Camille: Welcome back George.
Camille: It's nice to have you back after your week of vacationing. I hope you had a lovely relaxing. Okay, I know it wasn't the most relaxing vacation, but I bet it was super fun.
George: Super fun and really fulfilling and it was the kind of vacation where sons Elementary School had a week off for President's Week and I took the opportunity to take him away for a week, an undisclosed theme park location, and had a full week Sunday morning through Friday night with him and me.
George: It's the first time since he was a baby I think that I've been with him nonstop, 24 7. And that was wonderful, and it forced me to fully pull away from work much sooner than I do.
George: I don't know about you, Camille, we talked about this a little bit. When I go on vacation, it takes me a full week to fully draw away. A full week. So if I'm gonna get a real vacation where I want, be like altered, it needs to be two plus weeks. It really, really does. Otherwise, I'm not fully gone.
George: Not this time. This time because of the kid, I was fully drawn away within a day because I was on him the whole time. And that was wonderful. It had a great effect. It wasn't, sip and mojitos by the pool, but it was so fun, so interactive and, it activated my brain in a way that I really loved.
George: And I'm exhausted, but I'm 90% happily exhausted.
Camille: I love the idea that because you had this draw, Avi pulling you into the vacation experience, that it made you disconnect from work so much more quickly.
Camille: That's so awesome because yeah, we isn't that great. We've talked about this before. It always took me a while, took me days to disconnect from work before I really got into vacation mode.
Camille: Not anymore, though. I'm choosing in advance whether I'm doing some work while I'm on vacation or not.
Camille: I choose which then specifically when I'm gonna do it. So it's really clear to me how my things gonna flow. So I like it that way.
George: Maybe a fun idea would be, once again, to ask our favorite Shulamit, does she have a few tips for how to fully pull away from your work context and be in your personal context?
Camille: Yeah. I'll have to think about whether that's like a question to ask her or is it a topic to dive into. Yeah. It does for me anyhow, relate to what I wanna talk about today, which is it's so important that we slow down.
Camille: And so your question was really about the ultimate, like I wanna completely disconnect. Yeah. And the fact that that is super valuable to us then returning as productive humans in the world. And happy humans and present humans and all the things that we want to be, that if we don't step away, we can't sustain that 24 7.
Camille: So I think about same idea when I think about today's topic, which is reflection. Which is probably our most recurring theme on the podcast, don't you think? Yes. Like you've called this out.
Camille: And I think I've said in the past like, we need to focus on this as a topic. Yes. And so that's what I wanna do today is focus on this as the topic of the hour.
Camille: So maybe it's related to that. Like the next level is then how do you actually disconnect? Because I know so many people struggle with going on vacation.
Camille: Maybe the solution does, everybody should take Avi on their vacation? And they'll disconnect? Yes. Yeah. Quick solution. He's like, yes, take him.
George: I can pick the week.
Camille: We'll sign him up!
Camille: Welcome to The Belief Shift. The show that explores. What you really need to know about building a successful small business.
Camille: I'm your host, Camille Rapacz: small business coach and consultant who spent too much of her career working in corporate business performance.
George: And I'm George Drapeau: your co-host and her brother. I'm a leader in the tech world bringing my corporate perspective, but mostly my curiosity.
Camille: Together, we're exploring beliefs about success and how to achieve it. But mostly we're bringing practical solutions so you and your business can thrive.
Camille: So I did do an episode at the end of 2022. That was Katie and I where I talked through how to do reflection. I went through specific questions for the end of year reflection, like, what should you actually think about, yeah. What should you reflect on at the end of the year to prepare for the next year of planning and getting ready for your business.
Camille: So today I wanted to talk about the idea of reflection and all the ways you can use it. Well, maybe not even all, cause we don't have that kind of time, but why do we bring this up so much? Why does it matter so much? What should we be reflecting on? And then how do you do it?
Camille: How do you actually make it work well? So those are kind of the three things I really wanna hit when it comes to talking about, focusing on the idea of reflection. Okay.
Camille: You ready to reflect on reflection?
George: I think so, yeah. I'm reflecting on this right now. Yes, I am ready to go.
Camille: I'd like to start with clear definitions. So, okay. A couple of definitions. One is that reflection is serious thought or consideration. An idea Yes. About something, especially one that is written down or expressed.
Camille: So that's one. The American Psychological Association defines self-reflection as the examination, contemplation and analysis of one's thoughts, feelings, and actions. So that sounds great, but like then still, why do I care? Why is it so important?
Camille: Before I go into my long list of things I have to say about it, I'm curious about your thoughts, George. Like why do you think this keeps coming up in the podcast? Or why do you feel like it matters so much. Your own perspective?
George: That's two questions. I have different answers. Both those questions. The why it matters so much. I am actually a firm believer of the old phrase, the unexamined life is not worth living. I don't remember who said it, if it's one of the Greeks or something, but it's compact and I find it to be true going through your life and never stopping back to think about it in about any way, any examination is good.
George: There's some forms of examinations that are better. And I think we're gonna talk about that. But any examination is good.
George: Talk about relationships, for example, maybe you had a bad relationship. In my personal life, this is my second marriage. It's going much better than my first marriage was.
George: My first marriage, I wasn't really ready to be married. After we divorced, I spent a lot of time in therapy and on my own thinking about what went wrong, what I learned. I really, because if I hadn't, I could have gone from that relationship to another one and not learned anything, not changed, anything.
George: Not really realized, could I have done something early on dating to kind of weed out a bad partner or be better for myself. So reflecting on that was hugely important to see what I learned. Didn't have to be perfect, but spending the time doing that. There's so many things we can learn by looking back at what we did.
George: One reason why it's important from a business perspective is because reflection is an important part of steering. If you're steering your business in a different direction, you can't steer effectively unless you get telemetry in reflection about what actions you did led you in that direction .
Camille: Yeah. By the way, the unexamined life is not worth living as Socrates. Yeah. Okay. I didn't know that I Googled it.
George: Oh, you had a chance right there.
Camille: I know. Dang it. I always miss opportunities to sound way smarter than I am
George: So Awesome. Thank you, Socrates. Yeah, it's brilliant. That's a beautiful phrase.
Camille: It's such a foundational thing that I think we so quickly overlook. Like, I don't know why it's so, well, I have ideas about why it's so hard for us to do, but yes.
George: May I ask you a question?
George: Go about people who are the opposite. Have you ever run into somebody who says, I don't look back. I move on. Do you know what I mean? Hmm. Yeah.
Camille: If their perspective is, cuz I can't do anything about it. Mm-hmm. , I get that there is some sort of like healthy perspective thereof.
Camille: I can't do anything about that. So I'm gonna focus on the stuff that I can affect change on. Okay. Yeah. That I understand. But then what's missing is if you're literally never looking backwards. Yeah. And reflecting on what happened. How can you go forwards and do things better? Mm-hmm. , aren't you gonna keep repeating much of the same, of what happened?
Camille: And I guess if what happened was fantastic, then maybe you don't care. Right. But most of us are like, I'd like that to be better.
George: Now that I think about it, this is one of my follow up interview questions. When I'm doing behavioral-based interviewing, they go through a situation and then we reflect.
George: After I've got all that data about what they actually did, then we'll go back and ask questions about what might have changed in different circumstances. Or can you think of anything you might have done differently? I realize that's a test question. And if they have not reflected, if their answer is no, I don't really think so, then okay.
George: It tells me you are not reflective. You're not thoughtful. You're not for this team.
Camille: Yeah, I think that's such a great question to work into any of those interviews or any of those scenarios where you're really trying to see how does a person think? How does a person move through the world?
Camille: Will they go, huh? And actually think?
George: I can totally imagine asking you that question about something in your life, and I imagine your answer would be, oh yeah, I thought about it. I mean, after thinking about it, here's the options that I'd gone through. I might've done it this way, but in after reflection, I'm satisfied with how I actually did it.
George: So I would've gotten, I can imagine getting an answer for me, like, yeah, I reflected, here's what I went through. I'm still fine with what I did. This is perfectly fine answer. But it shows that you worked
Camille: through it.
Camille: Yeah, absolutely.
Camille: Or even if I hadn't thought through it yet, I would do it right that moment.
Camille: Would you and be like, oh, that's a great question. Let me think about. Yes. And kind of work it out in that moment, because that, to me would seem normal, like, that's what you should normally do.
Camille: I mostly run into people who are like, wow, I wish I was better at it.
Camille: Kinda like what you were were saying earlier, we'll get into this more later in the pod, but I see the value in it and how, why don't I do that as much as I should? Right. How about, isn't it part of my routine?
Camille: And that's really why we're talking about this on the podcast, is how do you make it more part of your routine?
Camille: But that always starts with like, well, why should I even care about it? Yeah. So some of my thoughts about the why thinking about business. Okay, so in business, you're constantly solving problems, that's your job. There's problem after problem. If you are doing reflection on a recurring basis, on a regular basis, it lets you solve the problems while they're still small.
Camille: Yeah. Instead of waiting till they're in your face and big, you're reflecting enough to go, oh yeah, there's an opportunity and there's an opportunity. So you can actually get at problems while they're smaller, and then theoretically easier to actually solve . So that's one reason. Very cool. Reflections really good.
Camille: Yeah. It's also a way to help you take advantage of opportunities. If an opportunity shows up, that requires you to think about that opportunity, or you should be at least not jumping at it. Is that the direction I wanna go? I see this opportunity. Is that right for my business? Is that for me?
Camille: Reflection is a way to help you take advantage of those opportunities rather than quickly being like, yes, no. You're really thinking about whether it's the right move. Yeah. It's a way to make small, manageable improvements. So whenever we're all struggling to improve, reflection can actually help you do improvements in a less overwhelming way.
Camille: It gets down to another theme that we're gonna get into talking about more, which is the idea of a growth mindset, which connects with the idea of a learning organization. Cool. Like, do you have a growth mindset as a business owner? And is your company the business that you're building?
Camille: Even if it's you, are you building a b business that's based on learning, continuously learning.
Camille: The problems that we run into though, is like the world is moving fast and we're struggling to make time for all this stuff. Yeah. And we don't prioritize stillness. I think this is why these meditation apps have us all blown up.
Camille: Like it's really hard for us to make time to be still and be in our thoughts, yeah.
George: Meditation reminds me of a girlfriend I had who is horrible at meditation.
Camille: I know people who are like, oh, no, it makes me crazy. It really stresses them out to meditate, which is so, ah, not the way it's supposed to work.
Camille: But reflection is kind of one of those things where you have to stop for a minute, yeah. So that's why we're bringing it up again in the podcast here, is because I know that it's hard to do. I know that it's not typically a routine or a habit that we're encouraged to build, but it's so important.
Camille: So again, going back to what American Psych Association has said about this, the psychologist described self-reflective awareness as one of the most crucial life skills a person can have. I did not know that. Yeah. When I looked it up, I was like, wow, that was pretty powerful statement to me. Yeah. I mean, I knew reflection was important, but I didn't think they were gonna call it one of these most critical skills to have.
Camille: So now that I think about that, I'm like, why are we not talking about that more often?
George: That's a good point. I hear a lot more discussion in society today about the benefits of counseling and therapy. Better help that advertises on mm-hmm. , Kona needs a friend and stuff, and other podcasts, which is good.
George: I'm not sure that they're making the explicit connection between therapy and reflection though, which is a big part of what it is, but it, it is there. So yeah. Maybe it's happening in the shadows.
Camille: And maybe if more people thought about therapy as self-reflection, it wouldn't seem so scary.
Camille: Some people might still be like, no, self-reflection still sounds awful.
Camille: So the other thing this makes me think of, and this is something that I've brought up in a previous podcast, but I wanna bring it back to this idea of how reflection is really about helping us slow down and prepare ourselves to do more critical and analytical thinking. Which we do not do automatically.
Camille: We have to actually do some work in order to get to that place of thinking more analytically. I've brought this book up before, but it, I keep coming back to it. And we might have to go deeper into this book cuz it's so good. But it's a really fat book. So it's called Thinking Fast and Slow by a Daniel Kahneman.
Camille: He's a Noble Prize winner in economics. And you could Google this, where he talks about Systems One and Systems Two thinking. So Systems one thinking is are automatic, like we automatic, we cook it with like little or no effort to do stuff. Make a decision, do a thing. All this automatic stuff that we do.
Camille: And you know, we need that. Like our brains are constantly looking for these quick ways to move through life, yeah. So we have our instincts, we have our, like all of these things that help us, whatever name we put to them that help us be fast as we move through the world.
Camille: And we live in a culture that really values that, yes. We don't live in a culture that values as much the slowing down systems two thinking, which is where we're allocating attention to the effortful mental activities that demand it, including complex computations. Yeah, that is Daniel Kahneman's definition.
Camille: But it's this idea that you're going to slow down and be more analytical in how you're gonna think about it. So we need both of these types. We need systems one and two, to be clear. Yes. It's not saying like one's better than the other.
Camille: They both serve their purpose in our lives. But systems two is harder because it requires more cognitive loader effort. Right. I see. Yep. And basically our response is gonna be like, I don't wanna think that hard. I've definitely been guilty. It's like I don't wanna think that hard right now.
Camille: Like we don't, we can only handle so much cognitive strain in a day. So that's why we need the Systems One thinking, cuz it needs to keep things moving for us.
Camille: But what we fail to do is recognize where in our work or in our life, we need to do this slower thinking, the systems two thinking, and then put ourselves in a place to be able to do it.
Camille: So when I think about that concept and I think, oh, reflection is this great doorway into systems two thinking. It's a way to stop and slow down for a minute. And it doesn't have to be like, I'm gonna spend the next hour and system's two slow thinking. It's not about that. It's about I'm gonna stop for a minute.
Camille: I'm gonna stop my automatic brain and I'm gonna actually reflect and think about something. What happened, what I'm about to do, whatever that is, mm-hmm. And that is critical to us, making good decisions, putting together good plans, all of this, like what you were talking about. And if I didn't reflect on what happened in my previous marriage, I was probably gonna repeat the same stuff in the next one.
Camille: For sure. . Yeah. So it's important to , or maybe you wouldn't even even had a second one because you didn't learn any of your lessons, ugh. Yeah.
Camille: There's all these reasons why we have to stop and slow down and reflect. Yeah. So those are my why's.
Camille: Did I miss anything else on the why's?
George: No, I think this is great.
Camille: So let's talk now about what should you reflect on. Okay. So let's start with you, George. What do you reflect on or what do you wish you reflected on more for yourself? Haha.
George: My smart lic answer is really not too far off the shot.
George: They reflect on almost everything. I'm a naturally very inquisitive person and my favorite question of the five questions, who, what, when where how is why? I always like to know why something. Pay me a compliment. I won't take the compliment. I wanna know why. And why as a reflective forcing question.
George: But if I pick big ones, I reflect on major events. I ran for school board. I lost, I thought a lot about why I lost, what happened, what I could learn from it. I recently applied for a job and lost the role. I've been reflecting about why that happened. I'm not done with my reflection, but I think about that.
George: I reflect on my primary relationships quite a bit, my relationship with my wife and with my son.
George: Anything that's important to me, anything where I am actively participating, of course I reflect on. Aspects of my work, how I'm managing my people, how I'm performing myself. I reflect about everything.
George: I don't spend a lot of time all the time doing that. But if you think, I have a model for this, maybe some of you out there have started running and you've done one of these couch to 5K runs.
George: The more successful plans for doing that, for people who don't have a history running is basically the run walk method where you don't worry, you don't freak yourself out by learning how to run the entire time. You start maybe doing run three minutes, walk seven, and that changes to 50 50 and maybe at the end you never get to 10 and zero.
George: You never run 10 minutes and never walk. If you think about reflecting that way, if you think about I don't have to be going a hundred percent of the time, I'll take a little time slice of my performance to reflect a little bit.
George: It's a huge help. I also stay up late and ruminate.
Camille: Well, it's funny that you said ruminate. Cause as you were talking I was like, oh, we should probably mention that there is a fine line from reflecting to ruminating. Oh. Rumination is that, repetitive, you're dwelling on negative stuff it's causing you angst and stress.
Camille: That's a potential problem too. If you're absolutely, you're ruminating, that's not being reflective. Mm-hmm, this is dwelling. You could use reflection to maybe help you through rumination. Why am I ruminating on this? Yeah. What is it about this that I keep coming back to and what's bothering me about it?
Camille: So be careful of that, that that's not what we're talking about. We're not talking about getting into this really repetitive, sort of downward spiral in your thinking about something.
Camille: You wanna be fairly objective as you think about this.
Camille: Mm-hmm. like a thing happened and we're not, you know, we've talked before about not being in control of the outcomes in your business. Yeah. It's true in most stuff in life, yeah. There are lots of things we could do differently, but there's no guarantees that those different things would've made things better.
Camille: It might make you feel like, I did all that I could do. Right. That's kind of the question is, am I doing the best that I know to do in this moment? Yeah. And in this moment is also important because you still don't know what you don't know. Yeah, it's true.
Camille: So I gotta do the best that I can do in this moment. Reflection is a way to say, oh, do I now know a better way now that I experienced what I experienced? Mm-hmm. That's really the point of that. Ruminating is not reflection.
Camille: So back to what, what to reflect on. I mean, part of the problem might be be that there are so many things that you could reflect on. Like you've brought up a bunch of stuff. Yeah. And that might be why it makes it so hard to do.
Camille: It gets back to that problem of like, if I have too many things to choose from, how can I decide? Right.
George: Especially if you're not paradox of choice, you don't have practices for doing it, then can't start with everything. Yeah.
Camille: Yeah, exactly. So like with all the things, what you already said, I think when you were telling the story of, you know, make it a small part of this uhhuh regular process.
Camille: Like you did an example in the running and walking. Yeah. That's really important. So it's important to then within that, prioritize for yourself again, like we say, with everything, you gotta pick and choose. Pick what's really important for you in the moment. So if in this moment it's important for you to really focus on, how you're showing up in a relationship, then that will be a great thing to do reflection around.
Camille: As we talk about business, it's what part of your business do you really wanna think about and improve? And that's a great place to focus on your reflection.
Camille: Over time in your business, you start building up routines for this. So like, you have this built in where you work, there's routines for reflection to happen. Cuz it's all built around planning. Yeah. So when you get it built into the routine, again, it, it doesn't have to be, it shouldn't be time consuming. And so if that's your reason for not doing, like I don't have time for it, then I'd say it's time for you to reframe how you think about reflection.
Camille: Because it's like when people say, I don't have time to plan, like you're missing an opportunity to actually improve how you go forward. Get rid of wasteful activity, get rid of things that really aren't gonna matter and actually focus on what does matter by doing reflection and planning.
Camille: So here's some of the places where I think I would recommend, especially as business owners, to really start using reflection as a tool for improvement. And not the getting more work done, kind of improvement, but also the, I'm gonna be a happier human kind of improvement,
Camille: like, this is also gonna be good for my overall wellbeing if I get good at this. So it's, it's playing to both of these things. It's a great tool. So here's a couple examples. I already mentioned this, but reflection for planning. Reflection and planning should always go together. You should not plan without reflection.
Camille: Period. This is when you were like, what about people who say, I don't need to look at the past. I keep moving forward. Yeah. Yeah. But you didn't use anything that you learned in the past. So reflection should be part of every planning activity.
George: To me, that's a red flag.
Camille: Someone who says that. Yeah, absolutely. I'd wanna dig deeper, like what's going on in there? Well, first I'd wanna know like, do you mean that literally? Yeah. Right. Yeah. Maybe you sort say they might not. Yeah, they might not, they might be like, oh no, no, I do that.
Camille: I think about what I learned. That's not reflection. Oh, then we're gonna do the definition. Right now it's semantics argument. Yes. So, so yeah, if you're in that space, like, come on this ride with us of what if reflection was actually valuable. Yeah. So reflection for planning is before you plan, you wanna reflect on things like, well, what's the current situation?
Camille: Like what's happening now? What do you want to achieve and what have you learned? And what are potential obstacles? So that's like four things that you could answer in like a few minutes, literally.
Camille: What do I wanna achieve?
Camille: What's happening now?
Camille: What have I learned?
Camille: What are the potential obstacles?
Camille: Mm-hmm. If you did that before you made a plan, you'd be armed with some great information for making the plan now. Yeah. Because now your plan includes, oh yeah. I might need to include something in here about some potential obstacles that I identified. Mm-hmm. , I now have a clear understanding of exactly where I am and what I've learned, and I can use that to plan what comes next.
Camille: Yeah. Right. So this is why reflection is really critical to making a good plan. You've gotta do it. And that includes when you're making a plan for the day, for the month, the quarter, the year. Project plan, any of this stuff. This
Camille: is was one of the hardest things we had in project management, was doing that reflection on past project to inform the next project. Because these projects would take so much time.
Camille: It was really hard to like reflect on this large period of time and then go forward. So it's much easier to do this in smaller, more frequent steps. We'll get to the how in a minute, but I wanna make that comment that the bigger it is, the harder it can be. it can get a little unwieldy in terms of how do I now apply this going forward. But it's still worth doing and you might reflect on some different things.
Camille: So yeah. I'm gonna get into that here next.
Camille: So starting with personal reflections and I think like everybody needs to do this. No matter what you're doing. Whether you're running a business or not, whatever it is that you're doing, personal reflection's really important.
Camille: Some examples of what you could ask yourself, and you could ask yourself this and think about it. Even better if you can journal it out.
Camille: And by the way, when you journal, you should hand write because it does cause you to slow down your thinking. And it's really important. And I know this pained George to hear it. Yeah, I know. I I know it's, yeah, I get it though. But it's important. All right, so personal reflections.
Camille: Some things you could ask would be am I taking anything for granted? That's a great one. I know.
Camille: Am I using my time wisely? Ugh, everybody's no. Right.
Camille: But then you can expand on that. How come? Why? Like, to your point, everything should have sort of a why. Yeah. Why is that? And from a curious standpoint.
Camille: So we talk about curiosity over judgment. This should all be with curiosity. No judgment on yourself, pure curiosity, yeah. So that belief shift is hard at work, in this work. So, am I using my time wisely?
Camille: Am I living true to my values or myself? Mm-hmm. Am I putting enough energy into my relationships? Am I achieving the goals I've set for myself?
Camille: Those are some of the personal reflection questions you could ask. We'll drop these in the show notes by the way. George, you have some of your own.
George: I do have some in addition to that. I'll bring in a couple from business and one from my personal life. So one of the ones I do my business context is with my team, we set quarterly objectives and then we score against the objectives. How'd you do, how'd you perform against your goals?
George: And then after that's all done and my team is paid, I'll do a review after that's all done and say, okay, let's look back at your previous goals.
George: How'd you do? Did you do a good job of creating goals in the first place? So many people don't think about that. Like how well they set the goals. Like, yeah, was it too easy, too hard? Or they, they'll perform goals. It's a simple question. It's very easy to reflect on. Take time to do that.
George: Another thing, so if I'll look back, I'm giving context to where the questions make sense I realize. Maybe you've had quarter after quarter where things were going in a certain direction. Then one last quarter things went big up or big down, or something radically different happened. Had a different outcome. An easy question to ask is, so what changed?
George: And it's pretty easy to get people to answer that too, because they may not have been reflecting about it, but once you ask them, they're like either having immediate answer like, oh, well, well this happened Covid, or, you know, I got sick or I lost two people.
George: That there's different reasons and that can lead to, you start digging, well, you're down to people and so you failed cuz you didn't have backups. And like, can we talk about what you might do differently that when you asking somebody what changed, that's an easy question to answer and it's a good starter for a cascade of whys and thank Yes.
George: In a business context, when I say as a manager, who I like, how I am behaving as a manager in this role? And if not, I can ask myself why? What is going on and what's the delta between who I am and who I would like to be? Yeah. Simple question. Very powerful.
Camille: I really like that last one.
Camille: Do I like who I am in any of these contexts, yeah.
George: It's very easy to answer. You know, if you like yourself.
Camille: You do . But then the following one is like, how come? Yeah. Right. Why? What's actually happening there?
Camille: So that was a little bit of a mix of some personal and some business.
Camille: They definitely can apply in both spaces, yeah. So I think if we get more specific to thinking about business reflection, it really should be wrapped around whatever your routine of planning is. So if you have annual planning, you've got quarterly planning, but not necessarily all the same questions everytime.
Camille: So what I have is some reflective questions I ask myself, when I'm doing some annual planning, which are sort of bigger picture things, ah, ah, versus what I do when I do my weekly plan. I ask different awesome, reflective questions. This is part of my planning process.
Camille: I journal it out and then I meet my plan. So I'm gonna do the annual and the weekly as an example.
Camille: So from a big picture perspective, the one thing that I always, always want to see is accomplishments. Like always acknowledging what you've done.
Camille: Whether you planned to do all those things or not, is irrelevant. You got a bunch of stuff done and you've got to acknowledge it. Cause it's so important to us. To, most of the time, I can't tell you how many times I work with somebody and I start asking them to list accomplishments and they freeze up.
Camille: Like I didn't really do much. What? Even if it's on a weekly coaching call, all right, so what'd you get to accomplish last week? And they struggle. To talk about what they did. Yeah. If I asked a different question, like, well, tell me how such and such went? All of these accomplishments start showing up. Really?
Camille: Yes. So getting good at really reflecting on what did I accomplish, planned or not, what was I able to achieve in this time period is a really good thing to get good at. Cuz otherwise we're basically constantly beating ourselves up and judging ourselves for not getting any work done.
George: This podcast is doing to me the opposite of triggering what, I don't know what the word is.
George: Activating? I have a question for you there, or a comment? An awesome way of kind of turning things around to get people to surface accomplishments if they can't do that. It occurs to me that that technique would also be great in helping people write their resumes.
George: Cuz if they're stuck on the resume thinking, ah, what did I accomplish? I dunno what to put down. Ask your question again.
Camille: Usually I'm working with a coaching client, so I know some of the activities they were supposed to have been doing. So I'll ask them, well, tell me how that such and such meeting went.
Camille: Tell me how it went when you worked on the whatever plan. So it's always about a specific thing I know is going on. So I guess if you're doing it from a resume standpoint, yeah. You would say, yeah, how did it go when I worked at such and such place? Ask a different question. How did it go?
Camille: What happened? They're less judgey questions, yeah. Like, let's make a general statement about what happened. You'll get into the, yeah, this happened. Oh no, and I did that thing and I did this thing. It'll show up more naturally instead of this pressure of I have to have some meaningful thing that I accomplished.
Camille: There's something that Wow. Kind of freeze up around.
George: That's so cool. Yeah, I think that's a great resume writing hack trick .
Camille: Not that I want any of my business owners to use that. But yes, there might be some business leaders who are thinking about, Making a little shift but also good.
Camille: I think even if you're thinking about as a business, be proud of those accomplishments on your website. Absolutely. So you might need it for that. Thinking differently about, what can we say that is great about us? Asking different questions is a way to get there.
Camille: So accomplishments is one of many things from an annual perspective, but it's so important to get good at. I mean, this is a morale booster and a momentum builder all the way around.
Camille: Other things that you reflect on for sort of in the big picture is, have my priorities been clear for this past year? This is kind of reflecting back.
Camille: And then you can reflect forward. Are they clear as I go forward into this next year?
Camille: Which ties into goals and what do I really want to achieve? What do I really want to achieve? So being clear about goals.
Camille: Yeah. I also like reflecting on fear. So what am I most afraid of in my business?
Camille: Wow, that's powerful. Either accomplishing or not accomplishing, not being capable of so many things you could uncover and honestly look at from a fear standpoint. Okay.
Camille: The counter to that then is also looking at your strengths, like, what am I proud of? Or what am I good at? Absolutely.
Camille: And then always reflecting on support. Nobody builds a business on their own, even if you're a one man or a woman show. Where do I need support? Being honest about that is one of the hardest things, especially I think as entrepreneurs are like, I'm gonna go out and charge forward and build this business myself.
Camille: You are gonna need help. So you really have to really think about the support piece.
Camille: And then one more, the last one is alignment. Oh yeah. So are my goals and my priorities. Mm-hmm. aligned to my vision, mission, and values. So from a business powerful question, constantly trying to connect all those things, every business should be doing that on a regular.
Camille: Yeah. You know, and absolutely business at least.
George: Got a question for you about the strengths. Yes.
George: You are talking with somebody who clearly has low self-esteem. They have a hard time thinking about what strength, what do you say to people like that? How do you get them being able to acknowledge things that they're actually good at or should be proud of?
Camille: Yeah. Then I sort of flip it around to you know, well, what do people come to you for? What do people most often ask you to help them with? What do people most often say about you if they compliment you?
Camille: But usually it shows up in the, when people come and ask you for some sort of help or ask you questions, in some way they're asking you to help them out. What is it about? And that it shows up almost every time. It shows up from that kind of question, Yeah.
Camille: Because they don't necessarily see that as their strength until they say that and they say, oh, well yeah, I see that. That's why your strength is. And then they're like, oh, I hadn't thought about it that way, cuz it's something they do.
Camille: Usually our strength,
George: you've taken them outside of themselves.
Camille: Yes. Yeah. And sometimes when it comes to things that we're really good at, we're not aware that we're really good at them. Yeah. Because they come so easily to us. Yep, absolutely. And so it's hard to recognize what we're good at without some reflection off someone else actually.
George: Yeah. Good question. Those are fantastic. I totally get those as business reflections. Make a lot of sense.
Camille: From the big picture perspective, and they really tie in nicely, like as a business owner, starting with personal reflection and then moving into business reflection, is a really nice way to make sure that your business isn't like taking you outside of what matters to you personally.
Camille: That you're not building a business that's pulling away from what's important to you. That it's not so driven towards the money that you forgot why you want this business in the first place, which is usually freedom of many sorts.
George: Okay, so big picture course gain reflections.
George: What about the fine grain ones?
Camille: So the fine grain ones, I like to keep it pretty short and simple. I do like to always have, you know, what were your wins of the week? Five wins of the week.
Camille: And then what's working well? What needs improvement? What did I.
Camille: And then what could I do next week that would me either make it use whatever, whatever description of how you want your week to go or not go, that works for you.
Camille: So you say better, but better could be less stressful, more productive, more like anything. More relaxing more enjoyable, more connected with other people. Whatever it is you want from it. So it's usually what would make next week better.
Camille: And if you struggle with that, a replacement question is: what are you excited about for next week? Yeah. Kind of a good reflection kind of helps you that's look forward to like, what's the thing next week that's motivating me. That's a fun question. It is a fun question.
George: What if you can't come up with something exciting? I think that tells you something?
Camille: Yeah. Very telling. Like, then I would be definitely reflecting on, huh, why am I not excited about anything next week? And is there anything I could do to change that?
Camille: Either by changing my mindset about something. Because you could turn something you're not excited about, into something you're excited about.
Camille: Mm-hmm, this is a skill as an introvert that you do all the time, is, I'm not really excited about this event I have to go to, but I can prepare myself to be excited about it. It's an exercise. So we can kind of learn how to do these things, but I think that's something that maybe your definition of excitement is you've got the bar too high.
Camille: Yep. Some people will be like, oh, my whole week is full of a bunch of boring stuff. All of it really. Is there nothing exciting? Like, can we find something you could be excited about?
Camille: Or again, how do you turn something into a moment of I could get energized around this? Mm-hmm.
Camille: It's totally possible. We don't normally reflect long enough to think about how to get excited about something coming up.
George: For sure.
Camille: Those are the main areas that I think if people could get into a regular habit of doing reflection around their planning cadence in their business and making sure they're doing this reflection work, fabulous If you can do all of it.
Camille: But if you aren't doing any of it, try starting with like one or two questions on a weekly basis. Mm-hmm. First part of the week, start with a few questions and if you wanna silently think about them, great. But again, much better if you write a few things down, and it could be a couple sentences.
Camille: So we're talking about minutes, yeah. Minutes, yes. Not even 15 minutes, but like two minutes to do this. And. That might then feel like, well, how can that be worth it? Try it out. Yeah, try it out and do it consistently and see what happens as you start moving through and doing this work.
Camille: Even my husband who is not a planner by any means, the other day he was like, I need to get back to slowing down and reflecting more often.
Camille: Then making a plan from that. There's too much chaos and he worked well in chaos. If even he can find the value in this, anybody can, Mr. Non Planner. So there's a bunch of other places where reflection is very useful.
Camille: Okay. I had a couple examples. I don't know if you have some other examples, George, but I was thinking about this. As, you know, we're focused on reflection and planning and how you're driving things forward and making sure goals are on target and all that stuff, but there's other places where reflection can help you.
Camille: So for example, oh, where if you are preparing for a difficult conversation, Yeah. Absolutely.
Camille: And usually what I tell people to do is stop and reflect on what the other person's experience as best you can. Like try to be in their shoes first. Like what do you want out of the conversation?
Camille: Mm-hmm. . But also what do you think they want out of the conversation? And reflect on that before you go into it. Yeah. How you want it to play out. And even thinking about what's the worst thing that could happen and how will I respond? Because that means if it does happen, typically it doesn't, but if it does, you're more prepared to be emotionally present and not surprised. And you don't have the, the emotional like juices all take over.
Camille: Yeah. And you can be thoughtful. So reflecting a moment before you go into a difficult conversation is a great thing to.
George: Absolutely. You don't wanna go into a difficult conversation not having reflected a little bit.
Camille: Yeah. But so many of us do, we go right into it or we go into it and we aren't reflecting, we're being very focused on the outcome Yeah.
Camille: Like I need to get X out of this conversation.
Camille: Reflection takes you back into the, when we talk about process over outcomes, it's part of that process of focus on how you want to show up. Not necessarily on this outcome that you're driving towards. Too often we're like, I'm gonna get so and so to agree to X no matter what, and I'm going in, hands on hips, ready to like go at it.
Camille: And that doesn't really give us the best results most of the time. We create this combative situation.
George: I get that.
Camille: Another place is what's getting in your way or holding you back? So if you're really frustrated with where you're at or not achieving your goals, whatever's happening, stopping to reflect on like what's going on? What might be getting in my way? Or what might be holding myself back?
Camille: Again, no judgment, just curiosity. And this can take some time, but it can be a recurring thing that you keep journaling on that over time you start to dig into what's actually happening.
Camille: And this is where I think, some of the things that you were saying too, George, sort of play into this is, what's changed is a great question to ask in that.
Camille: Is something changed that's causing me to not be, as successful? Or that's really holding me back? That's a great question to ask from that perspective. So there's a series of things you could ask that really help you kind of uncover what's going on there.
Camille: Yeah. And it's usually not one thing you'll discover. There's a complex little web of things that are holding you back.
George: I wonder if you have advice for the kind of person who's going to hear this, and they're gonna lame externalities. Like they're gonna say, well, you know, the system is set up against me, or they don't like my kind of people.
George: Their natural reaction to what's getting in my way is some systemic bias.
Camille: Yeah. I see this all the time. This is very common for us that there are all these external factors that we feel we don't have control over.
Camille: This really also shows up in when I talk to mid-level managers in companies, definitely have this feeling of I'm really frustrated. I do not have control over what's happening. There's nothing I can do.
Camille: And so I usually take them through the exercise of, and this relates to when we talk about process over outcomes, again, as I really don't have control over these outcomes, but I do have control of the process.
Camille: And so in this case, it's okay. There are some external things you don't have control over, but there are
Camille: some things you do and there's layers of this. There are some things that you can control how you decide to show up. In this, whatever it is. Again, back to the, do I like myself in this? Do I like how I'm showing up? Yes. So there's things I can control from that point of view.
Camille: There's also things where I think we underestimate the value of influence, and we don't practice this enough, but especially as leaders, most of our work is about influence. And so usually like a mid-level manager, I'll say, yeah, you don't have full control.
Camille: You don't get to make the decision, but you can influence. Yeah. And you can control the environments locally in your space, in your department and what's happening. So do that.
Camille: So it's really about saying, what do I not have control over and then stop worrying about that. But then identify what I do have control over and decide what you're gonna do.
Camille: Okay. And that takes a little bit of thinking. Again, this whole reflection process can really help you work through that.
Camille: Cool. Good question. Very common. Yeah.
Camille: Should we talk about how? Yeah. Got a few minutes left. All right. Okay. Let's talk about how to do this. It's been essentially pretty simple.
Camille: So the, how part of this is if you're gonna benefit from reflection, make sure you give it purpose. Don't reflect for reflection's sake.
Camille: I mean,
Camille: and when I think about what you said, where it's sort of built into how you work, George, and how you think. Yeah. You're still not doing it for the heck of it. I'm not. It has purpose all the time, yeah. And absolutely. The great thing is if you can get to the George level of reflection where it's sort of happening throughout your day, you sort of naturally work it in.
Camille: That's an ideal growth mindset state seek to achieve. That's what we're all trying to get to. So giving it purpose will help. It makes it important to you. It also gives you focus on what am I gonna reflect on? So, being specific about that.
Camille: Do I wanna reflect on goals? Do I wanna reflect on personally my relationships? Again, maybe there's one thing in your life right now that you really want to do better and you want it to be going better. Pick that and do some reflection around that. And if you're not sure, then again, start with that weekly reflection that I talked about.
Camille: We'll make sure all those questions are in the show notes for you. But start that process and see what starts to show up. So giving it purpose is really important. Cuz even if you're generally doing the weekly, the purpose there is, oh, I'm purposely seeking out how I do this thing better every week.
Camille: Maybe I'm not excited about anything next week and can I do it better and get excited about something the week after that? Yeah. So you're improving your experience. Okay.
Camille: If you have an experience, you reflect, you come up with some improvement and you have a better experience, is ideally how it should go.
Camille: Yes. The other thing about this is to make this work for you is create some easily repeatable process or routine. Build it into something.
Camille: So for me, because I'm a planner, it's built into my planning process. I don't do it without that. Yeah. So it's part of the planner I have. I answer these questions and then I make my plan.
Camille: But you can build it into any routine. I mean, it could be , I'm gonna think through these questions in the shower, mm-hmm. , or while I'm brushing my teeth, there's a post-it on my mirror with the two questions I'm gonna think about while I'm standing. And so great. I'm actually also multitasking, but it's attached to some routine that already happens.
Camille: I know some people who put a little journal at the coffee pot in the morning, so when they go make coffee, their journal's right there and they're like, oh yeah, I grabbed my journal. I'm gonna journal this morning. It's a way for them to remember. Yeah. So it's this habit stacking idea.
Camille: So build some kind of, and add it to some habits that you already have. Build some kind of routine, but make it super easy for you. And if you love journaling and all that stuff, grab a great journal. Your favorite pen, like that's my favorite thing. I have my special journal that I journal in. Do some bigger reflections in there. All sorts of different ways you can do it.
Camille: Find your own way, your own way to do it.
Camille: And do not overcomplicate it is step three. Don't overdo it. Don't overcomplicate it. Micro moves are your friend when it comes to reflection. Hmm.
Camille: Those are my how to benefits. I like those.
George: I'll take an example from my team's current quarterly business review practice.
George: I tweak our QBR protocol all the time . The current QBR is what I would call the short form of QBR and we've really reduced it to, to take less time. But really it is about two things. The previous format was pretty compact or very structured, but this one is even simpler.
George: It's two things, one slide per area that we're reviewing. And the one slide has two sections. Observations and recommendations. That's it.
George: I'm clear to everybody that the QBR is for us to make steering decisions.
George: And so the first section is, what did you observe the person presenting on their area of business? What did you observe happened last quarters? Anything that stood out to you, which is an easy way to capture highlights, lowlights.
George: But it also gives you the ability to reflect and say, you know, here's what I observe, something interesting. It's not a highlighter, low light, something I find very interesting, which can be very telling.
George: Then, okay, what are your recommendations? Usually the recommendations will follow from the observations, but in addition to that, you might have others.
George: Those two things, very powerful, very simple, very easy triggers for reflection.
Camille: I love that. You know, I was almost going to when I started writing this out, I was gonna tie it to qbr cuz when this episode comes out, we're gonna be at the end of the quarter. And then realized it was gonna be too long, so I didn't go into it.
Camille: So I'm glad you brought that up because we probably should do an episode that's like, what are the many forms of QBR that you and I have ever done? Yes.
Camille: How do you do it? Well I think people always want like the template or the format, but there, there's like principles of doing it well and then you gotta create your own way. And also doing it internally versus for customer facing, qbr, all of that stuff.
Camille: So a hundred percent
George: we'll do, yeah, that's the one thing I would wanna say is my QBR format is a QBR R format. It's currently working for us
Camille: right now. Right. But even the fact that you said you've changed it is so important.
Camille: So we're starting to build it for one of my clients.
Camille: And I know like out of the gate I'm like, This is okay, but it's definitely gonna improve over time. Like, that's the whole point.
Camille: Part of it is meeting 'em where they're at. They can only do so much in this space when they've done zero. So yeah.
Camille: We'll do a whole episode where we talk about this and, you know, if you're a solopreneur and you're like, I don't care about qbr, it's me. Oh, yes, you do. You do. Yes. You hear about all of this stuff because this is about, back to what you said in the very beginning the unexamined life is not worth living.
Camille: Well, the same applies to your business. If you aren't examining your business, your chances of failure skyrocket if you're not actually examining what's going on in your business. So yeah, you're, you are then genuinely leaving everything up to luck. No good. So we will do that.
Camille: Cool. All right. That's all I had to say about reflection.
Camille: So you can reflect on this podcast right now. That could be your main takeaway is: what did you learn? And what are you gonna do to apply that learning right now, we would love to hear that.
Camille: So either leave us a message on Instagram or leave us a voicemail at thebeliefshift.com. You can click this little widget where you can leave a voicemail.
Camille: I would love to hear what did you learn? What are your takeaways? Do this immediate reflection right now. That would be super, super awesome.
Camille: All right. Thank you for all the reflection time, George. This was super fabulous. Thank you. This is great. Great. Nice to have you back. And yeah, we'll be back in everybody's ears next week,
Camille: we have so much to talk about.
Camille: You should see the list of topics on my podcast plan. It's overwhelming. We're gonna be doing this until We're old and gray. Oh, you're already there.
George: Oh. Hope everybody has a great
Camille: Yeah, have a great week everybody, bye.
George: See you.