We All Want Success
No one gets out of bed hoping to perform worse today than yesterday. The way to move forward is to do more of what’s getting us positive results and to correct what’s not working. Improvement occurs as we identify areas of success and opportunity and make adjustments that will get us closer to the intended outcome.
Reflective practice is a process of deliberately pausing, scrutinizing the details of our progress or an outcome, and determining future actions. This process works for individuals and teams. To be effective, there must be a commitment to improvement and the reflective practice itself.
Make Reflection a Priority
Scheduling the pause is one way to ensure reflective practice is prioritized. For some individuals, reflective practice is built into their daily routine. This keeps both progress and specific outcomes top of mind, so learning and adjustment is continuous. For teams, intentional reflection might occur on a quarterly or weekly basis. It might also be scheduled after all major team events or projects. This type of regular reflection following the completion of specific activities has been adopted by various organizations and might also be referred to as After Action Review (military), SWOT Analysis, Autopsy (Collins, 2001, Good to Great), or Project Post-mortem. The key is to develop a timing and process habit that makes reflective practice most effective for moving individuals and teams to higher levels of success.
Reflective Practice in 6 Steps
Gather Documentation & Data
It is important to be focused and clear when engaging in individual or team reflection. Review of documentation and data related to the intended outcome ensure an accurate assessment of progress and associated actions. Ask team members to provide data, if actions were owned by specific individuals.