7 Steps to Creating a Leadership Self-Reflection Practice

by / ⠀Career Advice Entrepreneurship / January 18, 2022
Self-reflection is just slowing down and thinking about yourself and your experiences to increase self-awareness, learning, and growth.

Self-reflection is just slowing down and thinking about yourself and your experiences to increase self-awareness, learning, and growth.

Use your power and self-reflection to influence others. The military has been teaching this for years.

Self-reflection in leadership is vital for leadership development. Therefore, reflect on your current skill level, strengths and weaknesses, behavioral habits, and attempts to influence others. It’s also about identifying and defining your values. All of this helps you grow, learn, and develop.

Self-reflection improves leadership skills, such as emotional intelligence, and helps you understand others better. So, how can you prioritize this vital development activity and make it a habit? Here are seven tips to get you started.

1. Commit to lifelong learning.

You may already have a CEO growth mindset or be a lifelong learner.

Clarify and integrate self-reflection into your repertoire. Professor Peter Miller says that, according to the principle of reflective learning, an individual’s capacity to reflect on their own words and actions leads to a learning process. As a result, this is something you can do every day at work.

2. Make it a habit to reflect regularly.

Set aside 10 or 30 minutes every day (or week) for contemplation.

If you can, write every day. Making time every week is a great start. However, choose a time and place free of distractions.

3. Start with a single question or topic and expand it.

Consider a meeting you planned, a difficult conversation you had, or your week in review. You could want to reflect on your goals, values, or emotional intelligence.

  • Group: What went well? Would you alter something if you could? What did you learn?
  • Week in Review: What went well this week? Did you learn from any experience? What would you do differently if given a chance?
  • Highlights: What was your best leadership moment this week? Is it possible to do this again next week?
  • Leadership Style: Are you a leader in the making? How do you think your team sees you as a leader? How does this affect your self-image? Want to be recognized for something?
  • Values: What if you started with your most important value? How do your values mesh with the companies?
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4. Allow yourself to share your story.

Write down all of your thoughts, feelings, and ideas. Likewise, write as precisely as you can.

When writing about your feelings, reflect and mention your thoughts and how they made you feel in your body. This will help you become more conscious of your feelings and thoughts. Using the suggestions, think about your experiences…good, bad, and ugly.

Neither self-censorship nor grammar will be checked. This is solely for you as you reflect. Join the growing list of healthy leaders that use this excellent learning approach.

5. Be honest as you reflect.

Be realistic and acknowledge your weaknesses.

Examining our negative biases and looking for the positive may be disguised as a teaching opportunity. Remember that the best self-reflection comes from a mirror. Not from your ego. Always leave room for doubt and for introspection. And take everything you tell yourself with a grain of salt. Avoid letting others define who you are or what you think.

  • Set a goal to acknowledge what happened well, a strength employed, or a lesson learned.
  • Focus on a solution.
  • Use what you’ve learned from “failures” to improve.
  • Consider your part.
    • How am I contributing to this problematic relationship with X?
    • How am I handling the repercussions of my actions (or inactions)?

6. Mix it up a little.

You may adjust your reflection practice to your interests and style in many ways. Experiment with several approaches until you find one that works.

  • Modify the time. If you usually conduct your reflection towards the end of the week, try starting it earlier. Alternatively, write down three attributes that make you a great leader every morning.
  • Exchange ideas with others. While reflection is usually linked alone, it may also be good to discuss your ideas with others. Contact a reliable colleague, mentor, or coach.
  • Experiment with diary layouts. You may use a basic pen and paper, reflection software, or record a video of your thoughts and feelings.
    • In addition to the above suggestions, keep an ongoing list of reflecting questions or ideas for your next session.
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7. Think of self-reflection as self-care.

In conclusion, making space for intention and choice requires slowing down and reflecting on your experiences.

Likewise, reflecting on our experiences is a kind of self-care. Reflective practice helps you develop your leadership skills while learning more about yourself and others. Invest in yourself!

Make it a daily aim to reflect, even for a few minutes. Your squad has earned it, and so have you. So enjoy!

About The Author

Kimberly Zhang

Editor in Chief of Under30CEO. I have a passion for helping educate the next generation of leaders.


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