I always love it when I read one thing that relates to something else I've just read and conversations I've been having with people. Let's see if I can draw the threads together for a couple recent entries.
I wrote a couple days ago about multitasking resulting from our familiar practice. And in some conversations with colleagues, the idea of practicing at your job came up: a practicing physician, a practicing engineer, etc. But the idea of a "practicing project manager" sounded odd somehow (maybe this shows the influence of my current work). But isn't that the reality. The PM doesn't know everything and they should be continually looking for more opportunities to deliver their projects with high quality and faster. Right? Any role that we play out there should be seeking to learn more and do things better.
Earlier, I came across Ritual Questions Help Inform Effective Leaders by Eric McNulty, which talks about the idea of regularly asking your team and yourself open-ended questions to check how things are going. This could range from "What have I learned today" to more involved questions around how well (or poorly) I've performed in a given situation. This might be a more specific version of What Went Well and Areas for Improvement. And then this reminded me of the question from Triggers by Marshall Goldsmith, Am I willing at this time to make the effort to make a positive change in this situation? This led me to think about one's practice for daily action - for daily thoughts about improvement and change.
And finally, a recent piece by James Lawther, Does Your Organisation Have Bad Habits, reconnected to the idea of practice. He talks about habits and routines - that we don't put much thought into the work in the middle of a routine. It's only when something is unusual - and we notice it - that we break out of the routine and step back to think about why we are taking this action and what we are trying to do. It is only at this time that we need to think about the practice at hand. This is what the above piece on "ritual questions" suggests - I might go through the day on habit, but there is always opportunity to reflect and think back over how things have gone.
Thinking and routine must work together for any kind of growth to happen. Working out loud is one path - like this blog. I wonder how others approach this topic.