In our book, we talk about the importance of reflection-it’s a key element of your leadership development, and we want to say a little bit more about that now.
When we talk to our clients about reflection, many of them push back, saying things like, “I’m already too busy – there’s no way I can devote time to meditating.” We don’t want you to engage in occasional, deep-dive, soul-searching activity. This is like doing no exercise all week and then trying to compensate on Sunday by running a marathon.
We completely understand how busy and time-crunched you are. We want to offer you a different, more efficient take, on the practice of reflection. We see reflection as a series of short, two to three minute, mental pit stops that you take regularly. The key is the regularly part. You need to engage in these pit stops twice a day, every day. We find that our clients are most successful – they achieve the most improvement in their leadership competencies – when they adopt two strategies to support their reflection.
Firstly, they make it a regular habit; say, by associating it with their commute to work. Secondly, they associate it or link it to a reward, the first good coffee of the day. During your morning reflection, think about what competency you’re working on, and what specific opportunity you’ll have that day to practice that competency. In your evening reflection, think about, “How did that encounter work out for you?” How did that go for me?
When you’re reflecting on your behavior, we encourage you to be curious and compassionate with yourself. We often find our clients describe themselves in language they would never apply to another person: “I was an idiot – I was so stupid.” In our book, “Step Up: Lead in Six Moments that Matter,” my coauthor Henry Evans says that, “Curiosity builds relationships; judgment kills them.” This is great advice that applies equally to your relationship with yourself as it does to your relationship with others. So, incorporate our mental pit stops into your daily routine, and you will start to see the benefits.
Thank you for your continued interest, and we look forward to bringing you additional insights from our experts in future blogs.
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