Last week we talked about the importance of having people in your circle who mirror back to you your impact in Surrounding Yourself with Good Mirrors. Without mirrors it is challenging to know, accurately, what your skills are, how they contribute to your success, how they (sometimes) block your success, what your impact is, where you can have influence and how you lose influence. You can guess, of course, and you can look back and reflect on what happened as a result of your actions but having mirrors in your world helps you get real time data to build your skills and prevent unintended impacts.
Last week, we suggested that you look at the people in your circle to assess if you have people who can genuinely reflect back to you who you are. Today we are going to talk about how to find mirrors in your work, community and family.
The search for mirrors can feel hard and awkward but we want you to know that it’s worth it.
Here are some simple steps to finding good mirrors:
- Spend some time thinking about the people that you respect who are already in your day-to-day world. This could be a boss, colleague, subordinate, friend, neighbor, spouse or even child.
- Explore ways to have time with them – coffee, lunch, a walk . . .
- It if feels safe and appropriate, tell them of your effort to connect with people who are willing to help you see yourself more clearly and ask if they would consider being more active in mirroring your impact back to you
- If you believe they have the potential to be good mirrors, consider how you can talk or meet regularly
- Participate in activities in your workplace that take you outside of your regular groups
- Find our what you can about in-house associations or work committees
- Talk with your boss about ways you could increase your department’s impact company wide – this conversation may lead you to discovering some new contacts that can serve as mirrors in your company but outside of your day-to-day
- Explore finding a coach or counselor to meet with regularly. These professional allies can provide a wealth of feedback and often have expertise in how to become more effective, manage problematic behaviors and step into your power
- Many of our clients come to us for just this kind of feedback
- Some clients go so far as to have us shadow them through their days from time to time so we can see how they move in the world
- Some clients join our coaching groups so that they can benefit from our feedback as well as their colleagues in the group
- Coaches and counselors are available in most communities and many of us also do phone work as needed
- Attend industry and professional associations or community groups where you can expand your circle and bump into people who could fit the bill
- It often takes going to these meetings regularly over time to get to know people a bit before having a more dedicated conversation
- Looking at meetings that are configured around an area of expertise you can develop can expose you to powerful mirrors
- Take a class, workshop or training in an area that interests your or will expand your skills
- The nature of many classes and trainings is that you get feedback on your performance, your style and your thinking – this can be a great way to create a mirror in a specific area or to get practice getting feedback on your efforts
Finding good mirrors is important in claiming your power and increasing your impact. It’s wonderful to hear all the ways you contribute and to get feedback on your successes. It’s equally important to hear the ways you get in your own way or have a problematic impact.
Take some time this week to consider new opportunities that can lead you to better know who you are and how your actions impact your world.