017?
So how can you as a leader use the power of refection to show up as your best self?
Use the following steps. This will take you a little time and effort, but it will be worth it. You can do this for all of last year, last quarter, last month or just yesterday. Schedule a few quiet moments to reflect on your accomplishments. Don’t forget to keep great notes.
1. What did you set out to do?
What was your intention? What was your goal? Be specific. It does not matter what time frame you are reflecting on, simply ask yourself ‘what was I hoping to accomplish?’ The process works the same whether you are reflecting on your year in review, your quarterly goals or the initiative you rolled out yesterday.
2. What actually happened?
Your discipline in taking the time to review your ‘intentions versus your actual results’ will be a necessary step to uncover patterns in your thoughts and your behaviors. Did the outcome match your intention? Was the end product what you originally set out to do? The power of reflection can and will help you to get better results moving forward by learning from your own experiences.
3. What worked and why?
Simply listing what worked is not where the learning happens. The real magic starts when you uncover ‘why’ something worked. The clearer you are on exactly what you did that helped you achieve a positive outcome, the more likely it will be that you could replicate those same behaviors in new situations. How did you roll it out? Who was involved? What resources did you use? How long did it take? Was it done on a certain day or at a particular time? What best practices did you employ? What specific steps did you take? Once you truly understand ‘why something worked’, the easier it will be for you to employ those same thoughts and behaviors to get positive results more often.
4. What didn’t work and why not?
It is not about focusing on the negative, it is about learning from our failures. Why would you repeat behaviors that did not get you desired results? Spend just as much time discovering where you went off course, where you struggled, and where an outcome was less than expected; so you can catch yourself early next time and prevent future mistakes. In order to succeed in today’s competitive environment, we must be willing to shed behaviors, routines and practices that simply don’t get us the results we need.
5. What can you learn from this experience and then do differently next time?
Self refection and a focused determination to be the best you can be is a winning combination of leadership thought and practice. Just listing your accomplishments and challenges will not be enough to move you towards better results. It is the understanding that your thoughts determine your actions and you have full control over both. So use them both wisely. Learn from your successes as well as your failures…there is great wisdom in both. What specifically will you do moving forward when faced with a similar situation to help you get positive results? Write those thoughts down on a 3 x 5 index card labeled “SUCCESS FACTORS” and put it front and center on your desk. Refer to it often. It is your personalized prescription for getting great results in 2017!
May the spirit and joy of the Holiday season fill your hearts and your homes!
Contact me to request the “Reflection Section” worksheet I use every day.
Have five minutes? Read the Harvard Business School article: