Why making time for yourself needs to be part of everyday daily life
Organisations and Self-Reflection
“ Self-reflection is a natural and familiar process…so what keeps organizations from embracing formal reflective practices as a way to encourage learning? ” (Daudelin, M. W. 1996, Learning from experience through reflection). Daudelin (1996) then goes on to argue that managers may have always placed higher value on action rather than reflecting. Has any one worked at an organisation that actually had a formal reflection process? But I am sure we have all practiced reflection on a more informal basis in this and past organisations without actually realising it was reflecting, such as how could have I improved my performance during that crisis event. I always believed reflection was just something I did to make sense of a personal experience and what it meant to me – could I have handled the situation in a more effective way?
Over time I have realised the importance of reflection and how you should take time out to reflect on the experiences of the day, your goals or state of mind. An example offered by Daudelin (1996) resonated with me as a method I have always used to allow for personal reflection. She explains how it is possible to reflect on an experience whilst running, as it allows “one to momentarily suspend the intense flow of new information on the brain” (Daudelin, M. W. 1996, Learning from experience through reflection). I often find myself reflecting on work situations whilst walking or at the gym, which I find useful in making sense of my behaviour during certain situations in the day as well as the behaviour of others. To further assist in enhancing personal reflection it may be beneficial to use a mentor or to gain feedback from your team or trusted peers.
Charismatic Leader to Mentor
“The manager’s role has shifted from that of charismatic leader (a person who knows all the answers) to that of coach-a person who works with team members to help them discover the answers” (Daudelin, M. W. 1996, Learning from experience through reflection). This certainly made me think and view those leaders I saw as being charismatic in a different light, where it is no longer the accepted norm to think for or micromanage others. It is your job as a leader to guide individuals (whether they are in your team or not) in the right direction or to broaden their thinking. You must become a leader for those around you, and role model behaviours through your actions, communications and appearance, your personal brand as it were.
Self-reflection is about making time in your busy lives for yourself to focus (without distractions) on your behaviours, life goals and general state of mind, a chance to catch-up with yourself. For example, it can be looking back on how you responded to a certain event during the day or how others perceived your actions. The way you deal with self-reflection should be very personal to you and maybe written down or gained verbally from those trusted friends and colleagues.