How To Seek Improvement Using Self-Reflection
This activity complements our Self-Reflection Profile activity and can be used following the completion of the profile. After you have put the time into creating a thought-provoking profile, turn those efforts into action using our worksheets to create a plan to improve.
This activity is designed to get you thinking about identifying areas to work on and put in place a plan to seek improvement. This doesn’t have to be specific, it is more about drafting a process with various methods and brainstorming people who can support you in achieving your on-field and off-field leadership goals.
Self-reflection is the action of mediation or thinking about your own actions, character, and motives that allows for introspection and observation in the name of improvement. This is a critical part of developing as a leader. Observing your own courses of action and results through self-examination allows for more significant growth. A study on tennis players found that self-reflection can promote resilience and reduce stress.
Time spent in self-reflection is never wasted – it is an intimate date with yourselfPaul TP Wong
If you have already already your profile, then you will have identified areas of where you excel and areas that could use improving. If you haven’t made a profile, examine skills and situations some of which you excel in and others where you wish to improve. Specifically, define each area so you know actually what each area or skill entails. Be honest with yourself when thinking about your level of ability and how high the ceiling is for improvement. This may be beneficial to do with peers or colleagues or a mentor to have a discussion. They might help you point to areas you had not previously thought about. What resources do you have to improve each skill or area? Who might be able to help you develop these areas?
Write out your ideas on how to improve. What actions will you take to see improvements? What settings will these actions take place? How much time will you need to spend on certain areas to see development? Most importantly, what does success look like? Is it something that you can account for or see or is it something intangible? This planning section is where you can mark an indicators of seeing success. Think who will be a participant in your planning and who you can look to for advice and guidance.
Where will this take place (training/playing/community)? Some areas might need some trial and error. Don’t be discouraged if you do not see the results you wanted right away. Improving as a leader takes time and deliberate practice. Record how your improvement is going. Keep track of the what, where, how, when and why of the situation. The better notes you take, the more effective your next step will be.
Think about what worked well during your executions. Look back at your notes and imagine the situation. Did it play out as planned? Do you see areas for improvement? Specifically, note how you can improve using action verbs. Perhaps, you may need to go back to the planning stages and tweak some of your plans to see a different outcome. When reflecting, try and be self-aware of how your actions affected other people. Is there someone who can provide feedback or insight into your execution?
After reflecting privately with yourself, be sure to have a discussion with your mentor, a peer or colleague to gain another perspective on the areas you can improve on and the areas that you excel in.
Download our How To Seek Improvement Using Self-Reflection PDF to get started improving your leadership skills. If you haven’t already made a Self-Reflection Profile, click here to download the Self-Reflection Profile PDF.
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