“You influence more by your actions than your words. You operate as the message, not the messenger, with an alignment between your words and actions.”
- Nan Russell
This time of year can be so busy that there is barely any time to think about what is next, let alone spend time alone with your thoughts. And guess what? It is too costly to skip reflection time, despite all of the legitimate excuses you have.
As Master Facilitator, Beth Wagner, mentioned last week in our Fierce webinar, reflection is very important and often overlooked. Many studies have shown the critical role that reflection plays in performance and learning. Leaders and employees alike who take time to reflect on their successes and their mistakes at work, perform 20-25% better than those who do not.
So, if that’s really the case, it is your responsibility to find the time to reflect. What’s at stake? The difference of performing 20-25% better the next time you do something. Yes, this is definitely something your manager and organization want. Sometimes, you may just have to remind them of reflection’s importance.
"I don't see a lot of organizations that actually encourage employees to reflect—or give them time to do it," Gino says. "When we fall behind even though we're working hard, our response is often just to work harder. But in terms of working smarter, our research suggests that we should take time for reflection."
So given that, let’s make 2016 a year that reaps the benefits of thoughtfulness and allowing ourselves the space to think. This week’s tip is to find time to reflect on your past and future conversations.
Here are seven questions to dive into:
- Do you go into your conversations open and willing to be influenced?
- Consider what is at stake for you when the conversations that you are a part of remain one way, superficial, or inauthentic in some way. What is the cost of unreal conversations?
- What is at stake for you when you are not present? What is at stake for colleagues, friends and family? Who would benefit from your undivided attention?
- What were some times when obeying your instinct helped you reach a goal or avoid a negative outcome? What instincts or internal messages have been beckoning you?
- What kind of emotional wake do you typically leave with your colleagues? With your direct reports? ? At home? How can you ensure your intent meets your impact?
- What might happen if you said less, listened more, and provided time to think about what has – and has not – been said?
Now, schedule this time into your calendar. I look forward to hearing about it.