The week between Christmas and the New Year often takes on an ‘other-worldly’ quality. Retreat and introspection are nestled soporifically between festive book ends. The world slows down creating space for reflection.
This kind of benign introspection doesn't take much effort. It would be easy to discount festive downtime as 'cerebral idling'. But it serves an important function in creating distance and bringing perspective to our otherwise hectic lives.
For those committed to life-long learning and continuous improvement, reflection plays a central role. Margaret Wheatley sums it up in her customary no-nonsense manner:
“Without reflection, we go blindly on our way, creating more unintended consequences and failing to achieve anything useful”
Reflection in a work context is more situation-specific. It requires an explicit evaluation of self and is bound by time and place. Our own backgrounds, assumptions, feelings and behaviour influence how we view things and need to be brought into the mix. Stretch the lens to include the wider systemic context and the foundations for reflexivity are laid.
How do we extend the benefits of these quiet festive moments into our normal workday lives? Here are some of my reflections.