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“Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves” (Carl Jung).

The pressures of leadership, lead to the leader experiencing an array of emotional responses to situations and people. In the moment of heightened response, considering the possibility that the ‘irritation’ might be something to do with ourselves, or our own critical view of ourselves, is less likely for the vast majority of us, but afterwards, on reflection… it could be useful.

Reflection as a tool for improving personal leadership is fast becoming a key feature of many executive education programmes.   Reflecting as part of daily (or even weekly) life however, is something that many of us find difficult given our ever increasing busy lives. Yet the evidence of its usefulness in modern times is mounting and self- awareness / reflection as a practice dates back thousands of years:

“By three methods we may learn wisdom: First, by reflection, which is noblest; Second, by imitation, which is easiest; and third by experience, which is the bitterest” (Confucius)

As an executive coach, leadership team facilitator and OD consultant, I am fortunate to have the opportunity to ‘reflect together’ with my clients as we consider various aspects of self and organisational life from myriad angles. Having a confidential reflective partner can be hugely beneficial for leaders and leadership teams – especially when the trusted opportunities at work to become ‘vulnerable’ are rare, and yet, in doing so, there is so much more wisdom to be gained.

So if you’d like to practice some ‘self-reflection’ to improve your self-awareness, enable yourself to be-able to ‘reflect – in – action’ and -ultimately raise leadership impact, then in addition to buying yourself a confidential journal to write in and finding that quiet spot to ‘think’ and ‘feel’, we’ve found a short video that might inspire you to start the journey:

An interesting take on using ‘reflection’ to avoid becoming Bill Murray in Groundhog Day!