As a manager, it can be easy to get side tracked by any number of issues and challenges that land on your desk. And the more people you manage, the more this is magnified.
But could self-reflection provide the answer? One former executive thinks so. In an interview with Business Insider, Harry Kraemer, former CEO of multibillion dollar healthcare company Baxter International, claims that’s how he coped with managing a huge workforce.
In fact, Mr Kraemer, who has now left the corporate world to become a clinical professor of strategy at the Kellogg School, once managed 52,000 employees and states that self-reflection was what allowed him to focus on the right problems, and solve them.
So what is self-reflection? Well, according to Mr Kraemer, it’s about focusing on what your values are and how you’re going to live by those.
“This is not some intellectual exercise. It’s all about self improvement, being self-aware, knowing myself and getting better,” he explained.
Mr Kraemer went on to set out three ways in which making the time for self-reflection can improve your management. Firstly, it makes you aware of your priorities, and also highlights areas where your fall short.
Secondly, it makes you think about all the possible issues you could face, good and bad, and plan for those eventualities. Finally, by encouraging your employees to also include self-reflection in their day, it builds stronger teams.
With HSE figures showing that there were 488,000 reported cases of work-related stress, anxiety or depression in 2015/16, self-reflection could be one way of ensuring you and your team are able to cope better with whatever the workplace throws at you.
If you’re not sure where to start with self-reflection, consider investing in personal development training to help you find solutions to managing your workload more effectively.