While it’s instinctive to spend the day working through your never-ending to-do-list, prioritising tasks and trying to get as much done as possible, sometimes it’s helpful to stop. Take a minute, look around, and see where you’re going. Sometimes it’s helpful to embrace reflection, just for a little while, so that you can approach tasks with a new-found clarity and realise the impact that you’re making on those around you.
Below, our staff and tutors share a few simple ways you can promote reflection to help ensure that you’re making the right kind of impact with your work and relationships.
1. Realise your impact on others
James, SEA Tutor
‘One of the most powerful questions a leader can ask on a regular basis is "what is my leadership intent?" Or, if reflecting on a recent situation, "What was my leadership intent?”
This question helps me to recognise that everyday my actions will have an impact on others around me and encourages me to think about those impacts. Is it to support? Give clarity? Seek advice? Motivate? Empower? Compete? Naturally, this tends to lead to a second question… Were my actions appropriate? Could I do better?’
2. Keep your values close
Clive, SEA Tutor
‘This example comes from the leader of a large social enterprise who had attended one of our Leadership programmes:
“All our staff now have a copy of our values on their desks. It encourages us to respond to every action bearing our values in mind. Also as new opportunities arise, we decide whether to follow that path by how it fits with those values. “’
3. Embrace your intentions
Jess, Marketing & Communications Manager
‘After trying a lot of different approaches which I made far too complex, I started a simple daily activity. I take a few minutes each morning to notice where my thoughts are taking me and set an achievable intention for the day to manage my impact.
If I’m feeling busy and a bit chaotic, I might decide to manage my focus and actually slow down. If something seems uncertain or unclear, I might decide to keep an open mind, question and listen attentively. I write my intention on a post-it and stick it under my keyboard. At the end of the day I reflect on how well I was able to enact my intention for the day – I’ve been surprised at how well it’s worked to be honest!’
4. Get inspired and explore ideas
Claire, Design & Communications Officer
‘I like having a bit of inspiration to enable me to reflect on relationships and the bigger picture. Sometimes it’s simply having a conversation with no agenda, just exploring ideas. Mostly I use books and websites that I keep returning to such as Stephen Covey’s Daily Reflections for Highly Effective People based on his 7 Habits classic tome, www.presencing.com and www.quietrev.com. ‘
5. Recognise the importance of nature, exercise and switching off
David, Highlands & Islands Hub Manager
‘To promote reflection I go into the mountains, find a remote mountain bothy, bring a liberal supply of fuel (both carbon and barley based), and enjoy a long winters night or even a walk in the afternoon. It’s important to find the time and space for reflection, particularly if you are naturally someone who learns by doing and likes to ‘just get on with it’.