By: Jane Dolan
I have the privilege to work with leaders from diverse sectors including government, medicine, nonprofits, and the arts. Something that constantly comes up during coaching leaders is their
When leaders lead by crisis management, often a root cause is a lack of introspection – an absence of personal and strategic think time. This includes time to think about the future, time to plan, and time to consider what is most important. One way that executives can explore this phenomenon is by reviewing their
What Is Introspection?
The classic definition of introspection is a reflective looking inward, an examination of one’s own thoughts and feelings. A leader needs introspection time for looking inward–to consider who they are, what they value, what motivates them–to build their self-awareness. I work with leaders who know the value of this self-reflection; they show up focused and clear. I also work with leaders who lack this habit of personal introspection. These leaders tend to show up frustrated and unfocused.
Looking inward is critical for self-knowledge and building one’s self-awareness. And as we know through Daniel Goleman’s work on Emotional Intelligence, our most effective leaders are highly self-aware. Self-awareness is the gateway to self-management and relationship building–important competencies for effective leaders.
“A leader needs introspection time for looking inward–to consider who they are, what they value, what motivates them–to build their self-awareness.”
Introspection or examination of personal values, meaning, and purpose creates clarity. It enables leaders to focus on long-term success, not simply fire-fighting. There is power in envisioning and planning for
Strengthening Your Self-Awareness as a Leader
Journaling is a simple practice that leaders can adopt to strengthen introspection and self-awareness. There is great power in writing. Not only does it bring inner clarity,
Leaders need to schedule
“You become 42% more likely to achieve your goals simply by writing them down.”
Jane Dolan is a recognized expert in developing individuals, teams, and organizations. She has consulted with Fortune 500 companies and entrepreneurial start-ups alike in high technology, service, and manufacturing industries. In addition to teaching at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Jane also teaches at Marquette University and the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.