What Is Reflective Practice and Why Do You Need It: 2 Experts Share Advice

woman on a train writing in her diary

Would you like to be able to constantly improve yourself and your work? What if we told you that there’s a way in which you can do that? The way we’re talking about is called reflective practice. It relies on studying your previous experiences in order to find out what you can improve and how you can become a better version of yourself. People who engage in reflective practice are in a state of continuous learning. Moreover, they gain insight into what they’re supposed to do to develop themselves. They understand that experiencing things is not enough. We also have to reflect upon the experience in order to gain something from it. Here’s what 2 experts have to say about this practice.

Reflective Practice Discussed by 2 Experts

How to Develop Reflective Practice

If you’re wondering what you can do to incorporate reflective practice into your life, Neil Thompson, author of the book “People Skills” can answer that for you. He identifies 6 steps that you have to go through in order to successfully reflect on your experiences and life in general. The 6 steps are: read, ask, watch, feel, talk, and think.

When it comes to reading, he suggests topics that you particularly like and want to learn how to develop. Asking refers to asking other people about their methods of doing things and the motivation behind them. Watching is all about paying attention to everything around you. Feeling is being aware of your own emotions and what triggers them. Finally, talking is important in sharing your experiences with other people, and thinking about your work is something you should never forget to do.

Thompson’s list points to the fact that reflecting upon our experiences doesn’t only refer to thinking about them. It also refers to understanding other people’s point of view, studying theory, being aware of our emotions, and so on.

How to Keep a Reflective Practice Journal

One of the most important methods of reflective practice is keeping a reflective journal where you document all of your observations, ideas, visions, feelings, and so on. Jenny Moon, author of “A Handbook of Reflective and Experiential Learning” advises people to keep their journal on actual paper. Moreover, she provides us with some guidelines on how to make the most of this practice.

One of the first things she advises is for people to be consistent and write every single day. They don’t have to be formal, but write in a way that makes them feel comfortable. Another idea would be to also include drawings and diagrams in their journal. More importantly, they don’t have to write only about what happened, but about their reflection on what happened.

Among the benefits of having a reflective journal is the ability to become more confident and develop your voice, experiment with different ideas, develop those ideas, put order in your thoughts, develop your analytical skills, express your emotions, and many others.

These experts have definitely persuaded us to at least consider engaging in reflective practice, and we hope you feel inspired to do the same.

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Author: Amanda Knowles

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