‘We do not learn from experience…. We learn from reflecting on experience’ – John Dewey As we madly dash towards the end of the year, it is all too easy to become caught up in the silliness and business of the season. Christmas parties, end of year work and school activities; annual catch-ups and break ups; […]
‘We do not learn from experience…. We learn from reflecting on experience’ – John Dewey
As we madly dash towards the end of the year, it is all too easy to become caught up in the silliness and business of the season. Christmas parties, end of year work and school activities; annual catch-ups and break ups; Christmas day planning and coordinating are all vying for our attention and time. Before we know it we have closed out one crazy year and are fixing our gaze firmly on the year ahead.
Amidst all of the busyness and celebrations it is however so important to take time to critically reflect on the year that has passed. What do you deserve a ‘high-five’ for; what were the challenges; what are the opportunities that lie ahead; and most of all WHY, WHY, WHY?
Taking the time to critically reflect on your year and career to date opens up the pathway to higher level learning, deeper engagement and provides the platform for informed and confident decision making. James Zull once said ‘ it is hard to make meaning of experience unless it engages our emotions’. So the exercise of reflecting on your previous experiences and subsequent level of fulfilment is critical if you are to create a career and business you love.
Reflective thinking and judgment are powerful tools for you to keep in your leadership toolkit. Not only are they effective catalysts for deep and lasting learning, but also vital elements in supporting change; transformation and growth at both an individual and business level. However they also often prove to be challenging and unfamiliar to many. As leaders our challenge is to create a climate that promotes this level of reflection at a personal level as well as a project and business level. To do this effectively we need to assist individuals not only understand the importance of reflective thinking but also provide the frameworks and strategies to do this.
So what are the key elements for critical reflection to use when thinking back on my career over the past year?
As we enter the end of the year, it is a natural time to reflect personally on where we are at with our careers and businesses. I would encourage you to schedule some time over the break period to do this and make it more than a list of what merely remains unfinished from the past year, but an in-depth review that will support both your personal and career success and fulfillment in 2015.
The roots of courageous leadership are firmly planted in self awareness, ownership and accountability.
Work on strengthening two different aspects of resilience.
When at a career crossroads, give yourself room to imagine what’s possible without any guilt.
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