Somewhere from your past, you likely remember the evil stepmother from the Snow White fairy tale looking in the mirror and asking, “Mirror, mirror on the wall, who is the fairest of them all?”
Once in a while, we need to look at ourselves in the mirror (without rose-colored glasses) and ask tough leadership questions.
When you looked at yourself in the mirror recently, what questions did you ask?
If you didn’t look, were you just too busy or had you not thought of this? Let me encourage you to do this exercise in the next day or two.
Schedule a solid 30-minute one-on-one session with your mirror and ask yourself meaningful leadership questions.
Here are six suggestions to get you going:
Mirror, mirror on the wall, who on my team has not received the recognition from me they deserve? – Identify often-overlooked people on your team and give them positive reinforcement or genuine words of appreciation and gratitude. Be sure your praise is deserved and heartfelt.
Mirror, mirror on the wall, what one habit do I need to break to be a more effective leader? – You know there is something! Make a commitment to breaking that habit. If you’re not sure how, ask for a little help.
Mirror, mirror on the wall, am I really hearing when I’m listening? – Continue to work at improving your listening skills in your one-on-one conversations as well as your meeting presentations, your body language, and more. Find a way to demonstrate that listening is a strength of yours.
Mirror, mirror on the wall, do I truly admit my mistakes? – Everyone messes up from time to time. When you do, don’t make excuses or shift the blame. Instead, hold yourself accountable, learn from it, and get better.
Mirror, mirror on the wall, do my actions mirror my words? – You may think you are consistent in the way you handle situations, make decisions, or treat people. But do you know how you’re being perceived by others? Inconsistent? Indecisive? Showing favoritism?
Mirror, mirror on the wall, do I demonstrate that I care about the professional development of everyone on my team? – Encourage each of them to have a plan you can pay attention to and support. If you care about their individual growth goals, they will care about the business’s goals.
What other “mirror” questions can you ask yourself? Can you request those who report to you to do this exercise, too?