The field of education contains an instructional process called the Plan, Teach, Assess, Reflect cycle. This type of reflective practice allows teachers to determine whether students truly understand a lesson or should changes be made to either content or delivery. It’s not a bad process and it can easily be applied to leadership. Reflecting on your leadership actions allows you to examine whether others truly understand your message. Your leadership reflection reveals what others see in you.
Reflective practices look different on different people.
Some people love to journal. Their reflective practice includes several pages of notes routinely written at each day’s end in a beautiful leather book. Others reflect more situationally. They review each leadership opportunity and reflect on its results. Were meeting goals achieved? What would I do differently? How did my team respond? And then there are those who blog. Bloggers seek feedback inside and outside of the organization. They write down their reflections for the world to read.
The method of reflection is not as important as the practice of reflection. Leadership – like teaching – is intentional. Regular reflection of your leadership practice allows you to make small adjustments before they become large problems. Continuous improvement as a leader occurs through genuine, honest evaluation of your leadership activities. Plan, Lead, Assess, Reflect.