Review of the Day for Managers

By Paul Brian Campbell, SJ

This is an adaptation of the Ignatian Examen designed for managers.

Imagine you’re at home at the end of another busy day at work. You plop down in front of the TV and, instead of some dumb quiz show, you’re looking at yourself going through the day at work.

Some leaders like to simply watch the day unfold like a movie and then reflect on certain aspects of it; others prefer to pause the “movie” at certain points to think about what just happened.

Some questions you might ask yourself:

  • From your perspective as a manager, what was the high point of the day?
    • Why?
    • Can you discern a pattern in what constitutes high points?
    • What can you do to increase the number and duration of these high points?
  • The low point of the day”…Again, look for reasons and patterns.
    • What would you do differently if you were given the chance for a “do over”?
    • How can you decrease the likelihood of repeating the same kinds of low points?
  • When were you working at your best during the day?
    • Recall as many details as you can. What made it your best work?
    • Were you working alone? With others?
    • Who brings out the best (and worst) in you? Why?
  • When did you struggle to stay focused and engaged?
    • What were you doing that challenged your focus?
    • Was this an isolated incident, or is this something you deal with a lot of the time?
  • How hectic was the day?
    • Do you prefer to be busy and on-the-go all the time, or would you rather have more time to pause and reflect? Why?
  • Think about each of your direct reports. Imagine how he/she might have pictured interacting with you.
    • Do you think there might be a disconnect between his/her perceptions and reality? Why?
    • What concrete things could you do to improve communication between you and your direct reports?
  • Look toward tomorrow.
    • Are you going to make any changes in your demeanor, communication styles, and attitudes?
    • What are you going to do to help your direct reports work more effectively and with greater satisfaction?

Related Links
How Can I Pray?
dotMagis blog posts about the Examen