We all know that doing self reflection is always an effective way to help us grow faster and become better, in any area of our life.
As you follow me through till the end of this article, you will be going through a quick reflection on 3 of the most valuable insights from your past one year at work, to help you kick start an even stronger year ahead:
Your work pattern
Your synergy with your boss
Your performance target vs. actual.
#1: Your Work Pattern
You can think of your work patterns as the repetitive things or ways that you actually executed your job at work, despite what you thought you should do or wished you have done otherwise.
So let's do a quick Pattern Review of your past one year at work:
Your productivity at work: Have you spent at least 80% of your working hours doing your job instead of personal stuff e.g. hanging out in the pantry, scrolling on Instagram, doing personal online shopping or catalogue browsing, etc.
Your work delivery: Have you always completed your job assignments timely? Have you frequently struggled with last-minute work rush and stress for even your planned work (not due to ad-hoc job requests)?
Your understanding of the expectations: Did a majority of the works you have completed meet your boss' expectations, or what you completed oftentimes were not what your boss wanted?
Your proactiveness: Have you usually been proactive to suggest and contribute ideas instead of waiting for instructions to do things?
Your personal life: Have you been able to maintain a somewhat healthy and balanced lifestyle (exercise, diet, sleeping cycle, personal relationships, quiet time, etc.) or you didn't really have your me-time because it was always work, work, and work?
As you consider through this list, pick 1 pattern that you seriously want to improve or change in the next 3 months.
Post it in the comment below and briefly share what could stop you from doing it and how you plan to make the change happen, so I can help keep you accountable from time to time.
Because many people have their new resolution every new year, but very few actually make things happen in the end without some sort of accountability.
#2: Your Synergy with Your Boss
What types of relationship have you been having with your boss at work?
There are generally several types of work relationship which you may have had with your boss from time to time:
The Perfect Duo: Your boss always shares clear direction when assigning a job to you, and you know how to meet and exceed those expectations. Then when you present your completed work to your boss, both of you get inspired with clearer ideas and stronger insights to further improve the overall outcome. The perfect synergy in action.
The Supportive Coach: Your boss understands your strengths & weaknesses, and always strives to provide you with the right opportunity to develop your capability while supporting you with the necessary coaching and guidance.
The Grudge Landmine: You and your boss have some unresolved past conflict. You prefer to sweep it down the carpet and carry on the job professionally. But there is a ceiling limiting your work synergy with your boss.
The Control Addict: Your boss always micro-manages everything that has been assigned to you. It's as if you can't be trusted or empowered to carry out your responsibility without your boss' intervention.
The Empty Vase: Your boss is nice but doesn't give much guidance to you in doing your job. Basically, you have to play your boss' managerial role of setting the direction for your own job assignment and then execute it yourself.
The Insecure Manager: Your boss used to be nice to you, but the more you made impressive achievement, your boss treats you less pleasantly, becomes more competitive, and starts to take credit for your work achievement.
The Favoritism Club: In your boss' eyes, you are the less-favored one. You can tell your boss doesn't like you and is not happy with most of the things you do or say. Sometimes, your boss even openly shames you in front of your team.
If you have not been experiencing the first two types of work relationship with your boss in the past one year (i.e. The Perfect Duo and The Supportive Coach), you are missing out on a whole lot of career growth opportunity which you could have experienced otherwise.
If you can commit to doing just ONE thing to improve and build a better work synergy with your boss this year, let it be this: Always deliver successful job assignments.
What boss doesn't like an executive who always gets the right job done well, right?
In my experience of helping executives who struggled to work with their boss, almost all of them reported to have experienced improved rapport and work relationship with their boss within the first week of successfully delivering their job assignment at hand, while a few of them took longer than a month to earn back their boss' trust due to many times of disappointing their boss with their work in the past.
So your key to building a stronger work synergy and rapport with your boss lies in your commitment to always meet and exceed your boss' expectations. If you need more help to stop guessing what your boss really wants every time a new job is assigned to you, you can start with my Stretch-2 Checklist mini email course - it's FREE for my readers so go sign-up.
#3: Your Performance Target vs. Actual
Finally, let's reflect on your overall performance last year.
What was your desired performance target when you started the working year?
Then, what's your actual performance for the year? What does it mean to you? How does it make you feel?
Would you be satisfied if you achieve the same thing at work this new year?
If yes, why? And what can you do to make it happen?
If no, why? What happened that caused this result? What can you do to prevent this from happening again this year?
Just remember that, when you miss to achieve a performance target, the impact unto your career growth doesn't end with the year, but compounds up to scar your performance record throughout your career life in that particular company.
What's your key takeaway?
Realizing where we have not done well enough in the past shouldn't discourage us, because it's through recognition and acknowledgment of our mistakes that we can see clearly where and how we can do better.
Share your biggest takeaway from this reflection in the comment below and see how I can help you better this year.