If you’re going to lead effectively, you must teach reflectively.
Today, your capacity to teach your learners and your team is a non-negotiable criteria for leaders in businesses, nonprofits, classrooms, and beyond.
The workers and students of today are accustomed to being able to answer any question in the matter of seconds, thanks to that device in their pockets. Those answers may fill some gaps in their understanding, but what many (not all, but many) lack in their knowledge is that ability to communicate, to lead, to think critically, to collaborate, and to solve problems creatively. To actually put the answer to good use.
This is where you and your example come in. This is where you lead by teaching.
Yes, from your depth of knowledge.
Yes, from your breadth of experience.
But mostly through and by your example.
It’s you, showing your direct reports, your students, and your colleagues how humble reflection better equips them to succeed through their humanity and their resilience.
And that means taking time, however brief, to reflect (fun fact: reflection is associated with a 23% increase in performance).
The most agile and profound leaders routinely make and take time to reflect on the experience of those who count on them for growth, for adaptation, for transformation, and for resilience. The most well-meaning and destructive do not.
Many of us began the new year with resolutions or intentions. But this year, I challenge you to start and end each and every day with just 15 minutes of reflection. When you wake up, and as you wind down the day, ask yourself this two-part question:
When in the last year did I seize an unexpected teachable moment, and what happened?
When did I let a teachable moment slip by, and why?
Capture both your thoughts and emotions in a journal or your voice notes, something you can reference as you begin to make this practice of reflection a cultivated daily habit.