The art of reflection for business leaders
Jo Leader practices the art of reflection
Balancing precariously on her magic carpet, Jo Leader left the safety of her modern cave behind and headed to Dino Corporation.
Sinking deep into the deep red threads, she contemplated the day ahead. Jo Leader wondered how the vision parchment she had delivered to the board had been received. She’d heard a whisper in the maze that some couldn’t make any sense of her notions for authentic leadership.
Flying high above the hilltops, gazing into the future, she was actually looking forward to her day at Dino Corp, as much as anyone could enjoy dancing with grumpy dinosaurs.
At precisely 11am she was going to present her ideas. Luckily, she had the hearing cavity of Reginald Saur. She trusted his wise counsel and it was him that had encouraged her to journal what was on her mind and reflect on her outcomes.
As she descended into the carpet port, a feeling of apprehension welled up in her. It’s just nerves, she told herself. Walking into Dino Corp clutching her new Alisaurus bag, she remembered that she had packed her intent, moral courage, character and communication wand. Touching it, she felt reassured. Today was going to be a great day.
Journaling the key to reflection
There are many ways that we can learn to communicate with ourselves, for me writing has been the key. There is something magical about putting pen to paper or fingers to keyboard which allows the unconscious mind to flow.
Journaling is much deeper than keeping a diary and I like to think of it as the art of reflection.
As the busy world whirls around you, no time to think, let along grab a quick coffee at lunchtime, you might think me mad to suggest that you take some time out of your day to write and reflect.
Writing is cathartic, creative and contemplative.
The art of reflection comes when you step back and allow your writing to percolate, like you might a good coffee. As you sip it, the rich flavours awaken your taste buds, whilst the aroma reminds you why you buy that coffee.
Reflection allows us to think about our thinking, to contemplate our behaviour and to consider how we might be communicating to ourselves and others.
To quote Socrates (he never wrote) “The unexamined life is not worth living.” For me, this speaks volumes in so many ways and in the context of this article tells me that reflection is part of the pathway to the leader, that exists in everyone.
There are many times that we are unaware of how we communicate and fall into confusion, when what we said or did with good intention was not understood.
Ask yourself the right questions
Simply, maybe we are not asking the right questions.
There are four questions that you could ask each day:-
- How was the day?
- What stories did I tell myself, tell others and hear from others.
- What have I learned?
- How will I use that new understanding?
Instead of saying yes but…. I have no time to journal, ask yourself instead, how long do you want to keep repeating the same mistakes for?
I don’t know how long it takes to form a new habit, after reading Oliver Burkemans article; I will let you make your own mind up.
And I will ask you again “how long do you want to keep repeating the same mistakes for?”
And “what actions will you take to replace “your responses to needs” with something that serves you better?”
PS: you can replace mistakes with any word that have more meaning to you.