Self-reflection is a central pillar in my relational therapy, coaching and mentoring work. From personal experience and the experience of people I work with self-reflection seriously boosts your learning and development.
The reason for this is that no matter your learning style preference self-reflection raises our awareness of our preferences and biases in our thinking, being and doing processes.
Capturing your experiences and insights in a manner which allows you to go back to retrace your learning fast-tracks your development.
What is it?
When thinking about self-reflection it may be helpful to think of it as “thinking about my thoughts, actions and behaviours”.
Top Tip: Developing a rigorously honest sense of our personal processes allows us to make new and different choices about what we think (cognition), how we are being (psychological, biological and emotional state) and what we are doing (action & behaviour).
Why do it?
Reflection builds your ownership of your own learning and growth.
What’s it’s Worth
Self-reflection helps you to develop a deeper understanding of how you perceive and process your thoughts, behaviours and actions; it supports you to understand our patterns of receptivity and resistance, patterns that may otherwise be out of your immediate awareness.
How do I do it?
Through Practice and use of internal and external strategies
Listed below are various types of reflection – this isn’t an exhaustive list and its order holds no meaning.
- Thinking out loud: this raises your awareness of how you verbalise and organise your thoughts.
- Thinking quietly and calmly e.g. via meditation / mindfulness: a tried and tested catalyst to expressing thoughts / opinions / to plan actions and opinion or to form ideas as a result of meditation
- Visuals: e.g. using photographs, arts works, digital pin boards etc. alongside written documentation to capture significant moments and insights.
- Journaling: keeping a learning journal throughout the mentoring cycle can help you stay on course, focused and attentive to the small and large changes emerging out of your mentoring experience.