Transition Scaffolding 2016

A common problem experienced when sitting down to reflect on growth and development, and to plan for the year ahead, is that we lack a transition framework.

In a busy life, it’s easy to pluck goals from our semi-conscious and thrust them to the fore, as a quick grab when the year rolls over.   But we do ourselves an injustice, missing the opportunity to capitalise on a new year full of promise and possibility.

November is the month of reflection, learning from our successes and from those goals we pitched, but didn’t deliver.

Reflection, like goal setting, is enhanced when we provide a scaffold for our learnings and ideas – a scaffold that makes sense across personal and professional spheres.

I find Stephen R Covey’s “7 Habits of Highly Effective People” provides an excellent transition and growth framework.

Consider Covey’s 7 Habits:

  1. “Be Proactive
  2. Begin with the End in Mind
  3. Put First Things First
  4. Think Win-Win
  5. Seek first to Understand, then to be Understood
  6. Synergize
  7. Sharpen the Saw”

There is benefit in setting aside time for reflection this month. How did you travel against these habits in 2015?

  1. “Be Proactive”

Did you take the initiative to enhance your personal relationships? Reflect on how others felt when you exercised this habit with family and friends.

In your work sphere, how many opportunities did you take to step up, to demonstrate your capacity and initiative?

Make a note for your 2016 goal setting.

  1. “Begin with the End in Mind”

How did 2015 start? Did you set out with a personal vision to enhance personal relationships?   Which ones blossomed? Which ones need to be prioritised in your 2016 plan?

How did your career and professional positioning shift in 2015? Which goals did you kick, and were they the right goals? How will you approach goal setting for 2016?

  1. “Put First Things First”

In 2015 how did your prioritising pan out? Are your inner circle relationships, stronger for the energy you invested? How do you rate yourself in the work-life balance out of 10? What will lift your score in 2016?

In your workplace, did you bring a level of self-discipline to manage your time and responsibilities effectively? How did you manage distractions? Will this strategy work in 2016 or do you need to tweak it?

  1. “Build Win-Win Relationships”

We know there is no such thing as a Win-Lose relationship. It’s either win-win or lose-lose. What changes occurred in the year because you were transparent and communicative with the people in your inner circle? How do you enhance these in 2016?

What improvements are evident in your professional life as a result of being win-win focussed? Did you build new networks and partnerships? What’s the build on these in 2016?

  1. “Seek First to Understand, then to be Understood”

What changed in your relationships when you used active listening and empathy? How can you enhance your empathy in 2016?

What opportunities did you take in your professional year to sit in the chair opposite to your view, and to truly take another person’s perspective? This is incredibly powerful when there appears to be an impasse. What triggers can you embed to remind you to see both sides of the argument?

  1. “Synergize”

When you reflect on your personal growth in 2015, who do you acknowledge for supporting your development, and reflecting back to you, insights that contributed to your growth? How do you step this up in 2016?

Organisations are simply groups of human beings working to a common outcome. What strategies did you apply to build cohesion in your workplace and how this is impact on productivity? What are your thoughts 2016?

  1. “Sharpen the Saw”

Sometimes, when we are in the early building stage of our careers, we can have a very well sharpened professional saw, but it is derived at the expense of our personal saw. Review 2015 and note where you contributed to the wellbeing of your inner circle – what benefits naturally flowed to your life as a result of you setting yourself aside?

What were the 3 key professional challenges you undertook in 2015 to sharpen your saw and stretch yourself?   Consider cognitive, emotional and physical challenges that moved you closer to your career goal. How do you take these to the next level in 2016?

Stephen Covey was one of the world’s foremost leadership authorities, organizational experts and thought leaders. His legacy provides a powerful scaffold to inform and enhance the way we develop as individuals and professionals.

November is about reflection and learning from the previous eleven months. Reflection this month lays the groundwork for goal setting in December.

Tis the Season of Transition