Reflection, a surprising tool to help your business to succeed
“Reflect upon your present blessings – of which every man has many – not on your past misfortunes, of which all men have some.”
~ Charles Dickens
By Michelle Post
Reflection, beyond an image that is seen when you look into a mirror, is earnest thought or consideration about someone or something. In business, reflection can be an important tool for personal and professional growth.
American philosopher, psychologist and educational reformer John Dewey said, “We do not learn from experience … we learn from reflecting on experience.” Reflecting on your business can relieve stress, bring mental clarity and help you learn what went well and what may need improvement going forward. Reflecting allows a business owner to step back and look at their business with a new perspective. Exercising reflection allows an individual to learn about themselves and it provides the opportunity to embrace strengths and identify weaknesses.
Best selling author Yvonne Woon incorporates reflection into her writing and believes, “Sometimes, you have to look back in order to understand the things that lie ahead.” And looking ahead is very important for business growth.
If you have never practiced reflection, here are some tips on how to set the stage. First, find a quiet place, free of distraction. Bring paper and pen, and perhaps your favorite beverage. Above all else, NO technology. Ask yourself the following six questions to start your brain reflecting:
Do I enjoy the work I am doing?
What did I do to help others this year, and how did I feel doing it?
What am I doing well in my business?
Where can I make improvements?
What did this year teach me?
How can I be more effective next year?
Reflection should not be a task to check off a “to do” list at the end of the year, but an exercise in self-development and preparation for the next year; it should occur often, not just once a year.