It’s early October and autumn has officially arrived! I have always appreciated having a change in seasons because it signals something different happening in the environment. A new season brings an anticipation of something new and exciting to come.
When autumn begins, I can look forward to my favorite sports (football and ice hockey), adjust my wardrobe from sundresses to sweaters and scarfs, enjoy more outside activities with cooler weather, and begin planning for the holiday festivities!
While season changes may trigger some changes to our clothing, home decor and even the food we consume, it’s a good opportunity for it to trigger some self-awareness activities at work.
In my years of coaching, I’ve learned that one leadership trait that is often missing from the well-rounded executive is self-awareness.
Without self-awareness, it’s difficult, if not impossible, to identify areas needed for further development.
What may contribute to this lack of self-awareness?
I would boil it down to this:
- We are too busy “doing” that we don’t make time to reflect – think – be introspective.
- We don’t ask for feedback.
- We are not fully present in the moment to pick up on non-verbal cues and other subtleties of a situation.
So here’s what I’m proposing. Take advantage of the fact that the seasons change about once a quarter during the year and use the change of seasons to prompt a self-assessment of how you are showing up in life.
Here are some sample questions to get started:
- How am I spending my time? (at work and leisure)
- Is my career moving in the desired direction?
- How would I describe the health of relationships in my life? (work and home)
- What word/phrase would I use to describe the theme of the last season/quarter?
- What behaviors or habits do I want to change or refine?
You can certainly come up with different questions, but you get the idea.
Seasons represent the cycles of life and offer the necessary variations required for change and growth. So while you are sprucing up the yard with mums and pumpkins, take advantage of the change in seasons to do a little internal sprucing up as well!
Martha Duesterhoft is a Partner with PeopleResults. Follow her on Twitter @mduesterhoft or connect by email at firstname.lastname@example.org