The two definitions of reflection that I think are truly critical for successful leaders are: 1. careful consideration and 2. a manifestation or result.
Without those two versions of reflection, how do you really know if you’ve achieved the goal you set out to achieve?
Reflection is what allows us to:
- look at ourselves to see what part we took (successful or unsuccessfully) to help move from where we were to where we are now.
- figure out if the research we did helped us, look at what other things we need to know now, decide if more research will help us move to the next step.
- identify what pieces in our planning process were missed, overlooked, or sometimes even worse… OVER planned!
- check the actions we took and failed to take for effectiveness.
All this careful consideration will turn into increased effectiveness when we are ready to set new objectives from where we’ve gotten to so far on our journey.
Which brings us to the manifestation or result. We need to look and see what all our efforts have wrought. Is the outcome what we expected? Are the results what we had hoped to achieve?
Plus – throw a little celebration in after the reflection is done! Hey you made it through one whole cycle and even if you didn’t reach your goal YET, you are further along than when you started. Congratulations.