A lean sensei once told me that the most important word in continuous improvement is “Reflection”. Whether you’re working to improve a product, a process or your own personal performance, reflection seems to be essential. Studies have proven it actually improves performance. So why doesn’t everyone do it?
It could be as simple as not remembering or not wanting to. Or maybe you work on an agile team and there are retrospectives planned, so you focus on driving forward progress until that time marked on the calendar for reflection. Maybe the time your team set aside for reflection gets used for other discussions or focuses on one area of performance but not others.
Fortunately, improving this state of affairs is not rocket science: Schedule time for reflection, even if it’s 10 minutes. If your team conducts retrospective meetings, your personal reflection will help you drive productive conversation. If your team does not pause to reflect, schedule something. Or simply share your learnings with peers while asking what they are doing and why. It will be time well spent.
How often should we reflect on our reflection practices? How can we practice reflection in a way that is effective for us?