Self-reflection is defined as a serious thought about one’s character and actions. Psychology further defines self-reflection as the examination of one’s own conscious thoughts and feelings.
As a workshop facilitator for youth and adults, I have often opened a session with an icebreaker that asks, “If you were an animal what animal would you be and why”, or “What animal best describes your and why”? The purpose of this activity is twofold: (1) to introduce the group members and recognize similarities, and (2) to initiate a moment of self-reflection. The animal (which is a bird, lol) that I always choose is an owl because I am ‘wise’. A quick internet search of ‘spirit animals’ describes the owl as a creature of integrity whose quiet demeanor makes it seem a little mysterious. The owl is referred to as the serene, wise observer of human society often depicted wearing eyeglasses.
In the article, “4 Key Personality Types And How They Impact The Work You Love”, the author references the four personality types outlined in the book ‘The Chameleon’ by Merrick Rosenberg. The four personality types are eagles, parrots, doves, and owls. The owl personality type is accurate, logical, and inquisitive. Owls thrive in a structured work environment with clearly defined process and in roles that allow alone time and autonomy. Owls are conscientious, process-driven, detail-oriented, and organized. Owls add structure and quality to the work environment. I would say this very closely describes me.
Why is this important?
Self-reflection is a skill that allows you to develop self-awareness. Every goal has a starting point and you cannot move forward or improve unless you know where you are currently. Setting aside time for regular self-reflection is important in becoming a stronger leader. Self-reflection allows you to tune in to who you are, who you want to be, and how you will get there. Self-reflection allows you to evaluate your values and assess your strengths, weaknesses, and motivations. Self-reflection helps you discover how you lead and why. The end results are improvement in your performance and in the performance of those following your lead.
Are you living up to your own expectations and standards?
Nicki Sanders, MSW, is a travel and cupcake lover with a passion for self-discovery and career advancement. She has an extensive background in developing and managing interns and successful internship programs. She is an accomplished supervisor, professor, coach, trainer, and group facilitator who has merged her Master of Social Work degree and 20 years of diverse work experience into a thriving business. Nicki Sanders Consulting helps businesses increase employee recruitment and retention and helps managers uplevel their leadership skills.
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