Time to reflect?
‘The more reflective you are the more effective you are’. It’s a common saying. But how can becoming more reflective benefit you – and how do you do it?
What is reflection, and why should you be using it?
It’s the end of the meeting. There’s lots to digest but you have a busy schedule and you need to move on. So, do you quickly gather your things and head to the next task? Or do you take a beat?
The best leaders take that moment to reflect. Reflection can be an invaluable tool for understanding what you've done and where you're going. You may already be doing it without realising it – and that’s a good thing, because reflection should feel natural and organic, a regular part of your day-to-day life.
With the new school year about to get into full swing, now’s the time to reflect on the last school year and the year ahead using a reflective model.
What is a reflective model?
A reflective model is a practical and effective way to appraise your own performance - after each day and in the longer term. It’s an organic thought process that focuses on the 'why?', 'how?', 'where?' and 'what?' of your daily actions and allows you to evaluate yourself in a productive manner.
The thought process of reflection involves retrospective elements (looking back at specific events and asking questions about them), prospective factors (thinking forward or 'crystal ball gazing' to future events), as well as taking time to analyse your competence. From this thought process, you can then use those different elements to identify learning points and ways in which you can personally and professionally develop.
One example of an easy to use reflective tool is Gibbs' model, which offers a comfortable and natural cycle of thought and analysis that you can incorporate easily into any day or week as needed.
How you can use the reflective model
It's all about becoming ‘the reflective practitioner’. A reflective practitioner is someone who regularly practises reflection day by day. Once you are practised in this sort of thinking you may well find yourself doing it automatically, after each event or incident, to further your learning and development. The ability to perform this cycle naturally can provide massive advantages, helping you effectively analyse outcomes, identify positive and negative behaviours, and manage situations.
Though it can take time and practice to become an expert at reflection, you may already find yourself performing reflection over specific events in your daily life; such as thinking over the circumstances of your day on the way home, assessing your learning and development needs for the year ahead or reviewing critical or memorable incidents to see how you could have done better.
Bringing reflection into your life
Start small and change the way you think by small increments - and in no time you'll be reflecting on every event efficiently, naturally and without prompting. As with any habit, once you've consciously incorporated the reflection model into your routine, it will only get easier; and it's more than worth it.
As Visiting Fellows of a leading UK university, we use a range of reflective models when teaching our Business Degree programme - all of which can give you practical ways to incorporate learning moments and progression into your day to day life. Once you start thinking reflectively, you'll soon discover the benefits for yourself. Give it a try.
To find out more about The Driven Employee please visit our website www.thedrivenemployee.co.uk. For information about our schools Effective Leadership and Management package please see below what is included:
One place on The Practical Manager progamme - a 12-month modular programme combining six people management topics and six CPD modules to enhance your ability to ‘manage’
A one day Leadership workshop for your management team (or two half days' training/ coaching as required)
Managing Absence Toolkit – staff absence (especially short term) can be costly and disruptive to schools. The toolkit helps you identify key triggers so you can manage and reduce absence levels and ensure compliance with your policy
Includes free HR consultancy (reasonable use applies)
Payable in one annual instalment of £3,999 + VAT