In my [humble] opinion, another important aspect of reflection is belief. Belief in yourself, your strengths, your ability to overcome challenges, your desire to change when needed and stay strong when necessary.
Leadership is often lonely and isolated. Social media has certainly provided more opportunities for leaders to connect and share successes and challenges with peers across the world. However, the day-to-day work is often still you, alone, doing your best to lead a staff in the ways that will make significant differences in the lives of children. To do this successfully, and to keep coming back for more each day, your belief in yourself is critical.
To me, belief in yourself does not mean that you know all or that you can do everything by yourself. Believing in yourself means knowing your strengths as well as your weaknesses, surrounding yourself with a strong team who can support the vision of the school/ district/ organization, and the abilities to ask for help, seek out new resources, and admit when you are wrong. These are not qualities that come naturally to all leaders. Many of these qualities I learned myself through my first years as a leader, along with many hours of reflection. I didn’t always have belief in myself as a leader, but I always believed in the work I was doing, as part of a team, to help students. I build the self-efficacy necessary to believe I had the ability to do the work that needed to be done on behalf of the students I served.
Reflective questions to consider:
- What beliefs do you hold about your leadership?
- What beliefs affect your work?
- How do you build self-efficacy in others?
Abecedary of Reflection: