RPE: A Practical Leadership Guide Through Reflecting, Pausing, and Envisioning

January 1, 2024

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In the dynamic realm of the modern world, decisions are often made on the fly, in fact, according to a study conducted by Sahakian & LaBuzetta in 2013, the average human being makes about 35 000 decisions a day. This has made it more and more difficult for all of us to take a moment to reflect on the past year, to pause and take with us all the lessons learned and to envision a future where we make more planned and less reactive decisions.

Now imagine that on top of it all, you are an organisation leader with teams reporting to you. How can Reflecting, Pausing and Envisioning help you? In this article and as the year starts, we will be exploring the significance of each element in our RPE framework with you, its impact on leadership, and the unique benefits it offers when practiced collectively through our interventions.

  • Reflect:

"Reflective leadership requires the continuous practice of reflection over time," notes Harvard Business School Professor Nien-hê Hsieh in the online course Leadership, Ethics, and Corporate Accountability. He underscores the importance of regularly examining and re-evaluating decisions and responsibilities as a means to cultivate, broaden, and deepen leadership skills.

Reflecting is not merely a nostalgic journey into the past; it's a strategic move towards self-awareness, team-awareness, and organizational understanding. In most common leadership lifestyles, lessons are usually learned reactively, sometimes at the expense of valuable insights. At demtus, we work with you on creating the time to reflect where through our guided experiential activities we emphasize the importance of avoiding impulsive reactions and instead encourage intentional reflection to garner meaningful insights. The benefits extend beyond individual growth to fostering a deeper understanding within teams and the organization as a whole.

  • Pause:

It might seem counterintuitive or even useless to pause when everything around you is running but as psychologist Chris L. Johnson says: As a leader “Your future success depends on your ability to pause.” this is why, here at demtus we believe that pausing is a crucial part of our framework.

Nonetheless, the experience of stopping and reflecting on the past can sometimes be difficult and emotional. This deliberate break grants the opportunity to accept reflections without feeling overwhelmed. Some lessons may be uncomfortable, holding space for improvement, and taking the time to digest them provides equilibrium and clarity.

  • Envision:

After you have reflected and paused, the Envisioning part creates the space for you and your team to start planning with a fresh perspective. Envisioning goes beyond wishful thinking; it's a proactive step towards adapting to the dynamic nature of life and leadership while keeping the big goal in sight. Through our experience, we have found that this forward-thinking approach has a direct impact on decision-making and creates a conducive environment for continuous improvement in leadership teams.

In conclusion, our RPE framework emerges as a contributor to building a high-performance culture within organizations. What sets this approach apart is its group-oriented direction, fostering awareness among leaders and their teams. The facilitated conversations, guided by a neutral facilitator, help set biases aside and control emotional reactions, creating a space for mutual support and understanding. RPE is not merely a process; it's a transformative journey towards holistic leadership development.


To see how you can apply RPE for your team, book a free session with one of our consultants through this link: 


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