On behalf of Works for Women, thank you for continuing to grow our community of individual champions who want to make Alberta a better place for women to lead. As we look back to our April Challenge, we also thank you for reflecting on your own procurement practices, either at home or at work, and understanding how women-led and women-owned businesses are impact your personal buying decisions. And remember, don’t let this important work stop – be curious to know more about the organizations you are working with, and the companies you are supporting. Now to share the details of this month’s challenge.
May Challenge – Imagine It! Taking Time to Reflect
Harvard Business School psychologist Francesca Gino and her colleagues have recently published a paper about how fitting in 15 minutes of reflection to the end of your day makes you more effective. In one field experiment, new employees who had 15 minutes to write and reflect at the end of the day performed 22.8% percent better than those who didn't. "When people have the opportunity to reflect, they experience a boost in self-efficacy," Gino says. "They feel more confident that they can achieve things. As a result, they put more effort into what they're doing and what they learn."
If we pull this thinking back to ourselves, we often start the year thinking about our future, what goals do we want to set for ourselves? Even though we are already part way through this year, it is never too late to set some time aside to reflect on your own personal vision. As you dive back into this very important work, reflect on what a knock-the-ball-out-of-the-park look like for you? What is the career that seems so incredible you think it’s almost criminal to have it? What is the dream you don’t allow yourself to even consider because it seems too unrealistic, frivolous, or too big? Well, start envisioning it. That is the true key to beginning the journey to having that career you have always dreamt of.
For this month’s challenge, we encourage you to start journaling. According to Stephen R. Covey, keeping a personal journal a daily in-depth analysis and evaluation of your experiences is a high-leverage activity that increases self-awareness and enhances all the endowments and the synergy among them. If you want to start small, take 15 minutes to be grateful. Something that you may not do on a regular basis—but could benefit from—is taking time to write down five things you are grateful for. If you want a challenge, start with those big auspicious questions, thanks to the work of Tara Sophia Mohr, an expert on women’s leadership and well-being. She helps women play bigger in sharing their voices and bringing forward their ideas in work and in life:
Practice allowing yourself to dream into these big visions. Practice setting aside all the questions that come up about what’s possible and how you could get there. The questions will come up, for sure – and you can keep setting them aside. This is not the time to work on the “how” or put the dream on trial. It’s time to welcome the vision, make friends with it, and hold it lovingly in your mind as you walk through your life.
To join the May Challenge:
It is through our intentional action that we can drive our career in the direction we want. The takeaways: If you reflect on your work, you can identify best practices as they emerge. If you reflect on your life, you can find the meaning you otherwise overlooked.
The following are great reads to get you started with your journaling and reflecting on your personal vision:
If you want to read more from Tara, she is the author of Playing Big: Practical Wisdom for Women Who Want to Speak Up, Create, and Lead, named a best book of the year by Apple’s iBooks and now in paperback. In the book, she shares her pioneering model for making the journey from playing small–being held back by fear and self-doubt–to playing big, taking bold action to pursue what you see as your callings.
In closing, thank you again for helping to spark dialogue, build awareness, and inspire action. We are reminded that change does not happen overnight, but by uniting our community we can take direct action to impact change. On behalf of Works for Women, thank you for helping us drive change in Alberta.