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Monday, January 25, 2021

The Power of Reflection In The Workplace

In general, reflection is understood as the process of learning through and from experience towards gaining new insights of self and/or practice. This often involves examining assumptions of everyday practices. It also tends to involve the individual practitioner in being self-aware and critically evaluating their own responses to situations. The point is to recapture experiences and mull them over critically in order to gain new understandings and improve future practices.

Reflection is an important part of the human experience that differentiates us from other living beings. It is fundamental to our growth and development, especially in developing higher mental functions such as problem solving and decision-making skills.

Reflection requires several skills which can easily be developed.

  • Self-awareness – an ability to pause, to pay attention to thoughts and feelings and to self-question non-judgementally. This will help you to become aware of your habitual ways of thinking and behaving in any given situation).
  • Description – it is important to be able to describe / recall situations neutrally. These questions can help. What did I see and feel happening? What background factors played a role? What were the things under my control? How would other people involved describe me and the situation?
  • Critical analysis – the ability to challenge your assumptions by asking yourself: Is what I am thinking about myself, others or the situation true? Where do I need to focus next?
  • Review – an ability to pause and to ask: ‘What would I do differently next time and why? How exactly will I do it and how will that give me the outcome I want?’
  • New learning and next steps – an ability to learn about yourself from experiences (your potential and areas for improvement) rather than seeing yourself or others as a failure.

Reflection can be a very empowering process. It can help you to make sense of your day; to come to decisions, to set a course of action; to step away from your habitual way of doing and thinking and discover new freedoms and opportunities.

As a leader, we need all the learning we can get – and reflection is the most powerful opportunity we have. Applying these ideas will make you more effective, productive, and successful in all areas of your life.

So, what have you learned today?

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