The Power of Reflection in Leadership
I’m a great believer in the power of reflection. I teach the principles and practicalities of self-reflection in the leadership development programmes I facilitate, as well as in one-on-one coaching sessions with clients.
It’s not always easy to convince high-performers and leaders of the power of spending a few minutes in reflection. They are so used to being in action that reflection can seem like nothing more than glorified navel-gazing.
It isn’t. Reflection is a valuable leadership practice. Those precious moments spent reflecting on your actions will help you to up your game and be even more effective in what you do.
Here is a practical application of self-reflection to illustrate my point:
What challenge are you grappling with at the moment? Could it be that you tend to be indecisive? Perhaps you would like to be more confident? Or maybe you take on too much and you want to be able to delegate more. Whatever your particular challenge, use the following reflection prompts to help you to move forward. Write your reflections in your journal so that you can track your progress.
TIP: When using these prompts, remember to engage both your head and your heart. And resist the temptation to overthink your responses – this is an exercise to enhance your own development; it’s not a test!
- What is the current challenge?
- What would you like to achieve in this particular area?
- Having identified the gap between where you are and where you want to be, what one action can you take to close this gap? The action can be small; what matters is that it is actionable now, with the resources you currently have at your disposal.
Now take the action! This is where the power of reflection comes to the fore and change happens – when the insights you gain from reflection lead to changes in the actions you take. Otherwise you are just navel-gazing :-).
Once you’ve taken the action, reflect on it:
- How did it go? What did you learn?
- What’s the next action to take?
This simple reflection exercise can help you identify areas to improve your performance, and to track your progress as you take the necessary actions.
Call to action: Nothing changes without action. Use the reflection prompts above as a tool to move yourself forward. I’d love to hear how you get on!