To become a great leader, empathy, communication, adaptability, emotional intelligence, and compassion are important soft skills. However, one often overlooked competency is reflection, which research shows can separate outstanding professionals from mediocre ones.

Reflection is about learning from experiences, contemplating behavior and its consequences. To gain its full benefits, reflection must become a habit. The most valuable reflections come from experiences that involve surprise, frustration, and failure.

Mistakes provide raw evidence of what not to do in the future. Frustration occurs when our thoughtful analysis is criticized. Reflection requires courage, is thoughtful, and deliberate.