Have you ever just shut your office door, closed your eyes, taken a deep breath and asked yourself what the hell just happened, or maybe taken a bit longer in the bathroom than necessary just so you can regain your equilibrium, or how’bout looked at the calendar to see if there’s a full moon? I know I’ve done all of these things and they are sure signs it’s time for some self reflection. Sheepishly, I admit, it often takes moments like this to remind me to do so.
The trouble is we’re not taught, in a prescriptive way, how to reflect systematically. We must discover it on our own. We’re only told that it’s a necessary component of dynamic leadership. These three processes of self-reflection can help us be more purposeful.
Schedule time in your calendar to reflect. Being purposeful about self-reflection will make sure it happens. This is something that can be done on a daily, weekly, monthly, and/or quarterly basis. I’m a morning person so I would schedule time first thing in the morning to reflect on the past day’s events. By making time to reflect over greater time periods, if you have programs you are developing, you would have time change course as data demands. Scheduling time to reflect and making it a priority will increase your self-awareness.
Just like setting a specific time to reflect. Consistent journaling is another way to reflect on your practice. This journaling can take a more traditional form like a diary or it could be blog or even a newsletter. Regardless of the style in which you write the content that is produced should focus on what you’ve done and why you’ve done it. As time passes, you can go back and see your progression. Writing regularly about your practice is a great way to reflect and track your personal and professional progress.
Positive Peer Pressure
Join a mastermind. A mastermind is a group of like minded individuals working on becoming better within a certain context. Depending on the size of your school, as principals we are often on an island. Joining a group of peers that you can consistently reach out to and that will hold you accountable can be a one way to systemize your reflective practices. You can join a private Facebook Group, like The Principal Entrepreneur or you can easily create your own mastermind. In this type of supportive environment you can gain insights on your own practice as well as learn from others. By joining a group you will no longer be isolated and have the opportunity to reflect and learn with others.
As the year comes to a close self-reflection is a natural process. Three ways to systemize are to schedule specific times to reflect, become a habitual writer, and to find groups of like minded people to communicate with about your practice. The key is to be consistent.
What are ways that you build self-reflection into your practice? Share your best practices in the comment section below.
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I'm a Principal and an Entrepreneur. I'm the former owner of a food venture Hustling Hoagies, the author of the children's picture books Detective Dwayne Drake and the Alphabet Thief, Detective Dwayne Drake and The Case of the Mathematical Misfit and the ebook Making it as a Male Model in Michigan. I've worked professionally as a model and commercial actor......