In this episode of Relationships at Work, communications and leadership nerd (and host) Russel Lolacher poses questions to help us be curious in our reflections and intentions in the year ahead.
Russel shares questions we need to ask ourselves to better understand how effective we were in our journey and for our team this passed year. He asks us to use those questions to fuel our leadership intentions for 2024.
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As we wrap up the year, spend some time with friends and family, put the finishing touches on 2023 and look to 2024... It's such a good time to reflect on the year that was and determine how we want to show up as impactful leaders in the year ahead.
How we want to show up for our organization. How we want to show up for our teams. How we want to show up for ourselves?
To help with this, I thought I'd share some questions to help understand where we've been (reflections) and where we want to go (intentions).
Curiosity is so baked into great leadership so why should this time of year be any different? Especially when being curious about ourselves as leaders is so key to assessing and addressing.
To be fair, I hate resolutions. Complete waste of time. Has anyone done anything with them in the history of New Year Resolutions? OK, we do make the gyms really busy for about 2 months and then we go back to the world we’re used to, not the world we want.
So I’m not going to tell you want to do. But I am going to hopefully pique your interest in how to understand yourself a bit better and be more intentional in your year ahead.
So, I got questions. When reflecting this year, here's a few things to think about and raise some of our own self-awareness.
- What were my biggest leadership challenges this past year, and what did they teach me? We all can’t hit it out of the park every minute of every day. Identify areas for improvement and growth that we may need to focus on.
- How have my actions and decisions impacted my team and organization? Consider the outcomes of our leadership decisions. This introspection can reveal how effectively we're supporting our team's growth and the organization's goals, and what changes might be needed to create a more positive impact.
- In what areas can I improve my communication and relationships with my team? Effective leadership heavily relies on good communication and strong relationships. Assess how well we are connecting with our team, understanding their needs, and addressing concerns.
- What were my goals for personal and professional development this passed year and did I achieve them? Look at how successful we were at growing and developing ourselves. Books, courses, podcasts, mentoring, etc. What allowed us to be successful or not and the reasons for both. Are these goals that are still meaningful and should be carried forward or should they be replaced?
- How can I better foster a culture of innovation, inclusivity, and collaboration in my team? Think about the work environment and culture we’re impacting and cultivating. Reflect on strategies to encourage creativity, ensure inclusivity and belonging, and promote teamwork. Are we modeling the leadership we would want?
These are just some questions to get you started. To take notes around. The point is it’s a starting place that will probably, hopefully inspire more. They should help us get to know ourselves and fuel our intentions.
Got you thinking? Good.
Once you’ve reflected, the curiousity has to continue. It has to be leveraged to be a better leader. We can always be better.
So now lets’ get curious about what kind of impact we want to have in 2024.
So, when planning our intentions this year, here's a few things to think about in fueling our purpose in the days, weeks and months ahead.
- How will I better embrace and support my core values in my leadership? Identify those key values of yours (if you haven't already) that are most important as a leader, and understand how to use them as a compass guiding our decisions and behaviors throughout the year.
- What impact do I want to have on my team and the organization? Visualize the kind of influence we wish to have, considering how we want to be remembered by our team and what legacy we want to leave in our current role. This can be related to team performance, morale, personal development of team members, or the overall culture of the team.
- How do I want to grow and learn as a leader this year? Think about areas where you want to improve, such as communication skills, strategic thinking, emotional intelligence, or adaptability. How will we make time for this development? How do we know we're successful? What is the most effective way we like to learn and how can we lean into that?
- What challenges am I willing to embrace to further my leadership journey? Embracing challenges is a crucial part of growth, so think about the types of situations or tasks outside your comfort zone that could contribute to your development as a leader.
- What relationships do I need to foster and maintain over the coming year? Identify those relationships that might need intentional effort from you, what that effort could look like and how you can help them on their leadership journeys.
- How can my goals better align with those of the organization? Does what I do or could do align with them and help them further along? And if they don't, what can I do about it that will?
- What are my plans for self-care and defending boundaries this year? Understand what you need to keep you grounded and strong on your journey. Define what you need and determine if they still feel relevant or they need to be updated? Are you communicating your self-care needs and boundaries to those who need to know them?
First reflection, now intention. Asking ourselves these questions, certainly leads to important conversations we need to have with ourselves. They do for me and I hope it does the same for you.
And happy new year to you! And thank YOU for prioritizing your leadership mindset and your relationships at work.