“We do not learn from experience.. We learn from reflecting on experience” - John Dewey
According to a study, most learning programs in today’s workplace are ineffective in producing lasting results. The focus of learning and development at the workplace is either around memorizing facts or learning from experience with very little reinforcement for employees to integrate newly acquired knowledge. As a result, employees tend to forget their learnings and in no time bounce back to old ways of functioning. Programs miss out on one of the key components for effective learning - the practice of reflection.
Research suggests that reflecting on your learnings and experiences can increase its effect on your performance by 23 percent.
But how do you define reflection at the workplace?
Reflection can be defined as the articulation of prior experiences or learnings and coding these experiences into your future course of action.
Why Reflect at work?
Reflection empowers us to move forward with thoughtfulness and intent. It enables critical thinking, articulation, and inspired action to ensure that one doesn’t get unconsciously pulled into the status quo.
Looking for an effective technique for adopting the practice of workplace reflection?
Here’s a framework on the 5 Rs of reflection (Bains, Mills and Lester, 2002) that can help :
Pen down a brief description of the situation or the trigger for the issue involved
Take account of your observations, emotions and questions about the situation
Make a connection between the listed issue and your prior experience. Understand what is currently happening or missing from the situation
Put down your explanation of the issue based on significant factors, relevant theories or personal experience
Draw conclusions and create an action plan to reconstruct your future personal or professional practice towards the situation
Simply put, reflection at work is an important practice for overall growth and development. These practices will help you transcend beyond the realm of knowledge and will ensure better problem solving and decision making skills.
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