New Year’s Reflections
As we embark on this new year, it is important to take a moment to pause and reflect on all that was learned in 2020. I encourage you to take a moment this weekend and look back at the last 365 days of your professional and personal life, and share what you discover with your professional team and/or family.
Years from now, when you speak of 2020, what will you share? What stories of hope or challenges would you use to illustrate this narrative? Will you remember the ways you were inspired, such as the 7 pm appreciation hour in honor of our health care workers? Or perhaps a story of overcoming an exceptional challenge in your workplace? Most importantly, what did you learn about yourself? How well did you respond to stress? What worked and what didn’t? What resources did you find useful during these specific times?
I encourage you to write down these 2020 reflections. A mentor of mine, Kristy B, has always encouraged me to do the same – write it down in the moment, or as soon as you can after the event or feeling. In this way, you can capture the lessons or teachings that these stories invoked.
Each story holds a lesson, and each lesson can enhance the company vision or its business goals. These lessons, if incorporated well, can quickly become the updated habits for your company or workplace.
A simple activity to remember the lessons from 2020, so that these reflections can be incorporated into the future: a ten-minute journaling activity.
In such a forward-looking culture, we often forget to look back. It can be a challenge to understand how to do a reflective activity or where to start. If this is the case for you, I recommend using your calendar, email inbox or personal journal to get there.
Look back at March or April of 2020, and note the activity, the conversations, people and topics that were guiding themes each week or month. Then start to move forward in time until you reach the end of 2020. As you do so, write down the prominent lessons and people who were part of each “era” of 2020. A colleague of mine calls this, “gold mining” which implies that even challenging or painful lessons are still gold, in that they are often more valuable than the lighter experiences.
At this point of the exercise, you should have quite a list! Now review the ways that list can be incorporated into your plan for the future, whether that be for your family, or in your company workplace. Determine which lessons should be built into your personal or team’s practices, so that those lessons are incorporated in your future. To add to your list and capture all lessons from your company, consider sharing these lessons with your team and encourage them to do the same. Or, have a family meeting and make a list of the resources your family will rely on when times are challenging.
Finally, please contact us if you would like more information about how your company can use the lessons of 2020 in your business plan and why this can minimize legal issues in your company.
A special thanks to Tara Parker-Pope for her article that inspired this post: https://www.nytimes.com/2021/01/01/well/live/new-year-habits-gratitude.html
*NOTE: Our theme for 2021 is “Building Workplace Culture,” and includes our resource, summarized and edited, from dRworks, a group of trainers, educators and
organizers working to build strong progressive organizations and institutions. This culture includes: Perfectionism, Sense of Urgency, Defensiveness, Quantity Over Quality, Only One Right Way, Either/Or Thinking, Power Hoarding, Fear of Open Conflict and Objectivity.