Updated August 2017
Today I’ve included 9 useful tools I use as examples of how I reflect. These are to give you some thought starters on how you can very easily include more reflection in both your every day and formal planning.
Goal setting is tricky. Moving your goals into action is even more challenging. Reflecting on your performance is a critical way to assess what you should stop, start and continue doing. There are a number of ways you can reflect on your performance. I like to use a mix of formal and informal methods and do not just rely on my own opinion. By spending some time reflecting on your performance, you will be more able to focus on important versus urgent tasks.
1. Ask Yourself
After a meeting with a client or colleague I often briefly consider ‘what worked well’ and ‘what did not go well’. I use what went well for the next session and change my approach for the areas where I can improve.
2. Ask Your Client or Colleague
Next time you meet with a client or colleague, at the end of the meeting ask them ‘Are you happy with what we’ve covered today?’ Or ‘how well has this met your expectations for the session?’. When they answer, use this as an opportunity to find out more and clarify what they mean.
Don’t enter into a debate. Just listen and ask questions with the intent to really understand how they assess your performance. I consider this to be the most valuable tool I leverage (other than LinkedIn) to aid the growth of my business.
3. Write a Journal
If you have experienced my coaching or training, you already understand the importance I place on having a personal or learning journal to reflect on your journey. In this blog post I share my insights about the power of journaling.
4. Review with Your Boss
5. Accountability Partner
One of the key tools I use when training teams is to match people with an Accountability Partner. I created this idea based on the concept that it’s often easier to achieve something (let’s use regular exercise, for example), if you have committed to go on the journey with someone else.
During the training program I appoint an accountability partner to each person. This is someone that they may or may not work closely with. They are required to meet up with each other in between their training sessions and discuss their plans to address their opportunities and pain points. I encourage each pair to share their goals with each other and then hold each other accountable for reaching them.
Who could you approach to be your accountability partner?
6. Use our Self Audit Tools
One of the key thinking exercises we use for our Career Consultations is my Who Am I Exercise. This is an exercise I adapted from Jack Collis’ book, Work Smarter Not Harder, and is a wonderful way to re-set and reflect. If you would like your own copy of this exercise it is available here.
7. Online Analytics
Each of the key social media platforms I use offers analytics and insights to help me understand how well my content engages and reaches my audience. These tools have been invaluable in showing me the type of content that Think Bespoke’s community enjoys reading. When was the last time you reviewed your social media analytics and made changes to your content as a result of this?
8. Financial Performance
I get great value from the online accounting software option called Xero. This has been a significant time saver for invoicing and reconciling and gives me easy access to key reports to track the financial performance of my business.
9. Market Research
Market Research does not have to be expensive. Survey Monkey is a website that allows you to create and publish surveys at very affordable prices. It can help you ask a larger number of customers or employees for their feedback. The bonus of this tool is the option to have your results analysed and shared in a report.
A client used this tool to gain feedback from all the staff in her organisation about their managers. She used the survey results to develop a management training plan for the organisation’s key departmental managers.
You may also like to investigate Wufoo, an online form builder that helps you create online web forms to power your contact forms, online surveys, event registrations and accept payments.
I encourage you to dedicate some time over the following few weeks to reflect on your performance over the last quarter and use this information to stop, listen, celebrate and reflect.