Friday Five – Reflections Edition

The great thing about the Friday Five is it provides a time for reflection on the week. A chance to look back at some successes you’ve had and a chance to see how you could have done something differently. In the almost 3 years I have been doing the Friday Five for my bosses (Hi Dave and Carol!) as a part of my weekly work routine, I have found it has helped me learn more and prepare for the week ahead.

As it turns out, there is a little bit of research to back this up. (Yes, I work for some really smart people.) There is a fantastic article from the Harvard Business Review on the value of self-reflection and why you should make time for it:

Research by Giada Di Stefano, Francesca Gino, Gary Pisano, and Bradley Staats in call centers demonstrated that employees who spent 15 minutes at the end of the day reflecting about lessons learned performed 23% better after 10 days than those who did not reflect.

While I don’t do this enough, I find I am being more intentional in setting time aside for self-reflection. A lot of that times comes when I’m out for a run. Since the beginning of this year, I have eliminated music and other distractions from my running routine and I am able to spend a little more time in my thoughts. Sometimes that’s a good thing and sometimes not! Or when I’m on my commute home. I have about a 20 minute walk to the train, (well, I can do it in 17 minutes, but who’s counting) and then another 30 minute train ride. I get some good reflection time there.

For HR professionals, or any job, the day can be, and usually is, a roller coaster. You can experience the highest of highs in the morning as you see some of the hard work pay off for a team you’ve been working with. And you can see that all come crashing down at the blink of an email when you have to deal with some sticky situations. These highs and lows require some reflection to keep your sanity and to continue learning. It also requires a little more, but I will be talking more about that in May.

Here is another great snippet from the HBR article:

The most useful reflection involves the conscious consideration and analysis of beliefs and actions for the purpose of learning. Reflection gives the brain an opportunity to pause amidst the chaos, untangle and sort through observations and experiences, consider multiple possible interpretations, and create meaning. This meaning becomes learning, which can then inform future mindsets and actions. For leaders, this “meaning making” is crucial to their ongoing growth and development.

On that note, it’s time to reflect on this week’s Friday Five:

1. How are you doing on a scale of 1-10? (1 = can’t find a wall hard enough to hit with your head; 10 = rocking and rolling) 7. This was a pretty solid week. As I mentioned above, there were some really high highs. (No this isn’t a silly 4:20 joke). There were also a few challenges that took what should have been a 10 week down to a 7. 

2. What are the couple of big things you’ll be tackling next week? I’ll be speaking on a panel at the TA Tech Spring Conference, on Sunday, with some fellow HR dudes. I’m looking forward to this experience as it is one of several speaking engagements I have this year. One of my goals for 2017 is to get more involved and speak more and this is a great start. Thanks for the opportunity, Tim Sackett! I’ll be hitting the road, as well, to do some office visits, facilitate some sessions, and take in a few sights. Should be fun! 

3. Any good ‘wins’ from last week you feel proud of – no matter how big or small? After a few years off, I started running before work. Early on in my running career, I made it a habit to run before work. But life changes. With a move, kids’ new morning school routines, and the addition of a puppy, that morning run lost priority. Now, things have settled in and I can finally get back into it and it has been great. It also helps that the sun is creeping up at around 5:30am. Seriously, when you can catch a sunrise almost every morning, there is no better way to start the day. 

4. Do you need any support / help with anything you expect to tackle next week? I have tried to get into podcasts and I’m really struggling to stay focused. I find my mind wondering off to other things and I end up missing half the stuff. While this happens when I’m reading, I can easily go back a page or paragraph. Maybe it’s the content. They are not all work-related. I love the Runner’s World Series and I’m a huge fan of Coach Jenny Hadfield’s. I’m not a fan of the fiction series ones. It’s like “books on tape” for me. I like to read a great fiction piece. I can’t listen to it. Anyway, any tips on how to stay focused? Or maybe I just scrap them and try something new. 

5. How’s your bandwidth? (1 being I don’t have time to eat and 10 being I have nothing to do)? Work =2; Life=2. And I wouldn’t have it any other way. 

What are some things you are working on and how can I help you?

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