When time is precious what do you choose to focus on? What will take you to the next level in your personal growth as a leader? When I led a financial services practice, being able to answer four simple questions more often would have accelerated the growth of the practice. Taking time each day to look at these questions and answer them will give you the insight you need and accelerate the time it takes you and your business or organisation to go to the next level.
This is the art of reflective thinking, which begins by asking four simple questions. The reality for a lot of you is you do things all day and fail to mine the gold that these different experiences have brought to you. Mastering this process will give you more confidence in your decision-making, enable you to avoid repeating mistakes, and see what is working so you can repeat it.
“Reflective thinking turns experience into insight.” John C. Maxwell
Insight is what will give you an advantage as you navigate the challenges and opportunities that come your way as you lead. With many things competing with your time to use some of it to reflect seems like an extravagance. However, it doesn’t take as long as you think, and has exponential impact on you and your organisation.
The first decision to make is when will you do this? This daily habit can take little more than 15 minutes at the end of your day. More time can be taken particularly when a light bulb moment occurs.
4 Simple Questions
As you take time to reflect, ask yourself the following questions:
1. What did I learn today?
Whatever situations you face during the day, whether difficult or enjoyable, there will be something to learn. It may not be about the task; it may be more about you and how you reacted to the situation. In your interactions with people what did you learn about them and about yourself?
2. What spoke to both my heart and my head?
In your journey as a leader some things will just speak to your head. Things need to be figured out. And some things speak to your heart. Often these are to do with your passion. When nothing is speaking to your heart it will be good to reflect on whether you are engaged, aligned with your role, or should look for something that does move you.
3. How did I grow today?
Every day is an opportunity to grow. You may have specific areas in which you know you want to grow. What are they? One of the most significant differences you can make is to grow in connecting with people. A question I ask myself often is how did I add value today? You’re on a journey asking yourself about how you are growing. It gives you a sense of progress. You are moving forward.
4. What will I do differently?
Evaluation and reflection is not an end in itself. Evaluation without action is a road to nowhere. As a result of your reflection what will you do differently and what will you look to continue doing but improve it? Taking action cements what you are learning.
Have something you can record your answers in to see your journey clearly.
Four deceptively simple questions that enable successful leaders to accelerate and get to the next level. Are you one of them?
“Great leaders develop through a never-ending process of self-study, self-reflection, education, training, and experience.” – Tony Buon