Baraka Blog

Growing thoughts

“Reflective Working”

Arabic verse II

18 years of work and dozens of seminars on effective working practice and management, yet only recently have I started  practicing reflective working!  A few years back, I was telling a dear colleague and mentor that I had grown tired of working for the sake of working; that I often questioned why I was in a certain meeting, what purpose I really served in the team, wondered who benefited from my work and why I worked a certain way or didn’t!  I wondered if others reflected on their days.. did they ask themselves whether a certain meeting was more important than time spent at home with their kids? Could an activity be done in a more efficient manner if they included colleagues?  He told me….

إذا أردتَ أن تعرفَ مقامك، فانظر فيما أقامك

Loosely translated, that means to know your place with God you must reflect on what you do and work on.  Since that conversation, I have grown accustomed to taking stock of my work day, week, month and year. While that hasn’t “fixed” a problem.. it has provided a tool that allows me to learning from mistakes share my vision and knowledge, dare to experiment, challenging group-think, and become far more aware of time wasting activities.

Most work environments don’t facilitate reflection. The collective momentum to move in a certain direction, office layout, background symphonies of rapid footsteps, ringing phones, speedy typing, anxious conversations, aired frustrations forces one to keep to the beat. But above all, the primary factor standing in the way of reflective thinking individual recognition of its value.  Knowing and acknowledging that on a long and windy road, one has to stop and look at a map.

2 responses to ““Reflective Working”

  1. Mounir Baccouche October 28, 2009 at 12:51 pm

    The day I took your office, my only concern was, will this team that I’ve inherited from you will respect and love me the same way they were with you… Thank god it was the case the day I walked out of the door and it is the still the case when I cross them in events or public places. I think no matter how much hard work and money you make in a career life time, the most important thing ( Capital) that remains for the rest of your life and beyond is what your colleagues learned from you and the love they will always carry for you in their hearts.. That’s the map one should look for… His position is people’s hearts is his position in God’s eyes…… Simply because both aquisitions are priceless but worth having as a credit on the d-day….. You did great Rama and I am proud to have you in my network……

    Mounir

  2. Anna January 27, 2010 at 10:40 pm

    Thank you Rama. Reflection is so important, yet so easy to forget. I recently decided to start my day off with “an intention” – anything from finding joy in the movements of the day to aiming to be super efficient at getting X thing done. Yet, I have yet to close the loop regularly at the end of the day to take stock.

    To reflection and more time spent on things that matter!
    Anna

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