You probably turn to mentors, conferences, books, podcasts and articles for professional development advice. But if you're always looking outside for suggestions to become a better manager, you're missing an opportunity to tap into the most powerful source of real-time, actionable (and free!) feedback: Self-assessment. A daily self-assessment practice can be the most impactful growth tool you can use to be a more effective, more fulfilled manager.
Two questions to guide your self-reflection
A daily self-reflection practice doesn't need to take more than 15 minutes, and it doesn't even require that you dig particularly "deep" into your day. It simply starts by answering these two questions as they pertain to your goals and job as a manager:
* What is important?
* What could be done differently to better achieve what's important?
Each week, revisit your answers to ensure they're current with whatever may have been added or removed from your managerial plate.
Take stock of how you spend each day
Your answers to these two questions drive the basis of your self-reflection practice. At the end of each day, spend a few minutes writing down all the things you did--from the major, to the minute. (Try jotting quick notes in your phone every few hours, or draft an email to yourself that you can periodically update to keep a running tab of the day's events.)
To begin each self-reflection practice, start by classifying each item on your list. Highlight those that could be categorized as "priority" based on the important tasks or goals you've already identified.
In the first weeks of your self-reflection practice, it's possible that very few of the things you do in a day will correlate to the...