Do you remember the last time you felt defeated? How did you feel after making a mistake? Perhaps you felt angry, upset, or fearful. How did you react? What did you do after that mistake? The way you respond during the heat of the moment is significant. However, what you do after, is what is even more critical. In continuous improvement, we use reflection to learn from our mistakes.
Get in the habit of analyzing your mistakes.
I read an article from Justin Bariso regarding an online course he took from Garry Kasparov. Kasparov is a chess strategist who uses reflection to learn from his mistakes. Bariso indicated in this article that there is one lesson from Kasparov that stands out. The lesson is that to improve at anything, you must get in the habit of analyzing your mistakes.
He recommends that the next time you commit a blunder, you should take some time to analyze it. The analysis should start with asking yourself the following questions.
- Why did I react the way I did?
- What may I have misunderstood or have gotten wrong, especially in the heat of the moment?
- What would I change if I could do it again?
- What could I say to myself next time that would help me think more clearly?
Why using reflection to learn from your mistakes?
Making mistakes is part of our lives. For that reason, we better learn how to deal with them. When you are a leader, it is paramount to learn from those mistakes. Moreover, to learn from the way we reacted to those mistakes.
Emotional intelligence (EI) is the ability to understand and manage your own emotions and those around you. EI skills are a characteristic of good leaders and kaizen facilitators. The reason is that people with a healthy amount of EI recognize their feelings and learn how to react to them. Also, they understand how those feelings can affect other people.
In a continuous improvement culture, you achieve your goal, or you learn. There is no losing, and a reflection is a learning tool. Kasparov’s provided a guide to learn from your emotions. The answer to those questions will help you understand why you reacted that way and how you could do it differently next time. This reflection will help to learn more about yourself and how you deal with your emotions. Your top job is to guide and support your team. Knowing your mental state will support your efforts to motivate and keep your team engage in the continuous improvement process.
Using reflection to learn from your mistakes and emotions
The truth is that reflecting upon your emotions is also a tool to guide your growing process. It does not have to stop with our feelings after making a mistake. I found that in our quest to be better human beings, it helps to learn how we react to some situations.
For instance, we can learn to understand and deal with impatience, fear, anger, sadness, and others. Moreover, why do we feel joy and happiness from some activities? In conclusion, through reflection, we can evaluate and learn from our mistakes and feelings. Both things will help us to be better professionals and human beings.