The concept of self-reflection, from a professional point of view, was introduced to me while a student at Royal Roads University. There was a strong focus on leading self and personal leadership. We were introduced to the work of Ronald R. Short, author of “Learning in Relationship” through one of our first assignments. Our assignment was to ask three colleagues the following question: “What is one area I can improve on?” My only response permitted was to say “thank you” – reflect, write about the experience and learn from it. Eeeeep! Seriously? This is a very common response to such a task because we feel vulnerable during the process.
What is Reflective Practice?
Skills of reflection concern slowing down our own thinking processes to become more aware of how we form our mental models and the ways that influence our actions. Learning from the inside out requires the courage to be your authentic self. This may be difficult to follow-through on a daily basis, yet the goal is to keep trying and learn from mistakes, situations and challenges.
Leading from the Outside vs. Leading from the Inside
To live and work from the inside out, means to be aware of the internal reactions that drive your responses to the outside world. Here are some examples:
Leading from the Outside
Leading from the Inside
|Why is she doing that?||I wonder why that bothers me.|
|I wish he would stop.||Where does my judgement come from?|
|That was a ridiculous comment.||I’m feeling competitive.|
|Is he trying to offend me?||What is happening inside of me?|
Benefits of Reflective Practice
Reflective practice has many benefits in increasing self-awareness, which is a key component of emotional intelligence and in developing a better understanding of others. Reflective practice can also help develop creative thinking skills and encourages active engagement in work processes and relationships.
Ripple Effect Leadership Activity:
- Ask three colleagues or loved ones: What is one area I can improve on?
- Say thank you
- Learn by recognizing patterns
- Incorporate new learning into every day interactions
Feel the fear and do it anyway! Challenge yourself! Learn! Share! Be vulnerable! YOU CAN DO IT!