Reflective Practice - a way to Learn & Grow
Who else is using August as a chance to slow down and spend some time away from their desk?
After a busy few months, I've made some time to work less this summer. It's been great to see the benefit in my interactions with family and my general sense of calm and creativity. It has also been a chance to check in with where I am over half way through the year and to review my focus through to Christmas and beyond.
I realise that most of us can't slow down every month, but we can create regular pauses for reflection. These 'stops' allow us a moment to look at how we are currently feeling and operating and to build self awareness to support our learning and growth.
Where to start?
You can start a reflective practice by taking ten minutes at the end of the day or week, or even after certain meetings to review how it has gone.
Here are some questions that you may find useful to structure reflective practice:
Review the day – What went well? What did you learn? What might you do differently?
Highlights – what did you do well as a leader today?
Leadership – how did you feel as a leader? What does the team need right now from you?
Team – what is working in the team? What areas could you improve on?
Goals – what are the current goals of your organisation? What must you do as a leader to meet these goals? How do these goals fit with your personal aspirations?
Actions - what are the key tasks for the next working day/ week to support your goals?
Writing your thoughts and ideas down can help to organise and process them. It also records what's going on in your head at any time and provides a record look back over and to help monitor progress over time.
Regular reflection can help us to better understand ourselves and how we deal with situations. Through learning from this increased self-awareness, we develop ways of approaching situations to better set us up for success. This cycle of learning and growth can help to boost confidence and performance, improve decision making and strengthen relationships with those around us.
As with most things, it's a case of trial and error in how you approach the reflection and experiment with your learnings afterwards. Free to try out a few different ways to see what works best for you. Also, try to maintain some consistency in the practice to see the best results.
Let me know how you get on ;0)