The Importance of Looking Back

I love hockey, and every game that I really sit and watch my beloved Minnesota Wild during the play-offs, the more I fall in love with the game and am blown away by the skill and stamina of the players.

I also love and admire great leadership. Every really great leader I have had the privilege to work with has taken the time to regularly reflect and make notes about their work - their day - theirs wins - their losses. These are leaders who believe that simply having an experience does not equate being experienced. It's the extra step of examining what they did and how they did it that turns the experience into learning.

This morning, the sports section of the St Paul Pioneer Press, offered me a stunning example of how these two loves of mine have come together. Mike Yeo, coach of the Minnesota Wild, keeps a journal where he has made notes after each and every game he has coached in the NHL. The entries vary in length; sometimes they are multiple pages and sometimes they are a couple of sentences. But, he always pauses for a bit to reflect on the experience so if there are any course corrections to be made he can make them before his next experience.



This doesn't mean that the Wild will win the game tonight. It doesn't mean that the series will go longer than the 5 games that it did last year. What it does mean is that this process of intentionally looking at the games and his coaching allows Yeo to learn in a way that wouldn't be possible if he were not using this process. It also helps him see perspective and how his perspective changes with time.

I do this with many things - client work, meeting facilitation, coaching, happiness, gratitude - I LOVE using a process that provides me with an opportunity to intentionally examine my day in a way that would otherwise go completely unnoticed.  How might you use this process to increase the learning in your life?



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