How often does this happen? We go through a situation and we get through it and we once again find ourselves in that same situation again? And we repeat our same actions and get the same results. Maybe this only happens to me.
Here are two questions that you must ask yourself in all situations. This is called reflective thinking and this kind of thinking will lead you into introspective thinking. Which is looking within yourself to determine your response to things.
What did I do right? Lets give ourselves some credit here. We always do some things right, don’t we. It can’t all be wrong. But you have to ask yourself that question. Write it down. I was recently in a leadership/management situation and dealing with an employee. I had to have a very difficult conversation with this person about their weaknesses and the impact it was having on their career. At the end of that meeting I asked myself this question and wrote down what I thought I did well, or right, in the conversation.
I think the highest form of leadership is parenthood. I am not a parent, but the same things apply. Lets give ourselves some credit for the things we do right. On your job, maybe you have found yourself in a situation where it didn’t go well, or maybe it went well, and you don’t know why it went well. You have to be reflective and write it down. This is the key. Be intentional about your reflective thinking and write down what went well and why you think it went well.
The second question:
What would I do differently? Have you ever taken a trip somewhere, and the GPS takes you a certain way. You just follow its directions. I have. But when you get there, you have the, “OH yeah” moment. Meaning I know where this is. Why did my GPS take me this way. This other way would have been quicker. I have had this happen many times. But you don’t know until after you have arrived.
Just like in traveling, we have to ask ourselves the question. What would I do differently if I am faced with this situation again.
The example of the employee I mentioned above. After that meeting, I sat down, and I wrote down what I did well in that conversation, but I also wrote down very specifically what I would have done differently. The next time I am in that situation, I will be better. The fact that I have reflected on it and thought about it, made changes, I will be better the next time. I will know what to do, and what not to do.
In what areas of your life can you apply these two questions? Think about the last week at work. What did you do well this week? What would you have done differently? Maybe you shouldn’t have sent that email. Maybe you wouldn’t have attended that meeting. Maybe you said something to your child, that resulted in them doing something well. The key is to be reflective and ask yourself the questions.
To your success and your future.