I am very much aware that the world around us is constantly changing, and in some respects becoming stagnant due to lack of activity or interest, but the overall situation throws up all sorts of challenges. I’ve outlined my strategy to adapt and make the most of what I observe. In short: I bring the challenge to my awareness, pause and take stock, prepare and consider options, take decisive action and escape and move on. One vitally important step that comes next is reflection! Reflecting back feeds my awareness again and a progressive cycle is formed. Some considerations I take on board and questions I ask myself during my debrief:
I simply let the debrief happen and try to recognise once it’s in full flow but I also plan in time dedicated to reflection – similar to say an agile/sprint retrospective. It’s in these situations I’ll try and involve another person, to help facilitate – a friend or colleague, and in some cases a dedicated coach. A good coach provides me with a healthy challenge to my thinking process. They ensure I remain objective almost always question my thinking in a way that I’ve not done previously. They can help me see things more clearly especially if I'm fixated with a particular belief.
However, a powerful debrief doesn’t need to call upon others who are of course also experiencing similar challenges. Solo reflection can be fruitful if the environment is right. Here are some of the methods I’ve used in the past. They don't all work every time, but they may for you:
Talking to myself
Literally vocalising aloud a running self interview conversation of the questions outlined above. I’ve only done this a few times and it did work – but only once I get over the prolonged thinking out loud bit.
Journaling/writing a diary
The act of writing can really help with the thought process as putting them into words helps solidify the underlying messages. I find once the ball is rolling, lots of useful thoughts keep coming and it can be hard to capture it all at once. I often start with a template or a simple mind map of my initial thoughts to fill in the detail on my second parse.
It’s said that we have our best ideas when out walking. The act of walking can give me the clarity of mind to really focus on the topic at hand. Secondary benefits include exposure to the great outdoors, fresh air and a change of scenery.
Reflecting with others
Simply making a commitment to share my debrief via social media can be the fuel I need to ensure I make it objective and focus on learnings to share across my purpose built networks.
I also keep in mind that reflection is cause for celebration – as it implies that I’m moving on from battling down within the weeds and offers the respite of an more open panoramic view!