If you do an LMI programme, you’ll see every single one has a tab (or a file if you have a digital version) labelled ‘Accomplishments’. Over the 13 years that I’ve been working with these programmes, this has consistently been the least-used part of the whole system.
Setting goals, planning days weeks and months, using communication tools, identifying areas for improvement and practicing coaching conversations have all been routinely embraced, but not this little section at the back of the manual.
It seems that reflecting on our successes doesn’t come naturally to most of us. Like anything that’s good for you, it’s something to be practiced. And doing this is certainly good for you, I think for two major reasons:
It’s great to enjoy, gain satisfaction and be motivated for the future by what we have achieved
Those accomplishments are great for informing us about what we should be doing more of.
A little more on that second reason.
When we routinely and systematically keep an accomplishments log, whether individually or as part of a team, it provides loads of great information that can help us plan for the future if we take the time to reflect.
What did I/we do (if anything) in order for that to come about? How can we do more of that? What similar actions might lead to similar positive results? The end result points us back to the origins of those outcomes.
We are taught from childhood, and rightly so, to learn from our mistakes. Maybe it’s just as important to learn from our victories as well.
It’s Friday, 4pm and my working week is almost over. One quick meeting at 4.30pm with some LMI colleagues from India, Lebanon and South Africa about a leadership development webinar we’re all speaking at in a couple of weeks, then we’re done.
Dinner will be early as my son is working from 6, and I’m working at home today so there isn’t any travel time after work finishes to enable that transition from work to family time, and on into the evening.
What strikes me is how easy it is to move from one thing to the next, from work to not-work, from one meeting to the next, from one day to the next, without pausing to think. In so doing, I wonder if we are massively missing out.
If something’s been fantastic, we can miss out on enjoying it, celebrating it and recognising why so perhaps we can repeat it.
If something’s been terrible, we miss out on reflection, processing, learning, and practicing a bit of emotional intelligence to think about what’s taken place, process our feelings, have some empathy for others, and decide what, if anything, we need to do next.
My week’s been pretty good, with a work highlight being a reconnection with a past client. I received a call out of the blue having not had contact since 2016 and we’ve now booked in some new work for December. I also recognise that my head’s been pretty full of all the news around the policitcal comings-and-goings at home, the protests in Iran, the war in Ukraine, the climate and how it’s far too warm for the end of October! Way too much time on Twitter has taken it’s toll and I need to step away from all that this weekend.
So how’s this week been for you? What’s been great? What’s been hard? Who have you met? What new opportunities have opened up? What were your progress and victories? Is there anything you need to plan to do different next week? And how are you going to make the most of the weekend?
A large part of my current work is with people currently on management apprenticeships. These are not the classically perceived ‘just out of school’ apprenticeship, rather people who have been with their current employer for some years, hold a management position and are undergoing some very practical management/leadership development via one of the new apprenticeship standards.
As part of this, managers have to produce a portfolio of their best work evidencing learning and application across broad areas of management – finance, operations, leading people etc. One of the best ways to evidence this learning is through reflective log. Essentially, this is a journal of experiences as they go about their work reflecting on what happened, what they’ve learned from it and perhaps what they would do differently next time. As many of us are too busy to always have time to stop and write these reflections down, a great way to record this journal is using your phone to make a quick video.
I definitely buy into the ‘lead by example’ and ‘don’t ask others to do something you’re not doing yourself’ (* perhaps with a few exceptions!) school of leadership. so thought it may be a good idea to use my blog to record my own reflective log!