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Mirror, Mirror on the Wall.

Clay frog looking into mirror on grass

Reflection - serious thought or consideration.

Self-Reflection - serious thought about one's character and actions.

Self-reflection has been used in medical training for years and it is where the learning happens. The “AHA” moments whilst reflecting bring with them knowledge and focus of what to action/ improve next.

The Academy of Medical Royal Colleges and COPMeD define reflective practice as ‘the process whereby an individual thinks analytically about anything relating to their professional practice with the intention of gaining insight and using the lessons learned to maintain good practice or make improvements where possible.

Why Reflect

It could be argued that the role of self and team reflection is more important than ever right now. The ever-increasing pace of work, 24/7 switched on nature of social media and electronic notifications, the new constant awareness of potential VUCA (volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity) situations means we rarely have time or give ourselves time to just stop and think.

Self-reflection will increase your business’s emotional intelligence which is vital for business and personal resilience. Why don’t we do more of it? As we move on from the pandemic into a possible recession having a resilient high performing team that is clear on what to do next is a must for business leaders.

“Emotionally intelligent workers can navigate and outperform their peers in a situation where, candidly, there's a lot of fear about job loss or stress.”

Consider putting time aside for you and your team to reflect as a protective measure. An investment in the future resilience of your organisation.

How to Reflect.

There are 5 common steps in reflective practice

  • Self-Awareness,

  • Description,

  • Critical Analysis,

  • Review,

  • New learning conclusions and next steps.

But really after this, there are no hard and fast rules on how and when to reflect, there are many approaches. Its best to find your own way but a great example from the General Medical Council [1] is “The What? So what? Now what? Framework”. It’s a simple way to structure reflections.

Framework "What", "So what" , "Now what" pie chart with arrows

Key elements in this framework that might be helpful to consider:

  1. What? focuses on thoughts at the time of an experience. It explores thought processes when a particular action or decision was taken and how those may have impacted on actions and feelings. eg ’What was I thinking when I took the actions or made the decision that I did’

  2. So what? involves considering the significance of what happened as well as the values and feelings at the time of and prompted by the experience, and why these may influence future learning or actions. eg ‘How did I feel at the time of and after the experience, why was it important?’

  3. Now what? looks at the processes and opportunities that can help learning from the experience and identifying future actions, reflection on those actions, and how to use these to develop further. eg ’What can I learn from or do differently next time’

Reflection helps me take a breath and think.

I have a set plan; I reflect daily (first thing in the morning, also at the end of the working day), weekly (Sunday) and monthly (1st day of the month). It helps me make sense of what is happening.

My daily reflection keeps me focused on the tasks I need to accomplish. It also helps me focus on the positive skills I have, getting me through the week.

Weekly reflection helps me identify things that went well, but also things that need some improvement. I identify and set my personal development agenda after these sessions.

Monthly reflection helps me celebrate achievements and set the goals for the coming month.

Why not pick a positive time of the day for you, slow down your thoughts and reflect? Find somewhere quiet, switch off the tech, grab something to capture your thoughts and spend a little time reflecting. Bring forward those unconscious thoughts and do something about them.

Encourage your teams to do the same. Enable them to find 5-10mins in their busy day to be quiet, to think. It will take practice to put in place, to build the habit but once you establish custom the benefits for individual wellbeing and to the business will be seen.




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