One of the main attributes of self-reflection is that you need to constantly question and evaluate how you do what you do. No task is so simple as to be accomplished through only a single skill. Listening effectively requires empathy, patience, analytical thinking, and self-control (just to name a few).
Many people know that they need to practice having more empathy or self-control. Others practice patience. But usually, this practice is generalized and not necessarily with the goal of becoming a better listener. Practice should be done with purpose. You should know the outcome you are trying to achieve.
Recently, I’ve been consciously practicing writing more effectively. I’ve been working on my construction of ideas, providing greater clarity, and expressing an idea correctly the first time – stopping to think before committing the thoughts into words (see what I did there).
Through practice, I believe that my writing has gotten cleaner and more focused. A side effect of this has been increased depth to my thinking on topics. Because I’m not just dashing off anything in 15 or 30 minutes I need more prep with my subconscious. It doesn’t actually take more time to write, the topics simply need to be more fully realized before I move into writing.
Conscious practice does us each wonder. It teaches us what we should really practice. It teaches us what we are actually good at. It builds up our fundamentals. What should you be practicing?