Self-reflection is a key component of leadership development. As career women, working to achieve professional goals while balancing our personal lives, self-reflection allows us to see where we need to adjust. To stay on track, adjustments in our priorities, activities, and schedules are often necessary. The best way to make swift adjustments is to periodically step back and reflect on key leadership areas. Some experts advise doing this every three to six months.
Women leaders should regularly examine three (3) target areas. As you review each of the areas, ask yourself how you’re doing and what you should be doing differently—and be sure to answer truthfully. There are no right or wrong answers, but this process will allow you to make decisions about where and how you need to recalibrate your efforts.
Three areas women leaders should examine are:
- Vision and Goals: Do you have a clear vision of the goals that you want achieve? Have you set S.M.A.R.T. goals. In other words, have you set goals that are specific, measureable, attainable, realistic, and time-based?
- Priorities and Time Management: Does your calendar reflect your priorities? Are you being purposeful about carving out time to take incremental steps towards achieving your goals? Are you eliminating activities from your schedule that don’t align with your goals?
- Self-Care: Are you taking care of YOU? Are you regularly engaging in healthy activities that bring you joy? Are you engaging in and adopting habits that boost your energy and improve your overall health and well-being?
Coming up with good answers is far less important than taking the time to ask yourself hard questions and honestly examine where you need to make changes. Reviewing the suggested areas and asking yourself where you are in each of those areas is intended to spark your thinking. If only a subset of them resonates with you, you may find it more interesting to come up with your own list of leadership areas to consider.
The goal here is to gain valuable insights into how you can stay on track as you develop as a leader. You can use this leadership checklist every few months for self-assessment.