Three Breakthrough Principles for Reflective Thinking

If you are like most leaders (and people) in our culture today, you probably do very little reflective thinking. If that’s the case, it may be holding you back from some significant breakthroughs in your professional and personal life.

I’ve discovered three breakthrough principles for reflective thinking that I’m excited to share below: 
1. Create the time and space
Greek Philosopher, Socrates observed, “The unexamined life is not worth living. For most people, the thought of slowing down and looking within is uncomfortable. If you don’t carve out the time, you might miss a big breakthrough adjustment.
2. Find the right place
Reflection does require solitude and a distraction-free zone. A quiet cafe or special location where your thoughts can be free and flowing is important to find. The key is to break your normal working routine and break-away from some breakthrough thoughts.
3. Ask breakthrough questions 

  • Where do I need to grow in my character?
  • What does each family member need from me “at this season of our life?”
  • How can I better serve and empower my team?
  • What are two developing skills I can focus on to increase my leadership and influence?
  • Is my health/fitness plan in pace and am I committed to it?
  • What big dreams do I need to pour fuel into and focus on in the coming months?
  • Are my goals updated for business, family, finances, fitness, personal growth, spiritual peace, and fun?
Final challenge: I’m convinced every significant breakthrough begins in solitude… a thought, a reflection, an action.

Ultimately, reflective thinking leads to personal and professional breakthroughs that has three main values:

  • Perspective
  • Insight/awareness
  • New direction (action)
The value and breakthroughs from reflection will depend on the courage to ask and answer the right questions.

Here’s to your reflective thinking!


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About the Author

Steve Gutzler is the President of Leadership Quest, a Seattle-based leadership development company. Steve is a dynamic, highly-sought-after speaker who has delivered more than 2,500 presentations to a list of clients including Microsoft, Starbucks, the Seattle Seahawks, Pandora Radio, Boeing, Cisco, Starwood Corporation, the Ritz Carlton group, and the U.S. Social Security Administration. He recently was voted #1 by the readership of Huffington Post as the Most Inspirational Leader on Social Media.

A published author on leadership and emotional intelligence, Steve resides near Seattle with his wife Julie where they enjoy time with their three adult children and six grandchildren.