Leaders – Make Time to Reflect
Research Backed Approaches to Leadership and Team Dynamics with Dr. Will Ramey, The Leadership Doctor
Making time for reflection in your day as a leader has enormous impact on how you show up and only takes a few moments. We cover different ways to incorporate reflection and how to include your team in the process for improved communication and performance. Let’s get started!
Take a Pause for the Cause
As a leader, it is easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of daily tasks and responsibilities. But taking the time to reflect on your actions and decisions is essential for personal and professional growth. I catch myself coming into work and diving right in. Or during a lively conversation, I’ll respond quickly without much thought, sometimes cutting people short. Leading teams in the Army taught me that an 80% solution on time is better than a 100% solution too late. I have a MEGA bias for action. It’s what keeps me driven. One task done, BOOM, onto the next. During a recent conversation with a fantastic leader (and an ol’ Army buddy of mine), I was reminded of how critical reflection is as a people leader. I’ve discovered that making time to reflect regularly offers balance and often, better results.
Reflection allows you to pause and think about what you have done, what you could have done differently, and what you have learned from your experiences. It helps you to identify patterns in your behavior and thought processes, and to determine what works and what doesn’t.
I’ve been practicing mindfulness and building reflection into my daily and weekly routine for about three years. It is a game changer. There are a number of ways to approach reflection as a leader. I’ll share what works for me. Adapt these practices to what works for you. Take the premise and intent and adjust it to suit your needs.
- Open your day with 10-15 minutes of meditation. The practice contributes to your well-being while reducing stress and improving focus.
- Deliberately schedule 5 or 10 minutes between meetings to jot down notes about how it went and how you felt during and after the meeting. These don’t have to be lengthy notes. Bullet points will work.
- Make time for a mid-day mindful breathing routine. Take 2-3 minutes to cycle through box breathing (4×4) or 4-7-8. This will allow for decompression and reset.
- Close your day with intentionally reviewing the notes you jotted down. Ask yourself what went well, what didn’t, what emotions did you experience, and what you will do differently.
- Optional evening meditation for 10-15 minutes. This practice can help you unwind, shed stress, and sleep better.
Seeking Feedback for Reflection
By reflecting on your behaviors and the impact you have on those around you, you can develop a greater understanding of your strengths and weaknesses. This self-awareness can help you to become a more effective leader by allowing you to adapt your style to fit different situations and individuals. To maximize this, you can also take in perspectives from your team. This will take some courage, persistence, and thick skin.
Incorporate feedback into your team closeout routines or conversations. Ask your team members to share their input on if they feel supported by you or what would they prefer you do more of or less of when leading the team.
By actively seeking and incorporating team member feedback into your reflection you are helping to create a learning and growth environment. Creating this environment for your team can lead to increased productivity, improved communication, and a greater sense of fulfillment among team members.
The Power of Reflection
Ultimately, the power of reflection lies in its ability to help you grow as a leader and create a positive impact on those around you. Please don’t underestimate the value of taking the time to pause and reflect on your experiences and actions. It can make all the difference in your leadership journey. Center yourself, see yourself, continuously improve yourself so you can be at the best for your team.
Interested in working with a coach to gain more self-awareness and help you achieve your goals? Check out my website About – Leadership Development (empowerthepack.com)
Reach out to connect on LinkedIn Dr. William Ramey | LinkedIn
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