Recently I asked one of my coaching clients, “Randy” to reflect on a recent experience to fully learn from it. I invited another client, “Sue” to reflect on some different ways to support creativity in her organization. Their responses were: “I don’t have time. Let’s just cut to the chase and go.” Lately I have been getting more of these types of responses.
Reflection (noun): a calm, lengthy, intent consideration
Reflection is one of the most powerful and least-used learning tools. Our Internet speed, text-based, make-it-happen-fast world often doesn’t support taking the time and space to reflect.
When it comes to learning fully from experience or engaging a team, the leader’s unhurried self-awareness, consideration, and intuition is key to unlocking the potential of human hearts and minds. Trying to force or rush engagement and creativity is like trying to rush a horse into a trailer the first time. It will get you to the wrong place faster.
Inspirational and effective leaders engage their organizations because they have done the “inside work” to find and use their own unique combination of thought, emotion, and energy. Taking the time to reflect is like putting slack in the rope of our own talents and potential and reweaving it to make it stronger. We are more grounded and effective as a result.
There is no shortcut, textbook, or download to teach us how to integrate our thoughts, emotions and energy for success. Accessing our unique, powerful human wisdom requires non-language, non-linear awareness cultivated by stillness, time and space. Reflection lets our thoughts, emotions and energy synchronize and weave together a strong foundation of deep self-awareness and courage. This is the bedrock that gives us the courage, resilience, humility and energy we launch from to pursue our dreams and fuel our success.
Take some time to reflect today. Put some slack in the rope and let your talent and potential strengthen and grow. You will be glad you did.