A Personal Retrospective
Share with othersThis year was like living through 500-year storms. COVID has claimed the lives of 1 in 20 Americans and 1 in 1000 people. Nearly 15,000,000 people are still without work. Thirty-three millions have been away for nine months and are unlikely to return anytime soon. The national conversation is dominated by social justice and racial issues.
It’s a time to reflect and refocus. A personal retrospective is similar to the agile team retrospective. It’s a time to look back at the past and determine future opportunities. What have we learned? What did these events do to us? How can we turn this knowledge into concrete, positive actions?
A personal retrospective is an event that is self-facilitated. This process is similar to a problem-solving workshop. We will analyze our experiences, identify common themes, create a plan, set goals, and then move forward.
The ceremony should be limited to one hour. The following guidelines will help you conduct your retrospective. Each step should be completed in approximately the same timeframe.
Make the space. Set up a meeting with you. You can block an hour where you won’t be interrupted or distracted. Find a quiet place where you can focus. Keep your electronic devices out of the way to stay focused. Get your supplies ready: Post-It Notes and markers, a flipchart, or a large sketchpad are all you need.
Brainstorm. Take a look at the powerful questions below. If you are able to answer them, then write your thoughts on a Post-It Note. Only one idea per card. If not, move on to the next question. These questions may not be relevant to your situation. You can create your own. You can either place the notes in random order on the flip chat sheet, or stack them in one corner. (15 minutes)
Organize. Organize your thoughts after you have recorded them on the cards. Start to group similar ideas. Next, create larger groups. To stimulate your creative brain, arrange ideas in clumps and not rows and columns. It will take time to organize your thoughts. Feel free to move cards around from one pile to the next. (5 minutes)
Label. After organizing your ideas, go through the groups and label them. What is the dominant theme? Make a new card in a different colour that summarizes the group. (5 minutes)
Synthesize. Now, we can turn on our logical minds. Take a look at the cards. What patterns can we see? What have we seen? There are many ways to synthesize information. (10 minutes) Draw lines to connect related themes.
Use colored markers to highlight similarities
Draw or doodle a picture that represents you thoughts or feelings.
To investigate an area, create a mind map or fishbone chart.
Prioritize. Reexamine your board. What have you learned? What is most important to you? What are you most passionate about in 2021? Each priority should be given a separate card. These cards should be placed in order of rank on another flip-chart sheet. (5 minutes)
Plan. You should only choose three things to focus on. Next, create a plan for achieving that goal. The standard SMART goal format can be used: (20 minutes) Specific. The desired outcome must be clear and easily understood.
Measurable. You can measure progress.
Achievable. It is possible to achieve the goal.
Timebound. Set a time frame to reach your goal.
Review. Review your progress once a month. Are you achieving your goals? Are they still relevant? Do they still have relevance?
The Powerful Questions
The most powerful questions should provoke a response. These questions will help you to think about how the past year has affected you. This list is by no means complete. You are welcome to add your questions to the brainstorming process.
Are you worried about someone important to you?
Many people have died due to COVID, and our normal grieving process has been disrupted. We may also have lost contact with important people or c