Time to Reflect
The usual swoosh and flick in the soapy water and he lifted the razor to his face to begin the part of the shave. He stopped briefly and looked more deeply into the mirror. Yep, those were baggy eyes. And yes – they were his baggy eyes. He reflected. It had been several weeks since his last normal night, let alone an early night. It was taking his toll on those eyes. In fact it was taking a toll on those around him too as he had found himself being a little short and snappy at times. The final stroke of the razor and he mopped his face dry with the towel. He took a step back and hung up the towel. As he did so, he could see his whole body reflected in the full-length mirror. Dare he look? He decided to be brave and see what feedback it would give him. To many, the feedback was still overweight and insulation around the midriff. And that was indeed the case, but it was also 4 stone lighter – good work so far, but keep working on it.
Every day we look in the mirror and it gives us feedback as we style hair, shave or consider what we are wearing. But how often do we take time for daily reflection on our character, our leadership, our direction and working towards our purpose? What would the impact of that be?
In this series of blogs on inspiring ourselves in order to inspire others, I am proposing 5 areas that help you recharge and replenish in order to inspire others.
C - Clarity of Purpose
R – Rest & Reflection
I – Input
S - Surround yourself
P – Practise what energises you
Respond to your reflection
Just as a mirror gives you feedback on your looks, taking time to reflect on you, your thinking, your feelings, your behaviour, your character and how your goals are going; it too gives you feedback. What is the impact of that? Well it is up to you. Just like looking in the mirror – you can choose whether you respond and how you respond.
So what does this regular reflection look like?
Diarise. Purposefully create time for it.
Journal. Take a notebook and make notes on the element of character or the focus of your energy at the moment. Ask the WWW and EBI questions: What is Working Well; Even Better If. Reflect on the bits to be proud of first. It lifts the spirit and enables you to be vulnerable to consider what you need to improve on. The next step is to consider WON – What Options Now? Once you have reviewed the options, then it is deciding how you want to take a step forward, TSF. So it can be as simple as these 4 series of 3 letters each time:
Coaching. Arrange for a coach. This is not a weakness for when things go wrong. It is proactive. A good coach (look for accreditation from EMCC, ICF or L&M Coaching 5or7) will help you reflect by asking you searching questions and be that mirror or sounding board.
Partner. Find a trusted peer to discuss issues with. They should be someone who is for you and will also ask you challenging questions. You can also ask them how they manage the issue you are considering.
Recently, my daughter asked me to come and fixed the sealant on her bath that was coming away from the bath. I took my mastic gun and headed over. As I sat on the bath edge to take a closer look, I noticed that the bath moved down. Now I am large, but that is not normal for a bath. What we saw on the surface (sealant splitting) indicated that there was something underneath that needed addressing. In this case it was feet that needed tightening and an adjuster that needed bolting under the bath. It is the same as we reflect on situations and our character. We need to ask an important question.
Is there something underneath this that might be contributing to this?
Reflection points give us time to go deeper and look at the root of issues and address them rather than what might be on the surface.
If a good friend says to you, ‘you look knackered’, you get over the offence and take the feedback. It is time for some rest and recharge. The benefit, when you follow that feedback, is you feel better, healthier and perform better in life and in your role as a leader. When we take time to reflect on ourselves and our performance it allows us thinking time to make ourselves and our actions stronger. We are fooled into believing that we are too busy to take time to reflect. Ignore reflection time at our peril – we will burn out or make mistakes or not really address the root issues. Take time to inspire your reflection and it empowers you to be a better you and deliver better behaviours.
Everyday Leader's purpose is to inspire and equip people in leadership. We have coaching and training to support you. If you would benefit from coaching to help you reflect, then please contact us for a no-obligation conversation. firstname.lastname@example.org