The Rear View Mirror
Updated: Jul 7, 2022
rear·view mir·ror /ˌrirvyo͞o ˈmirər/
noun adjective: rear-view
a small angled mirror fixed inside the windshield of a motor vehicle, enabling the driver to see the vehicle or road behind.
One of the normal practices that my Coach puts in my Mindset Training program is to reflect; I like the "look back" - it helps us reflect and learn from the lessons we've experienced in recent memory - or even as far back as childhood. This week, I received a new Mindset Training program, which was very timely, considering I'd recently spent some time home with my Mom, helping out around the house and going through my Dad's intimate and personal effects.
My Dad was a sentimental and loving person. The things that some people collect in a lifetime are interesting - some people collect cars, property, baseball cards - not my Dad, he collected memories. He had two drawers that my Mom had yet to go through since his passing in November 2020 (she felt it was more appropriate for me to be home with her when they were tended to) and we tackled these during my visit.
I didn't have any anticipation in terms of what we'd find, I just went into the experience with an open heart and and open mind. What we found left me feeling warm and incredibly loved. I found letters from my sister, little toys we'd given to him, a "Best Dad Ever" ribbon and a sweet note that proves I've been who I am since I was six.
It blew me away, the small gifts and mementos that were important to him. Sure, there was a bit of gold, some jewellery, but there was also a Bible that his father had given him (my father was an Atheist), thank you cards I'd written to the Easter Bunny and Tooth Fairy, and a whole bunch of photos of my siblings and I. He even kept his little hand written budgets from immediately after my biological mother had left our family (financially, we were destitute and remained well below the poverty line for a number of years).
This was a special time for me and brought forward a number of emotions and opportunities to reflect and feel deep gratitude for everything that I've received in this life because of the sacrifices and devotion my father showed to me, when no one else would.
Reflection is something I've carried into adulthood, parenthood, being an athlete and into my work, however only recently is something I've leaned into in a more structured manner.
There is significant value in being able to take the time to be with your thoughts, to sit in the quiet, thinking, and deliberately teasing them out so you can understand your the current state of being. Reflection can bring forward wonderful feelings, and in some instances, not so great feelings. This is when we have the option to dig into our resiliency factors to try to remedy our thoughts or perhaps even actions that could be self limiting.
In terms of business, I always recommend leaders hit the pause button in the middle of the year to be able to assess whether or not the team or function they lead is still in alignment with business objectives. Goal setting at the beginning of a year is such an exhaustive (and exhausting) process, it's hard when the goals change and the goal setting expectations don't - how do you measure success and how do you reward merit?
Considering that we're at the half way point of 2022 (can you believe it?!), this is a great time to reflect back and look at what you've experienced and learned along the way.
To reflect personally, take some time and think about a few of these questions:
What has been my greatest achievement for the year so far?
What do I still want to achieve this year?
What has been disappointing to me in the first half of this year?
What lessons can I focus on learning from?
How have I conducted myself in my social circle?
Am I prioritizing my relationships appropriately?
What have I done to improve or invest in myself?
To reflect as a leader, consider some of these questions:
What have I/my team achieved during the first half of the year?
Have I celebrated with my team or recognized their efforts?
Have the objectives of my organization changed?
Do I need to reassess my/my team's goals for the year?
Have I provided proper feedback to my teams to keep them engaged?
Have processes changed or do they need to change?
Curious to learn more about reflection and how it could benefit you as a leader or strengthen your team? Want to discuss a good Lessons Learned process, your personal road map or strategy? Reach out, a call doesn't cost a thing!