Posted by: drewdice | March 23, 2010

Time Out!

Growing up, I remember kids dreading getting a “time out”. When a teacher sent someone to the back of the room, so that child could be alone, reflecting on what she did “wrong”, other kids shuddered at the thought of receiving that treatment. What could be worse, right?

I believe the intent of the exercise is a good one: teach children the power of reflection, so they can learn from their mistakes and successes, and become more enlightened and empowered to succeed. The challenge is in how the exercise is delivered. Reflection (time out) = punishment, and so kids have this ingrained in their being from an early age. Is it any wonder most adults don’t make time for reflection?

Study after study show the importance of planning, setting goals (and writing those goals down), checking in against those goals and reflecting on a regular basis (daily is ideal).

Mintzberg and Gosling wrote a good article on the power of reflection. I think you will find it a valuable read.

Ever heard the phrase “if you don’t know where you are going, any road will take you there”? Not pausing to reflect creates the same outcome. Some people are so busy “working hard” and “getting things done” that I fear they are working against themselves, not serving customers, friends and family members in the most complete ways possible, and, as a result, live unfulfilled lives. What a shame.

Hit the pause button. Rejoice over your self imposed “time out”. Do it often. I’d wager you’ll like the results.

Cheers,

Andrew

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