Self-reflection exercise: What makes a good leader?

Self-reflection exercise: What makes a good leader?

A quick 5-step exercise to help you improve your leadership skills

Anyone in a position of leadership knows how hard it is to manage a team. It can be even harder to step away from the daily grind to reflect on what makes us a good leader, or work on improving our managerial skills.

But these moments of self-reflection are crucial, and the benefits they provide cannot be understated. Understanding ourselves is what enables us to understand others, and get the best out of them.

That’s why we’ve devised this quick self-reflection exercise for leaders. Take a few minutes to gain a deeper understanding of your leadership style by following the five steps below.

The self-reflection leadership exercise

  1. Write down the adjectives that best describe you as a manager.
  2. Take a break. Do this exercise again but, this time, think of the words your team members would use to describe you as manager.
  3. Look for consistent themes, and for inconsistencies. Ask yourself what’s causing these inconsistencies.
  4. Circle every negative adjective listed. Look for themes again. Is there something that links some of them together?
  5. Finally, underline every positive adjective listed. Again, is there a theme or something that joins them together? What is it?

Whilst random words alone won’t suddenly reveal a ready-made plan of action to make you a better manager, they can uncover a lot.

By highlighting themes, or triggering strong emotions that make you dig deeper into why you react a certain way, this exercise will be a solid first step towards becoming more self-aware. Which, in turn, will result in being a more attentive leader.

If you would like a few additional exercises to spur you on your self-awareness journey, don’t hesitate to book a call with us. You can also order our Career Coaching Cards and make self-reflection a regular part of your career development routine, or register for our More About Me workshop.

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