Self-reflection, such as reflecting about the events of the day at work — the good, the poor, and the ugly — can be an easy but effective activity to enhance your productivity. Making time for reflection at the end of your day allows you to make sense of your perceptions and gain new perspectives.
What is self-reflection?
Self-reflection is the act of carefully thinking about our behaviors and beliefs. Through this activity, we try to thoroughly assess our assumptions regarding an event or extract meaning from experience. Practicing self-reflection is a crucial component of the human experience that distinguishes us from other creatures. It is important for our self-improvement and can help us strengthen our higher mental abilities. (Di Stefano, 2016)
Self-reflection in the workplace
Without taking the time to reflect, employees are less likely to successfully learn a new skill or build an improved state of self-awareness in their workplace. In addition, studies demonstrate that employees who practice self-reflection and usually share their experiences with others perform significantly better than those who do not reflect in work-related tasks. (Schippers, 2013).
Sample Reflection Questions
Top five questions
- What went well today?
- What are the top three things that you are grateful for in yourself?
- Who can I forgive, and what can I let go of?
- How is today different than yesterday?
- How can I make tomorrow better?
Deep Dive questions
- What are the tasks that are repeatable or scalable? What factors should be changed to make the task repeatable or scalable? What are the potential bottlenecks or issues when your task is repeated or scaled with multiple stakeholders?
- Which situation/aspects of the work did I enjoy the most today? Identify and reflect upon the source of enjoyment.
- What is the first task I have to do tomorrow? If the task is stressful, can I identify the reasons that make me feel this way? What can I do to help myself manage this distress?
- What is the first thing that you really want to do tomorrow morning? What is the source of positive feeling that is associated with what you want to do?
Check out more thought-provoking questions for reflection at https://www.fincenti.com
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Grant, A. M., Franklin, J., & Langford, P. (2002). The self-reflection and insight scale: A new measure of private self-consciousness. Social Behavior and Personality: an international journal, 30(8), 821-835.
Di Stefano, G., Gino, F., Pisano, G., & Staats, B. R. (2016). Making experience count: The role of reflection in individual learning. Harvard Business School NOM Unit Working Paper No. 14-093. Available at SSRN: http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2414478
Schippers, M.C., Homan, A.C., & van Knippenberg, D. (2013). To reflect or not to reflect: Prior team performance as a boundary condition of the effects of reflexivity on learning and final team performance. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 34, 6–23