Take Time to Reflect

Take Time to Reflect

Coming up with a career tip for the 2nd Quarter of 2020 is not easy.  What could I possibly offer or say during this very unique time? The world kicked off 2020 with a pandemic in February/March, a total shutdown of our economy in April, and the renewed movement for racial justice in May.  With so many more important events going on across our world, a tip to improve your career seems rather shallow.  I struggled for a few days with what to write.  Finally, I thought I would share what has been on my mind. It’s a little personal but I feel it’s relevant.

A question I ask myself and others when I coach them is, “How am I (are you) complicit in this situation that I (you) do not want?”  So in this case, I asked, “How am I complicit in so much division?” I have been pondering this question during my morning reflections.  My morning routine starts with quiet time.  No matter what I have going on that day, I ensure I have quiet time to reflect.  I will skip working out before missing quiet time.  And, over the last few weeks, the word “humility” keeps coming to the forefront of my mind.

Humility may not be the right word.  This sentiment is more than just putting others first or seeking first to understand.  It’s about really taking time to understand and learn from other people, whether it be about their experiences with racism, thoughts on opening the economy, or another away to do something at home or work.

If we’ve learned anything from 2020, it’s that we still have lots to learn. There’s nothing more humbling than realizing my lens of business experience isn’t even close to perfect. I still have a lot to learn. Everyone has something to teach me. I don’t always have to be right. I think I often fall under the assumption that people see the world the way I do.  But I see the world based on the lens of growing up middle-class in the Midwest, attending a Catholic college, serving in the Army, marrying and having 4 children, a stable career, my parents still living and other combinations of experiences. However, these all make my lens unique to me.  All of these create filters in how I see the world and interpret events.  Recognizing this helps me lean into the spirit of humility. What if instead of strategizing my next statement + counterpoint, trying to be the smartest person in the room, or convincing someone to believe my point of view, I asked more questions? What if I listened and learned more about the lenses and filters of the other person?  What if I took the time to ask more questions so I could understand another person’s life experiences and how these experiences shape his or her thoughts?  I know I will not always agree with the person, but that is not my intent. My intent is to understand and ensure the person, experience, or point of view feels understood.

A little deeper than most of my career tips but I believe that Q2 2020 deserves it.

My best wishes to you for the next quarter.  If there is anything that the Cameron-Brooks team can do for you, please reach out and give us a call –  (210) 874-1500.

-Joel Junker