The Benefits of Reflection

As a member of an organization, how many times have you gone into a semester motivated to fulfill your goals and purposes, only to increasingly lose interest by the midway point?

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A lot right? It’s no secret that with the combination of both classwork, studying, and maintaining a social life, that putting 100% effort into your organization can sometimes be put on the back burner of your priorities.

So, as a student leader of a group or organization, how do you in fact maintain and reassert motivation into your members?

If there’s anything that I’ve learned from taking “Unconventional Approaches to Leadership” this semester, it’s that you must first solidify your core values and the reason why you are a part of the group that you’ve joined. Once you have a purpose and set goals, the process, as described in the Relational Leadership model, will follow accordingly.

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One particular part of Process Orientation that I learned, is that reflection is a key component to the success of any organization. Reflection involves stepping back and asking yourself a series of questions, and reevaluating experiences. Part of staying on track for an entire semester and being committed to the goals you set involve reflection. For that reason, as President of my fraternity, Phi Sigma Kappa, I decided to deviate from usual chapter meetings and have an informal discussion and reflection session.

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For the activity, I asked my members silently and individually to think about questions such as, what have you done this semester that was successful for the fraternity? Or, what are you unhappy about, and how can you change it? In order to receive feedback from members, I encouraged them to share their thoughts, and turn in the answer to their favorite question. Then as a group, I had a team builder exercise that involved them judging where we are at as a fraternity, and to give a mental illustration of what their “perfect” image of Phi Sigma Kappa would be. The whole point of the exercise was to be able to redefine our values as a chapter and as an individual, and find out what necessary steps we need to take to improve our organization, and what things have worked to improve it already. My hope is that by reasserting these goals mid-semester, we will continue to carry the momentum we’ve had from the beginning of year, to the end.

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