Leadership is a constant journey of growth. While setting direction and driving results are crucial, taking time to reflect fuels lasting success. But what exactly is reflection, and why should it be part of your leadership toolkit?
What is Reflection?
Reflection is introspectively examining your thoughts, actions, and experiences. With regard to time, it includes examining the past, considering the present, and preparing for the future
Developing best practices, lessons learned, assessing what is and isn’t working, pre-week planning, daily planning, and strategic planning are all processes of reflection.
Benefits of Reflection
This introspective process unlocks a treasure trove of benefits:
- Improve decision-making: By analyzing past wins and losses, mistakes made and successes, you learn from mistakes and make better choices in the future.
- Improve productivity: You’ll better prioritize your time, you’ll spend more time in quadrant two, and your daily actions will better align with your vision and goals. In short, you’ll do what matters most more frequently and more effectively.
- Enhance self-awareness: You gain a deeper understanding of your strengths, weaknesses, biases, and motivators. You become more authentic and effective.
- Strengthen relationships: Reflection fosters empathy and emotional intelligence, enabling you to build trust and better connect with people around you.
- Increase resilience: Navigating challenges is easier when you can process setbacks and find meaning in difficult situations. And, as you develop gratitude for your past and present, you’ll develop optimism and hope for your future.
- Spur personal growth: Continuous reflection fuels a lifelong journey of learning and accelerated growth as a leader.
Four Best Practices of Reflection
Here are four time-tested and proven best practices of reflection that will immediately deliver results in your life and leadership:
- Plan Your Week (Pre-Week Plan): Block out 15-30 minutes before the week starts to review your vision and goals, determine key actions by life role, and then schedule your priorities first. This simple reflective practice boosts productivity 30-50 percent, improves health and relationships, and decreases stress.
- Guided Monthly Reflection: Use a guided monthly reflection template each month to assess your life by role. Assess your past month, successes and wins, mistakes and missteps, and lessons learned. Determine how you’ll pivot and win the upcoming month. Here is a template you can use, or use a Becoming Your Best Planner and include a monthly reflection template. This accelerates growth.
- Cultivate Gratitude: Start a gratitude journal. Weekly or daily, jot down things you’re grateful for, both big and small. This practice shifts your focus to the positive aspects of your life journey, boosting motivation and resilience.
- Prioritize Daily: At the end or start of each day, prepare a list of tasks and priorities for the upcoming day (consider your pre-week planning priorities). Identify what is most important, most urgent, what you will do first, and then attack your list ruthlessly. This simple practice can boost your daily productivity by 22 percent.
So, elevate your life and leadership by taking time to reflect. Take time daily to plan and prioritize your tasks, take time weekly to pre-week plan and do what matters most, take time monthly to reflect, and take time regularly to cultivate gratitude. It will be transformational, and you will be well on your way to becoming your best!
“Self-reflection is a humbling process. It’s essential to find out why you think, say, and do certain things … then better yourself.” – Sonya Teclai
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