This quote stuck with me. It made me think: Yes – isn’t it true that once you see something, you can’t un-see it. From the stain on the carpet to an annoying typo, there are some things that are invisible at first, then become all we see.
This is also true with being a reflective engagement specialist, and focusing on continuous improvement. Taking a hard look at what went well, and what could be improved, can be challenging when you just want to move on from a particular project or engagement session.
However, it’s an important habit to form. In our Facilitating Engagement two-day course, we include a unit on self-reflection and self-improvement for facilitators. In addition to debriefing with a colleague, and asking participants for feedback, consider developing a set of standard questions for self-reflection.
Here are five questions I regularly ask myself – sometimes with a cup of tea, and sometimes with something stronger:
- What did I do well, and want to remember and repeat?
- Did I connect with people, and can I identify why or why not?
- Did I ever make it about me?
- If I am not neutral, did I at least appear neutral? (assuming my role requires neutrality)
- What am I least/most proud of as relates to that engagement?
Sometimes I find answering No. 3 hard. Being at the front of the room, having people participate in a process that you designed (with the client), and seeking to own the process, can easily make me feel it’s about me, or my abilities. The goal, though, is that it always needs to be about those participating in the process – not the one leading, designing, tabulating or reporting on it. I am not the content generator, or the expert – and I’m never the smartest person in the room.
So for me, being reflective is about understanding how I can best serve those in the process, and the process itself, while still ensuring that my professional cup is full.
What about you? Which of these questions might be most worthy of your reflection?