Reflection enables growth. Without reflection, we cannot evolve and make the most of our experiences. Reflection is also an opportunity to slow down, take a break, and prolong the present instead of rushing to our next task, project, or distraction.
In this issue, we explore three opportunities to reflect on how we communicate in different contexts and scopes.
Reflect After You Share Content
Whether you publish content on the Web or share information and insights with your colleagues at work, you will experience ups and downs. Some content will work better. Some content will feel better. Sometimes, you will achieve your goal. At other times the things you share will not make any impact.
It’s impossible to find a formula for what works and what doesn’t, but analyzing your content, the impact it makes, and the feedback you receive in retrospect can be enlightening.
Consider these questions for a couple of minutes after interacting with your audience or associates. If you can ask some people for feedback, you will gain valuable insights that can affect your next interaction. If you don’t have such feedback, try seeing things from the perspective of the people you’ve communicated with based on their follow-up questions, comments, or any other response you might have received.
Reflect After You Consume Content
The content you consume is also a great source to reflect on and learn from. Some of it makes you think. Some of it triggers an emotion or a memory. And some you are indifferent to.
Being attentive to what triggers each response is an excellent learning opportunity. When you are the audience, you get to experience what your audience experiences. Reflecting on how the content you consume works on you will enable you to apply new ideas to your content. No less important, it will help you avoid mistakes you identify in the content written by others.
After some time, reflecting on the content you consume will also allow you to identify recurrent positive and negative patterns. Recognizing and then utilizing these patterns in your work could be invaluable.
Reflect on Your Evolution
Another level of reflection, which might offer more profound insights, is based on looking at the progress we’ve made.
Take a piece of writing or interaction you had from a few months ago and a more recent one. Try to identify the differences between these two instances: What has improved or merely changed in the way you communicate? Consider the impact (positive or negative) this had on achieving your goals. Use these insights to sketch the road ahead: What will your next evolution look like?