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Entries from December 2014

Five Leadership Benefits of Stopping and Reflecting

11th December 2014
Reflective LeadershipAs a leader we are all busy and constantly bombarded with
emails, meetings, requests, ideas, projects, change of plans, budget constraints…
I often hear my clients talk about how they seem to spend
their day going from one meeting to the next with very little time to think.
Any thinking that has to be done is either in the moment, or at either end of
the day that may be on the way to and from work or at home. I know I’ve been
As a coach a conversation I have with potential clients is
how we do not give ourselves the space to think things through to either
develop a way forward or solve or problem, or consider how we could do things
differently. Having a coach actually allows you to create this space and have
someone support you in your own process.
I recognise that not everyone is ready to have a coach so an
alternative is to create some space for yourself on a regular basis to do your
best thinking – even if it’s just fifteen minutes.
If you are wondering why here are the top 5 benefits you
will gain:
Five Leadership Benefits of Reflecting:
Clarity about where you are: Taking some time out either at
the end of the day, week or month gives you the opportunity to see the big picture
and where you are against your goals. You can’t do this when your head is down
in the ‘thick of things’.
Increased likelihood of revised action: If you are off
track, taking regular reflective periods will allow you to spot this earlier
and potentially save time by taking corrective actions early. Even if you are
on track it allows you to spot opportunities that may save time in the future
and increase your opportunities for success.
New ideas have the chance to emerge: If you a struggling
with a particular situation or feel as though you are ‘stuck’ giving yourself
some time to think about it will allow some space for new options and ideas to
Develop a higher level of thinking and problem solving:
Think of this as a way to train your brain. By making a habit of having some
reflective time your brain will get used to thinking differently – see my
points later on possible questions to ask your self in this space.
You can be more effective: You can be more on the front foot
and by reflecting on your own practice you can identify where you could be more
effective through either adapting your approach or your style in a given
Reflective Leadership Questions
Possible Reflective Questions to ask Yourself:

  • What have been my successes over the last week/month?
  • What are my current challenges?
  • What will help me move this forward?
  • What is my job in this team/company really about?
  • What s getting in the way of me making progress?
  • What is my most important goal right now?
  • What assumptions am I making on this topic?
  • What patterns do I see emerging?

These are only suggestions to get you started – feel free to
come up with and share your own.
Some tips to get started
  1. Find a time that works best for you. Is it daily or weekly?
    Is it morning, afternoon or evening? Be prepared to play with this until you
    find when you can commit and do your best thinking.
  2. Stop any interruptions, including those you may create for
    yourself such as grabbing a coffee, doing this one email…
  3. Find a place where you can do your best thinking. Get out of
    the office if necessary.
  4. Identify clear actions you will take as a result, bearing in
    mind this may mean you stop doing something. 

If you are a leader who recognises that having a coach for a
period of time will help you be even more effective email me to set up a discovery call
so we can discuss your needs further:
“Be a Columbus to whole new continents and worlds within you, opening
new channels, not of trade, but of thought.”
Henry David Thoreau

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