4 minute read

How encouraging critical reflection can help your business

In this blog, Senior Customer Success Manager, Jane Berwick, reflects on her travels and considers how the lessons she learned in Tibet can be applied to the workplace...

I love a long train trip. A few years ago, I had the opportunity to take a 49-hour journey from Beijing to Lhasa, Tibet's capital. The view from my cabin was otherworldly, with vast terrains, high mountain peaks, and a clear night sky displaying the most beautiful group of stars I'd ever seen. I spent time on the trip journaling, taking in the views, and feeling so thankful for being able to have the experience.

It's amazing how vast scenery, the sound of an engine, and the quiet hum of conversation provides the perfect recipe for reflection.

Critical reflection is important in the workplaceWhen we take a moment to slow our thinking, things can suddenly come into focus.

Whether on a train journey, listening to a favourite song or even at the end of a major project at work, it’s important to take a moment to stop and think ‘What’s going on here? What am I feeling? What has led me to achieve this particular outcome?’

This encourages us to open up our mind and to be curious about our own thoughts. Reflection is not just for its own purposes, however.

This process – of identifying and questioning deeply-held assumptions, beliefs, and feelings – is a concept known as critical reflection. First introduced by the American philosopher John Dewey[1], the concept provides us with a framework to think differently about working through various issues and obstacles in our lives.

It allows us to make purposely changes to improve outcomes in our lives. Studies show that when we take time to critically reflect, we're happier, we’re able better integrate various parts of our lives together and are even more productive.

So, what about in the workplace? Is it possible to provide space and time for reflection while still achieving results?

With working from home being the reality for many of us for the foreseeable future, perhaps this could be the perfect time for organisations to consider introducing better avenues for reflection.

Incorporate critical reflection into your 1:1's

This could encourage more self-awareness, connection and accountability which would create better outcomes for both individuals and teams.

Whether it be regular check in points for projects your teams are working on or using 1:1’s for a deeper inquiry into success - there are plenty of ways to incorporate this into the working world.

When introducing the idea of reflection, it’s important that organisations consider initiatives that are scalable; modelled by senior leadership; efficient; flexible and intentional.

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At Learn Amp, for example, we have digital tools that can be used creatively to allow individuals and teams to critically reflect, all in one place.

Self-recording a video reflection

Instead of a traditional 1:1 or check-in, an individual can record a video through our platform, answering some reflection questions perhaps posted by their supervisor.

exercises

Once submitted, the manager is then automatically notified and could then be prompted to post a video response, providing an opportunity for coaching or support.

Why not try a voice recording?

If users are a bit camera shy, there is also the option to do a voice recording directly in our system, ahead of a performance review for example. This could allow a person to speak more freely about their performance in the last 6 months or give examples of where they feel they have used their strengths.

Keep an online reflective journal

If seeing yourself on camera or hearing your own voice makes your cringe, there is also a space in your Learn Amp profile, to make notes or keep an online reflective journal on a regular basis, building the habit of learning or developing greater self-awareness.

Upload your own portfolio or content!

Individuals can also upload content of their own, if they want to be even more creative with a PDF portfolio completion project, infographic or video recording they’ve made with a team member. This can go towards an annual review or be evidence of professional development.

Update your own portfolio with Learn Amp

Promoting a culture of reflection for your organisation can sometimes feel like an intangible goal and it can be challenging to connect it with meaningful results.

However, we love exploring creative strategies with our customers, whether it be tools to promote a culture of learning or reflection or giving customers solutions for how to engage their teams better through more meaningful content.

Remember, the journey for your organisation is a unique one....where do you want to take it?

Want to implement a culture of critical reflection in your organisation? Request a Learn Amp demo below to find out how we can help.

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Resources

[1] Southampton University