To start building a process in self-reflection, try this: Use these starter questions to reflect on the results of a recently completed project or conversation. Bring a mindset of curiosity, openness and honesty to your answers. Adapt the questions to fit your situation.
What went well (with this conversation, task or meeting)?
What could I have done to have made it work even better?
Did I have unexamined assumptions (regarding the information I had, or about a person or situation)?
Who else should have been included here and how might I do that in the future?
Who needed to be appreciated, and for what?
What follow up is needed now and by whom?
Next, Try This
After answering the questions, reflect on what you wrote. Did you discover anything that surprised you? Or something that you hadn’t previously thought of? Did you get any new insights into your own behavior or have a new perspective about someone else’s? Whatever you did, congratulations for engaging in the process! You now have the foundation for a self-reflection discipline.
Look for opportunities to use the process whenever and wherever you can. Adapt the questions to fit the situation. When you’re ready, find an opportunity to try it out in your team environment. And remember to have a conversation about the process itself.
There are lots of opportunities to use this skill -- even at home! Remember that supporting others, and particularly your direct reports, in developing their skill in self-reflection can have huge payoffs, helping them and you become more self-aware. And, just like anything else, it takes time to cultivate a new habit, so have a patient heart -- with yourself and others!
When you give this a try, let me know how it went. I’d really like to hear from you!