How Reflective Writing Contributes to Leadership
How often do you reflect on the stories that you tell about yourself? How about your team, your values, your family, your leadership? The stories you tell shape your understanding of the world and yourself. Taking time to reflect and understand these stories is a key to developing as a leader.
Some make time to reflect and write about what comes to mind on a daily basis. Sometimes pressures force reevaluation before you make the time. Some have not yet engaged with reflective writing to consider the stories told from this quiet vantage point. If you have yet to implement this practice, consider giving it a try.
Taking time away from the hustle and busy-ness of life creates the space for reflection. What stories float around in your mind and linger on in your heart? These stories are ripe for exploration. Consider the stories that come to mind about the first time you stepped up to lead? What inspired you? What became of your actions? What would you do differently knowing what you know now?
When you take time to reflect and think through stories, new connections, patterns, and revelations come to light. In better understanding your stories, you can hone in on the details that underpin your core values, passions, and the places where you have consistently persisted. Take one topic for reflection at a time without bounds; it should be relaxing, personal, and written.
Consider bringing your perspective into conversation with others and see how it evolves or use it to generate insight into what to do next time. Reflective writing fosters personal and professional growth as well as is a tool for renewal.
Kim Jordan is an Adjunct Lecturer for the Management Department and the Walter Center for Strategic Leadership at Ohio University College of Business where she advises students in the Strategic Leadership Certificate. She teaches MGT 2590, which serves as the entry-level curriculum for the Strategic Leadership Certification and is intended to accelerate personal growth, professional development and leadership identity of students in partnership with the Management Department and the Walter Center for Strategic Leadership.