by Mandy Green, Busy Coach
For me, I try to live as if every single day is a fresh start. Every day is a new chance for me to be better than I was yesterday.
The practice of self-reflection has played a critical part in my effort to get better every day as a coach. The 5 minutes that I am spending at the end of the night to reflect, has helped me make so many better choices going forward and has moved me towards what I want a whole lot faster.
Reflecting helps you to develop your skills and review their effectiveness, rather than just carry on doing things as you have always done them. It is about questioning, in a positive way, what you do and why you do it. And then deciding whether there is a better, or more efficient, way of doing it in the future.
“Follow effective action with quiet reflection, from the quiet reflection will come even more effective action” –Peter F. Drucker
We learn by experiences and mistakes. But, unless we question ourselves about what our experiences mean and think actively about them, research has shown that we won’t make any changes. Self-reflection enables you to move from just experiencing, into understanding.
So coach, do you ever take the time to figure out how well you are actually doing day to day? Not just evaluating whether or not you’re on schedule to reach your goals, but how well are you doing on that schedule?
Do you understand what you have done well so you can repeat those actions? Do you know where have things failed?
How would we know the answer to these questions unless we are measuring ourselves and our performance all along the way?
To do this, at the end of the day, find a quiet place to sit and think for 5-10 minutes. Start by asking yourself these simple few questions:
- What happened today? Did today well or did it not?
With that simple few minutes of reflection, you’re able to say “here’s what I do well, here’s how I operate, and here’s where I get off track. And then based on that information, here are the changes I’m going to make to guarantee that I’m more successful tomorrow than I was today.”
Here are a few more questions that you could ask in a daily review:
- Did I focus on what matters today?
- Did I show up and perform by best today?
- Did I progress forward today?
- What level of energy did I bring?
- Is there anything I can do better tomorrow?
I have also found that using video can be a great way to aid reflection. Since you can only self-reflect effectively once you have left the practice or game environment, it could be easy to forget exactly everything that was going on at the time. Video can help provide you with an objective perspective; helping you to notice things you may not have otherwise remembered. Videos can also become resources that you can re-visit and watch again to gain deeper insight into what happened.
Self-reflection is not something you should do once and a while. I encourage you to reflect on a daily, weekly, and a monthly basis. Asking these types of questions consistently helps us stay on track. You might be working hard and getting things done, but if you are not continually checking in with the process, you won’t know if you are being successful. Check in with yourself all along the way.
Want more tips for how to be more productive and strategic with your approach to your coaching life? You can email Mandy Green to set up a strategy call at firstname.lastname@example.org.