Self-Reflection: A Valuable Tool for Development

In coaching employees, managers, and executives, we commonly see blind spots that impede success and damage reputation. To some extent, we all have disconnection between our actual behavior, our interpretation of our behavior, and the impact of our behavior. While feedback from others is very helpful, we typically don’t get much of it day-to-day. Self-reflection is another form of feedback. Self-reflection is a powerful tool for deepening self-awareness, reducing blind spots, and shifting behavior. When assigning this practice, we invite our coaching clients to spend five minutes at the end of each day, and reflect on their behavior regarding a specific area for growth. We ask them to do this honestly and non-judgmentally as “scientists” of their experience, and note their observations.

Self-reflection can be done in any area of development. For instance, if a manager is working on becoming more influential, we might ask him or her to reflect on the following questions at the end of each work day:

– In my interactions with others today, where did I garner influence?

– Where did I lose influence?

– What about my behavior drove my level of influence?

– How was I experienced by others?

– Based on my observation, how might I shift my approach?

By observing our behavior in an objective and granular way, we gain capacity to self-correct and generate the outcomes we intend.