There's only one corner of the universe you can be certain of improving, and that's your own self. Your own self. So you have to begin there, not outside, not on other people.
Aldous Huxley | 1894 - 1963 | English writer & philosopher
Do I deliver?
Do others enjoy working with me?
Am I growing?
So many details in those three questions. But, if you had to sum up what defines our professional value, I believe that's it. (Who wants to be an unpleasant, stagnant teammate who doesn't make good things happen?)
Review & Reflect is a real-world uncluttered framework for evaluation. It's simplicity encourages regular review and reflection ... inspiring better self-awareness and meaningful professional growth ... all with the intent to create those better results and more enjoyable days we're all looking for.
Cost-effective. No software, apps, or consultants needed.
So many ways to use the message with your team. Below is one way I'd introduce and discuss the ideas in a quick informal meeting using the Review & Reflect pocket cards. (In this surreal time, I'd either mail one to my team in their remote workplace ... maybe with a Thanks for Making Good Things Happen note card ... and then discuss it on a call. Or, I'd put one on everyone's desk when no one is in the office and then have small groups of 4 or less people come together standing or sitting 7 or 8 feet apart.)
It's a Friday ... late afternoon. You invite everyone to come together ... standing or sitting.
I came across this idea I think might be very helpful to each of us ... as a team here, for each other ... and also personally throughout our individual careers ... wherever we might find ourselves.*
Handing a stack of pocket cards to someone...
It's called Review & Reflect. Please take one of these and pass the stack around so everyone gets one.
Once everyone has a card...
I believe it's important to regularly pause and think about how we're doing as teammates.
What I like about this message is how simple it is. Jennifer, could you read for us the definitions of review and reflect that are on the front of the card?
Jennifer reads them.
For me, I like the nuances of each of these definitions.
Review is not just to evaluate or observe something … it's to do it with the intent to improve something ... to improve where possible.
Reflect is not just a reminder to think about something, it's also to do it deeply and carefully ... deeply and carefully. This is something I know I haven't done enough of in my life. But reading this ... in this way ... I intend to make it something I do regularly moving forward and I'm starting this weekend.
I'd like everyone to invest 30 minutes or so somewhere during the next week ... during the work day* or whenever you'd like ... and give attention to the primary three questions on the back of the card.
They'll likely flip the card...
Mike can you read just the 3 headline questions for us?
Mike reads them.
At this point in my career, I really think the answers to these questions ... when answered objectively ... can tell us how we're doing professionally ... and even personally. And after the first more significant investment of time ... that first 30-or-so minutes ... it can be a simple ongoing way to check ourselves at the end of each week ... or maybe even each day.
It’s important to remember though, the key is objectivity. We need to be sure not to coddle ourselves in our review of things. In the long run, as the card also reminds us, truth will help us enjoy so much more.
(coddle: to treat yourself in an indulgent or overprotective way)
At this point, the variations of what to do next are endless. A few quick ideas...
- If you have a smaller group that's tight with each other (a group that Loves Their People), you could plan a discussion for the following Friday afternoon where everyone shares notes on their personal evaluations and then accepts open evaluations of those notes from others during the meeting. Pretty bold.
- If your team isn't quite that tight with each other (yet), you could let people know you'll be talking with them individually around their thoughts (because you Lead Simply which means you Connect regularly with your team).
- You could reference the Review & Reflect pocket card in a follow-up meeting and then introduce one of our other messages that fit your team development needs...
“Now that we've all had a week to self-assess where we are ... to Review & Reflect ... I'd like to introduce a new message I think can help us with that 'improve where possible' definition within Review. It's called [212, Smile & Move, Cross The Line, Lead Simply].”
And one last idea (well … two)...
- For those who have already introduced Lead Simply to their leadership teams, you could follow up that introduction with a quick discussion like the one above; suggesting it as, “Something we can first Model ourselves as leaders … regular self-evaluation and reflection. And then, we can introduce it to our teams so we all can enjoy more of this experience we call life.” (That might be a bit dramatic for some. Work it how you’d like. But, consider keeping the ‘enjoy more’ as a more inspiring and less cliché corporate message.)
- For those about to introduce Lead Simply to their leadership teams, you could include this message at the same time and then include the pocket card as a bookmark in each book.
I’ll tell you. We eat here by creating these messages for you and we still need to remind ourselves of our personal need for solid and ongoing reinforcement (that never, ever ends).
Regarding the ‘wherever we might find ourselves’ statement in the meeting script…
Not everyone is comfortable bringing this fact forward but the likelihood of a team member staying on the team forever is pretty small. Letting your people know you’re sharing this for their improvement no matter where they are in the future, should be more inspiring than if you make it about only you and the organization. (How good will it be when you’re remembered as a better part of someone else’s career?)
Regarding using time during the workday for the review…
This might help people understand how valuable you believe this practice is for the team and your organization.
Get the Review & Reflect pocket card.