What do you see in your reflection?
I was talking with one of our managers today about managing a team and we agreed that one of the challenges is that there is little (uninterrupted) time for thinking. In a fast paced business lots is said and done and sometimes its only when you reflect that you see the connections, reconsider what was said and what was really meant, and also put achievements and failings into context.
Taking time to assess what you see in your reflection can also be a time to unpick your emotions, to understand why you are feeling what you are feeling and to decide whether you are ok with it, or whether you want to make changes.
We all probably know of colleagues who have gone off on their holidays only to return and shortly later to resign. The break helped them reflect and decide to progress their careers elsewhere.
With staff returning from their Summer holidays, I’d encourage all managers to check in with their reports. Ask probing questions – don’t let them give vanilla answers – explore what they are saying. If they say they are ok – that might be true but try exploring deeper – what are the good bits of the job and what is less good. What’s easy, what’s hard – what’s boring and why. Also check that they know what is needed of them to progress to the next level. Revisit what motivates them.
Ask them how well you have supported them – again come at it from another angle – when did you feel most supported – when least etc.
Listen carefully. This will all be great reflection material. I’d suggest booking time in your work day every so often to think. Reflection / thinking time isn’t a hobby done out of work hours – it’s a key part of any management job and a key part of making sure that your career and team are the best that they can be.
Alistair Moore – Chairman, Trace Recruitment