In our last conversation we introduced the concept of journaling as a self-observation exercise to help a leader improve his or her active listening skills. By keeping a journal, either online or hard copy, you can capture your thoughts and reflections for future reference.
Journaling is a time-honored practice for many people, including myself. I journal daily. It is an effective tool that promotes self-awareness because it requires you to slow down. This is one of the greatest challenges a leader faces.
What makes slowing down so difficult? The world is changing at such a rapid pace that we simply cannot comprehend or process it all. I highly recommend “Thank You For Being Late” by Thomas Friedman. This book explores the dizzying speed and amount of change we are exposed to on a daily basis and how it is impacting our ability to function. Committing to keeping a journal is one way to offset this reality; it provides a safe place to slow down and be honest with yourself. This is your book, your own story. You have no limitations. It is your personal outlet to express yourself and get to know who you are and what you desire.
Here are some examples of what to include in your journal:
- Solve Problems. Writing about your challenges gives you the accurate perspective necessary to create the right solutions. Write down questions that you have about issues you are facing. When you ask the right questions, you will likely arrive at the right answers. Capture your solutions in writing so that you can easily refer to them later.
- Develop Your Strategy. Your journal can be used for both short and long-term planning. Use it to work through specific strategies on how you will accomplish your goals. Plan everything beginning with the week ahead to the entire year in your journal.
- Foster Self-Awareness. Slowing down through the process of writing your thoughts allows you to become centered and present. If you’re unsure about an issue, address it in writing. When you are unable to see a clear path in your life and business, it’s useful to jot down all the thoughts swirling around in your mind. The answers will come to you.
Improve your leadership awareness by starting your journal today!