By Vicki Hess
More than 800 healthcare leaders responded to the Voices of Healthcare Management™ survey I recently completed, and an interesting insight they shared is that that one of the top 3 most challenging engagement behaviors for leaders is taking time for reflection and self-awareness.
I’m not surprised, are you? If you pulled out your calendar right now, where would “reflection” show up? I’m guessing nowhere.
What if your boss walked into your office and you were sitting behind your desk with a faraway look on your face thinking? You might be embarrassed and thought of as "wasting time." That couldn’t be farther from the truth.
We know that self-awareness and self-management are two key elements of emotional intelligence.
We also know that emotional intelligence is a critical skill for getting along in the world. The great news is that these two skills can be learned and practiced through reflection.
According to Barbara Mackoff, in Nurse Manager Engagement: Strategies for Excellence and Commitment, engaged (nurse) managers leverage lessons from experience. They look for clues about themselves and others in the workplace and observe the effect of their own behavior on others. It makes sense that these behaviors would apply to everyone in an organization, regardless of your role.
Here are 3 ideas to jumpstart your reflection abilities:
1. When something good happens and you are feeling satisfied, energized and productive (AKA engaged), stop and reflect on how your behaviors contributed to the positive results.
2. You know what’s coming next. When you experience results that you aren’t happy with, stop and reflect on how your behaviors contributed to the negative outcome.
3. Build reflection into your day with intention. Before you dive in to start your next project, stop and reflect on your progress to date. Take 2 minutes to sit quietly and think about what you want to accomplish and how things are going so far.
Taking time for reflection and self-awareness allows you to find joy in your own work and to connect to others in a more positive way.
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