As another year comes to the fore, we are once again in that funny place that is both encouraging yet daunting, as we strive to understand how to best handle this vast, untouched span of 365 days that lay before us.
This New Year can bring greatness if you allow it; no matter the past, we now have the renewed chance of starting afresh, of clearing our mindsets that limit us, and of gaining greater clarity for the upcoming year. This process of starting afresh begins with learning about ourselves and how we work so that we may implement our positive learning experiences in meaningful ways in the New Year.
To ease into 2017, we suggest a short exercise that will hopefully challenge you to a bit of productive and honest introspection. Through Thinking and Re-Thinking, we prompt you to reflect on your past year, to positively acknowledge important insights you have gained thus far and to ultimately contemplate how the things you have learned will meaningfully impact and inform how you approach 2017.
Get a pen and notepad or open up your computer-let’s start!
Think About How You Did This Past Year
Before you move onto planning how you will handle 2017, assess this past year. Our past offers a gold mine of experience and expertise that can structure how we may go about and approach our future decisions. Ask yourself:
1) Did I achieve my goals for 2016?
2) What was one major challenge I and/or my virtual team handled well in 2016?
3) What was one major team challenge that could have been handled in a better way if I were to face it again in the future?
4) How did I measure the effectiveness of my virtual team in 2016?
5) What did I do to build sustaining relationships with my virtual team to boost productivity?
Now think about what you will do differently this year.
Now Re-think About How Your Team Did This Past Year
Closely associated to Thinking is Rethinking, that is, recognizing and doing away with our blind spots. We all possess some form of a blind spot. Similar to driving a car, where our rear-view-mirrors, headrests or even backseat passengers may obscure our vision, the clarity to properly navigate a virtual team may also become obscured when our blind spot clouds our judgement.
Sometimes, these blind spots come in the form of assumptions. Our assumptions are blind spots because they lie beyond what we can identify and correct. These assumptions may be pre-conceived notions about how our virtual team is functioning.
So, before you move onto planning how you will move towards greater success in 2017, begin the
New Year by sitting down with your team and ask them these questions:
- What went well for you in 2016?
- What do you need more of in 2017?
- What do you need less of in 2017?
- What can I do to support your growth and development?
So as you move into 2017, spend some time to reflecting on your blind spots and checking in with your virtual team about what they need to succeed.