Reflection: A Fully Engaged Leader's SuperpowerJan 16, 2023
Reflection is one of the most valuable tools we have and a necessary part of learning. Unfortunately, this tool isn’t used effectively because we don’t understand exactly what it is and how to put it into practice.
Reflection is something that should be done often. One of my favorite quotes by Pete Hall is, “The more reflective you are the more effective you are”. He reminds us that reflection is an ongoing process, fluid in nature and one visited often.
What are the three important components to ask ourselves? What do I need to do? What do I need to stop doing? What do I need to set in motion?
The suggestion to reflect on “what I need to set in motion” requires us as leaders to make a choice about how to move forward and begin to take action. The conditions for self-awareness and advancement create conditions to guarantee growth for what was done well and what needs to be disregarded. Only then can a plan be set in motion that is well-thought out, analyzed and strategically aligned with your goals. Ultimately we are more likely to stop falling into the same pitfalls and more likely to be better equipped to improve and receive greater success. You MUST self-reflect to learn!
How do we model this behavior as leaders? We need to create an environment of open dialogue and free discussion. Sharing our own insecurities as a leader builds trust. It sends the message that we are in this together. Additionally, sharing our own passion builds excitement about our strengths and what we do well. Probing and questioning, asking about assumptions all create the dynamic conditions for positive reflection. It fosters the need to set in motion what we know will lead to higher productivity that is effective. These strategies also foster cohesiveness, engagement, and a devotion to the collective mission.
As a leader it is critical to continually reflect on our practice to create a culture of growth and continuous improvement within our teams and organizations. The time you spend reflecting and refining will pay dividends in the results you want to achieve. Reflection is a basic part of leading and learning and has the potential to unite all stakeholders for greater purpose.