McKella Sawyer
January 20, 2023

Reflection: The Secret Ingredient to Growth That We Often Skip

Reflection: The Secret Ingredient to Growth That We Often Skip

Reflection is one of our core Redmond values for a good reason. This allows us to see how far we’ve come, what’s working and what’s not (and more importantly, why), and where we can improve. 

When we take the time to pause, understand where we are and where we want to go, and ask ourselves the right questions about whether we’re living in integrity with our values, we can consciously choose our next steps instead of just reacting our way through life!

For many of us, it’s easy to get wrapped up in our day-to-day tasks and demands without ever pausing to come up for air, look around, and ask important questions about what we’re doing.

Here’s how reflection helps us elevate the human experience, and how you can use it to improve your life as well!

How Do We Make Time for Reflection at Redmond?

There are tons of jokes out there about meetings being useless (“this meeting should have been an email!”) and a lot of those jokes are true if the meetings don’t have a purpose.

Reflection is a BIG part of our meetings at Redmond. We like to reflect together as groups because more perspectives help us gain clarity and craft even better plans for moving forward.

Here are some reflection-based questions you might hear in our meetings, or just in everyday conversations and chats!

  • What are you seeing? 
  • What’s working here? 
  • What’s NOT working?
  • Why? (As a follow-up to all these questions)
  • What’s our greatest opportunity for improvement?

We also take time to celebrate our progress and momentum. 

Each month, our various locations have an all-hands meeting for all associates at that location to attend, where various business units and departments will share what they’ve been working on and the progress they’ve made. (And then we eat really good food, which is also very important to us.)

We also throw a year-end party at our different locations where we acknowledge and celebrate our progress over the past year, which inspires and propels us into the coming year! (And of course, we eat even MORE food at these parties. And play games. Those things are important too!) 

When done right, reflection can be incredibly motivating!

How to Make Reflection a Part of Your Life

1- Make Time

The most important thing about reflection is to make time to do it. This doesn’t have to take a lot of time, and setting aside a few minutes each day to reflect can pay big dividends.

Experiment with different times and methods until you find something that works. (And if it ever stops working, reflect on why and make adjustments!)

2- Reflect On Your Own

You might want to take a few minutes in the morning or evening to journal, talk, or even think about the past day or so and ask…

  • What’s working?
  • What isn’t working?
  • Why?
  • What’s my next right step?

This might happen in a journal or in a conversation, or even just in your head. (Though we find that discussing it or writing it down tends to be more effective.)

3- Reflect With Others 

It’s also really useful to bring others into your reflection process to see where you’re being helpful (and where you’re not), how you’re impacting others, what is and isn’t working, and how you’d like to adjust. 

Those questions we just mentioned are also great to review with your partner, kids, coworkers, etc.

Real talk: sometimes these conversations can get uncomfortable, and sometimes we might hear things we don’t really want to hear. People in our lives often have plenty of opinions here. It’s important to discuss with people who know you well and see you clearly so you can get the most helpful feedback.

Go into these talks with an open mind, and think about what you can learn from them. Really try to understand what the other person is seeing. If a suggestion really doesn’t ring true for you, you don’t have to follow it. But if you hear something over and over, it might be time to take a look at yourself and ask if it’s time to make some changes.

5- Celebrate 

Also, don’t forget to take time to acknowledge where you are and how far you’ve come. 

We can get so fixated on what we’re doing right now and where we want to go that we don’t notice how much we’ve progressed.

Every once in a while, ask yourself: what is there to celebrate? How have I grown? What am I proud of? What am I learning about myself?

This can be incredibly motivating because it’s inspiring to see our progress and what we’ve already done, rather than focusing on how far we might have to go.

Reflection Leads to Growth

Reflection allows us to slow down, understand where we are, celebrate, see what’s working (and what isn’t), and think about what’s possible for us.

It helps us to get the most out of what we experience and to learn from those experiences. When we take time to deeply understand and learn from our experiences, that's when we really learn and grow! 

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