How often do you take time the time to reflect and explore your experiences?
When you do, how much do you learn? Does it affect your perspective?
Over the last two weeks, I have been acting on overdrive with a few things- I JUST NEED TO GET THINGS DONE- but I rushed, and did not think about the big picture.
Finally, just yesterday, a colleague said to me ‘what are you doing?’. Instead of working with focus, I was working in haste- I met my deadlines, I did what I needed to do- but I did not feel great about it. WHY? I didn’t stop, plan, prep, and keep the big picture in mind. REFLECTION!
We have been working on a project that requires attention, preparation, and reflection. I was missing the reflection piece.... I was not coming back to why we were doing what we were doing...
When I take the time each day to think about my experiences, my actions, my thoughts- it allows me to keep learning from what I am doing:
- what went well
- what I need to alter
- where am I going
- how did today help
These few questions, and a few more, are usually a part of my daily reflection. My journal time. Like these last few weeks, when I ignore taking the time to learn from my experiences- I tend to not be as proud of or as happy with my work, my actions, and my experiences.
Our professional Development program, Part One: Identifying Underlying Assumptions & Part Two: Acknowledging Underlying Assumptions, aim to help you unpack your experiences. When we start to look at different experiences, contexts, or situations and think about how we acted or what we were thinking- why do you think you thought that? why did you respond like that? could you have responded differently?- it helps us to make sense or put into perspective the scenario from a variety of points of view. Why is this important? Well, it is simple really.....we are not at the centre of the world! Humans are social beings and par to being social is (trying to) understand others, yourself, and how we all fit together- and what we all contribute.
For example, when I was meeting my deadlines I was thinking about our project, our aim, and getting it done. Whereas my partner was thinking about how does it fit into everything- the big picture. She is the one behind marketing and getting our name out there- she understands how all our resources come together (aesthetically & message)- me, I just want to talk/write/create. We both have passion & understanding for our message, but we have different experiences, understandings, and strengths. When I set out to just get things done, it was ok- but the work (my work) did not fit in with our big picture. Rather, I should have slowed down (or been more prepared) and connected with my partner. She could have shared her insight, I could have shared my insight- and the end product would be more whole.
Instead, I have been spending my day fixing my mistakes....and links. I am remembering why it is important to connect with others & learn from others!
Another situation will pop up when I want to start working on overdrive and just get things done. It happens to all of us! However, I will reflect back on working with haste rather than focus, I will remember today and the conversation I had with my partner. I will remember how I spent the day inside and how it was not so much fun redoing what was already done.
More importantly, I will think about things from a different perspective- not just my own. I will remember how I made my partner feel and how I disappointed her. I disappointed her because I did not take the time to connect and think about our joint venture from various perspectives. We aim to work with an open mindset in a collaborative fashion. However, working with haste does the opposite- it takes away the time we need to connect, discuss, and refine our resource.
Thinking about how this fits in with our pd program, Part One: Identifying Underlying Assumptions & Part Two: Acknowledging Underlying Assumptions, I find it sort of silly- here I am talking about how to identify and acknowledge underlying assumptions to improve your effectiveness as a professional, however, I allowed my underlying assumptions to act here. You see the reason I felt like I could work with haste is because I am the one who provides the content for our resources. My Partner provides the social medial & marketing expertise & I provide the material & content. I thought it was okay to skip her input because I am the one behind the resources- and I was in a time crunch.
BUT that is just not true. We both bring different perspectives and expertise to our roles- different, but equally important. Her insight is what keeps our resources 'branded' or working towards our big picture. As I learned recently, no matter how much you know about an open mindset and thinking about things from various perspectives, you still need to work at it. You still need to keep reflection as part of your daily practice in order to check yourself- to make sure you are being the best and most inclusive you you can be.