I copied this last week from a journal I keep:
“Spend time every day reflecting about your feelings, thoughts, and actions. It’s not self-indulgent, and it’s not a waste of time. Self-awareness is the key to great leadership.” Annie McKee.
Each of us keeps a running commentary going in our head. I think, at least I know I do. I imagine others do as well.
Annie McKee’s call to reflection is a bit different than the running commentary in our head.
I believe that the reflection she suggests is designed to push us toward improvement.
As a leader, you can have feelings about things you encounter in a day. Do you trust them? Are they valid? Should you express them? Why or why not?
A leader uses these feelings as a call to action. Sometimes they call for immediate reaction. Sometimes those reactions need to be planned and coordinated. Many times, to delay action on feelings result in worse things happening later.
A leader who considers feelings and acts on them consistently is moving the process along.
In the course of the day, a leader may take multiple actions and encounter many people. Not all these actions and encounters go off without a hitch.
To reflect and evaluate the key interactions you have daily may lead you to more action the next day. Is there a conversation you need to revisit? A follow up that needs to occur? A conversation that could have gone better? What did you learn about your team from your actions?
Taking a pause to reflect yields benefits. Take notes. Make action commitments. Endeavor to do better the next day.