"We’re so busy watching out for what’s just ahead of us that we don’t take time to enjoy where we are." — Bill Watterson
Unfortunately, there’s not enough emphasis in the business world about the need for leaders to make time in their day for reflection. In fact, thanks to today’s accelerated pace in the workplace, a greater focus is being put on a leader’s ability to react fast to changes and making quick decisions for their organization. While the ability to think quick on one’s feet is certainly a valuable trait for a leader to demonstrate, it’s also important that leaders develop the habit of putting aside time during their day to reflect not only on current decisions their organization needs to make, but also to review past mistakes to see what lessons their company can gain from that experience.
The process of thinking about the past learning - the process of reflection - can be a powerful process for building self-awareness and self-confidence. Reflection increases self-knowledge, better preparing people to make deliberate, well informed choices for their futures.
Reflection enhances your abilities to see connections between various learning contexts and the transferability of their knowledge, skills and attitudes. Reflection involves four main steps:
1. having an experience,
2. thinking about the experience,
3. learning from the experience, and
4. applying what has been learned.
The more you reflect, the more you realize that it comes naturally, and that without it, you are not able to do your job. You will discover that we all reflect, most of the time. By relearning how to use your reflecting skills as a tool in your leader’s toolbox, you can increase your ability to see possible challenges early, and seek alternative solutions before you are forced into a corner. You become pro-active.
Making time to reflect on past decisions and mistakes, and allowing yourself the opportunity to learn from it, is a critical step to continued growth and development and your ability to effectively lead others.