Permission to Self-Reflect
As coaches, we know we wouldn’t be serving our clients if we did not ask them to reflect in ways that heighten their awareness, prompt new insights, and lead to new action. Getting our clients, our team members, or our employees to slow down enough to reflect can be a challenge. In a “do more” culture, doing the unseen work of self-reflection can feel difficult to justify.
Coaches and leaders using coaching skills are not immune either. Many coaches also have their own coach for just this reason. While we challenge others to slow down and self-reflect, we too should remember the benefits this provides.
As the famous saying goes “Where ever you go, there you are.” Your thoughts and beliefs impact your emotions and actions. You bring our own history, knowledge, skills, preferences, beliefs, and biases with you in any interaction. As a leader it is crucial for you to reflect on your beliefs about roles at work. Are any of these beliefs holding you back from being in better relationship with your employees? This heightened self-awareness provides opportunities for your own shifts in beliefs and changes in behavior.
One way to spur self-reflection in your daily life is to consider being present, aware, and focused—being mindful—during your interactions with others, and even when working alone. What are you paying attention to? Is your attention there serving you?
Self-reflection also gives you clues into how you implement foundational coaching skills, like Observing, Inquiring, Listening, and Responding. With a little consideration, you can make strides in your effectiveness actively using these skills to coach others.
Being mindful is one way to introduce a process for noticing your own experience. You can reveal to yourself your inner dialogue, your impulses, your emotional responses, and choose how you want to respond, rather than react without intention.
Doing all of this means that you can be more available to your employees, teammates, or clients, because you are aware of what you’re bringing to the table, what you allow to serve the relationship, and what you won’t let get in the way.
As explored in the newly revised Anytime Coaching course, using self-reflection and mindfulness prepares you to support others through coaching practices, any time.
To start to notice your own self-reflection habits, consider the following questions and what might be different for you if you increased your self-reflection habits.
- When do you self-reflect?
- How much time do you allow for self-reflection?
- When does self-reflection lead you to change your behavior?
- If you don’t spend much time in self-reflection, why not?
- How do you support your employees’ self-reflection practices?
- What in your life would be different if you spent just five minutes a day in self-reflection?
Committing to a self-reflection practice models this desired behavior for others. It creates congruence between what you espouse and what you actually practice, signaling that this is a valued and accepted approach to work and performance improvement.