Step Change Learning

Why Self-Reflection Is Important For Great Leadership?

When we have a higher level of awareness and thoughtfulness, we can witness our own inner dialogue that directly impacts our behaviors.   

“Leadership is the ability to translate vision into reality” — Warren Bennis

Self-reflection can be linked to an internal level of positivity and mindfulness –regular self-reflection has the power to influence our internal and therefore our external worlds. When we have a higher level of awareness and thoughtfulness, we can witness our own inner dialogue that directly impacts our behaviors.   

Heightened awareness cannot only help us make choices in the moment of how we respond to the outside world, but it also supports us to recognize our greatness, those innate abilities that come so easily to us and we use to excel and thrive with; in families, communities, organizational teams, and companies.

Whether you are a leader of a family, leader of a team in an organization or company, or a leader of a community group, self-reflection is vital for continually improving your leadership mindset and abilities that impact your results and success. A way of getting support to start the practice of self-reflection can be a leadership coach, a life coach, or being coached by your manager / or leader and it’s also important to recognize that you also need to build a routine and practice to work on yourself independently.

Today’s and future leaders are tasked amongst other accountabilities to coach and mentor their teams or individuals that results in increased self-awareness, efficiency and the possibility of operating from one’s full potential. It’s important to recognize that your ability to self-reflect helps others to recognize the importance and results of self-reflection.

As a Leader how much time do you set aside to self-assess through self-reflection?

Self-Reflection is central to great Leadership

In a study conducted on UK commuters, it was found that those who used their commuting time to plan their day ahead, reflect on priorities and strategies to approach situations, were more successful and less stressed at work.

The role of self-reflection in building leadership capability can be dated back to the historic times.

According to Confucius, there are 3 things that make a leader wise – reflection, imitation, and experience, and you cannot have imitation and experience without positive self-reflection.

1. Self-Reflection calls for commitment

All good things start with you! As a leader, your ability to influence others to operate in certain ways, comes from understanding your internal operating model and values that support others.  If you are unclear of your internal operating model yourself, your ability to influence will have little or no impact.

Many successful leaders who have gone through our signature Leaders Edge Coaching Programme, have admitted that they were hesitant to take time out to self-reflect at the beginning, but once they acknowledged the importance of taking time to reflect, both on their own beliefs, behaviors, and outcomes, they were more aware, more committed, and more dedicated to their progress and achievements.

Self-reflection allows you to get rid of the negative baggage or assist in recognizing your strengths and great attributes that impact your work performance. It can help to prevent overwhelm or underwhelm by daily routines, and pressures being dealt with on a daily basis. Taking the time to self-reflect even if it’s a 10minute walk around your office floor, realigns, refocuses and refreshes your thinking and actions.

2. Self-Reflection makes you an organized leader

Self-reflection can significantly and positively impact on:

  • Outcomes to daily changes in the workplace
  • Provides the opportunity to step away from the “urgent often firefighting situations” reflecting on better, more productive approaches to resolve these types of situations.

Here are 6 strategies that you can implement to assist with self-reflection:

1. Book time into your calendar to take 15minutes out of the day to reflect on the results of your day (maybe in your car on the way home).

  1. Go for a walk around your block, neighborhood or around your building to refresh and relax. Breathe deeply as you walk to reset your state of energy.
    3. Set and manage your priorities around a daily routine of reflection time.
    4. Arrive in the office, 30minutes earlier that your current time to reflect on the day and outcomes you want to achieve.
    5. Do not check emails first thing, allow yourself time to get into the right mindset and energy for the day (refer to point 2).
  2. Block out time one day a week for 30minutes to 1 hour to reflect on your behaviors and mindset for the week.

Time-out to self-reflect can provide the space to enable you to understand what is important rather than urgent, make you more decisive and confident, and let you focus on building an effective team or business strategies.

3. Self-Reflection builds integrity in leadership

A leader’s integrity is frequently put under serious pressure amid unpleasant situations that can be a result of the constant change in the workplace, faster speeds to delivery, under-resourcing and customer demands. Staying true to your own leadership principles and values can provide a solid foundation, especially in chaos or significant change in the workplace.

Get clear of your leadership principles you operate from and you’ll find these get you through the worst and best of times.

Self-reflection is a humbling process, it is the foundation of great leadership and will steer you in the right direction and arrive at a place you mentally planned to be. As the famous saying goes, “The more reflective you are, the more effective you are.”

Check out the Quiz: What Kind of Leader are You? Click on the image and click get started.

Author of Article: Eloise Tzimas.

Speakers, Facilitator, Group Coach, and Leadership programme designer

To discuss how we can help your team of leaders contact Eloise on 64 276006940