Reflection: An Essential Leadership Practice

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“One of the greatest moments in anybody’s developing experience is when he no longer tries to hide from himself but determines to get acquainted with himself as he really is.” – Norman Vincent Peale

Robust reflection is a prerequisite to personal and professional development. To produce meaningful reflection, it takes sufficient time and conscious effort. From a leadership perspective, powerful and productive change cannot occur unless preceded by deliberate reflection.

Robust reflection is a prerequisite to personal and professional development.

Ponder the following equations:

Information + Action = Knowledge

Knowledge is the result of information and action. Yet, knowledge of actions taken is still not wisdom. It is in the reflective process that we are able to see if the knowledge used and actions taken have produced something of value and worth.

Thus:

Knowledge + Experience + Reflection = Wisdom

Wisdom born of reflection allows us to grow, develop, change, inspire, produce, attract, influence, contribute and teach. I believe that if we can teach ourselves to make reflection an integral part of living and learning, we have done something that makes knowledge deep and lasting.

Knowledge of actions taken is still not wisdom. It is in the reflective process that we are able to see if the knowledge used and actions taken have produced something of value and worth.

Here are some ways to instigate reflective conversations:

If I were to do it over again…

I now know…

Now that I am done, I understand…

I want my actions to make a difference, so…

I now realize that…

I am really proud of…

Next time, I could…

I’ve learned that…

I’ve always wondered…

Before the rush of your post holiday week begins tomorrow, set aside ample time for reflection.

It will be worth every second!

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Image credit: yurkaimmortal / 123RF Stock Photo

My life path has always been about teaching and communication. My twenty years as an educator and my passionate pursuit of literacy and learning, gave me the healthy dose of courage and skills that have led me through a wonderful variety of experiences, including classroom and University teaching, instructional coaching, research, writing, publishing, corporate training, and starting my own business.

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