Leader Self-Reflections: The Importance of Looking Inward 

If you were to list all your tasks and responsibilities at work, you’d probably focus on your key projects, communication, goal setting, recruiting, and mentoring. As a leader, all these things are critical to your job. However, there’s another important one that we usually leave out – inner work.

What is inner work? It can be defined as mental actions focusing more on our inner world to achieve results. Unfortunately, most leaders are focused more on external performance, as there’s always a race for productivity.

However, inner work is part of being a leader. And it can help improve your leadership. How?

This article will cover what it is and the importance of looking inward to become a better leader.

What Is Self-Reflection?

Self-reflection means focusing more on you and your experiences to increase self-awareness, contributing to your learning and growth. You’ll have to devote your time to thinking of yourself as a leader in the organisation.

The process involves contemplating your skills, strengths, weaknesses, attitude, and how you want to influence your members. It also focuses on understanding your professional and personal goals, values, and ambitions.

A Pathway to Well-Being and Health

Self-reflection has benefits for our health. As a leader, you always need to be at the top of your game to make important decisions for the business to grow. It’ll also allow you to manage your team more efficiently.

Being self-reflective gives people higher levels of satisfaction. This means you’ll feel your job is not a burden but something you’ll enjoy. Since you’ll be satisfied with it, there will be a significant decrease in your stress levels, allowing you to sleep more and get better at what you do.

Self-Reflection for Career Success

Success is one of the goals we have as a leader. When we think about it, we normally will focus more on our projects and tasks. However, for career-oriented individuals like us, self-reflection plays a huge role.

Emotional intelligence is a big factor in career success; in some occasions, it’s more important than raw intelligence and skills. Since it helps with your emotional intelligence, it’ll contribute to your success.

For example, if you feel positive, you’d be more determined to achieve your goals. You’ll know which parts you can improve more and which ones the team needs to avoid.

Reflection Rather Than Rumination

To get the best results from your self-reflection, you have to take it seriously. You need to be honest about the process and what you think about yourself, including answering the tough questions.

The critical part is when you look inward; you’d probably become more anxious and have more negative thoughts about yourself, creating distrust. This could lead to rumination, where you focus more on the negative side.

Remember to always focus on the reflection and which ones you can improve. The goal is to improve yourself. During the process, you’ll be able to improve your skills, including the necessary ones, when creating a risk management system.

Self-Reflection as a Path to Better Leadership

Practicing self-reflection is a great way to better leadership. You’ll understand more about yourself, especially the things that hinder you from achieving your goals and enhancing your professional growth.

Every time you self-reflect, you’ll see a version of yourself where you are in specific situations. The main question is how you’re going to handle them and what you will do to not affect the business, team, and yourself.

Since you’ll understand more about yourself, it’ll open ways to become a better leader for the organisation.

Look Inward

Looking inward is one of the most common steps to self-reflection. This is where you discover yourself. Leaders and entrepreneurs don’t succeed in an instant. They see the value in themselves regarding their strengths and knowledge.

You might want to wait for validation from other people to push you forward, but you can start doing it yourself. You can start looking at the best of yourself and which areas you need to improve on. You don’t need to wait for others because you know yourself well; you just need to be honest about it.

Define Yourself as a Leader

As a leader of the team or even an aspiring one, you need to act as a leader instead of faking it. You don’t need to pretend you’re a leader until you become one. It’s much better if you act like one and be natural with it.

Create your own principles as a leader. Imagine you’re facing a situation where you need to show your principles. You’ll need to assess whether it’s going to be effective. If you find that it’s not doing any good, you might want to self-reflect on it and see what could go wrong. This will help you create better leadership skills.

Remember that it’s better to plot a realistic possibility.

Make Self-Reflection a Habit

Self-reflection is not a one-time process; after you’ve understood what you need to change or what things make you great is done. You have to make this a habit to ensure your progress.

As you learn new things about yourself, new characters will arise. You’ll need to check whether the changes you make are effective for yourself and the entire team.

Make sure you have a certain time every day to self-reflect. You don’t have to dedicate a significant amount of time; a few minutes of your day-to-day work is enough. The results will still be visible hours later.

You may also introduce self-reflection to your team to let them become more aware of their skills. You’re teaching them professionally how to become great leaders and boost productivity. Doing this will make you a great leader and prove that teamwork makes a dream work!

Wrap Up

Self-reflection is critical, especially if you want to improve your leadership. The concept may sound easy, but it needs patience, effort, honesty, and willingness to learn more about yourself.

You’ll discover more things that you can do and become more confident with your leadership skills. This will help you perform well in your job, help the organisation grow, and boost your growth.

Author: Jim Hughes – Director of Content, OpenCashAdvance

Photo credit: Luke Leung on Unsplash

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