By reflecting on the situations we experience, we can really learn about the way we think and act in a certain situation. Being aware of our thoughts, our behavior and in the end changing it for the better.
Michael Carrol (2009) gives a good definition of reflection: It’s the competence to think about the past, in the present, for the future.
But reflection can be difficult. There is no reflection manual. The best way to learn how to reflect is by doing it. When you start reflecting, make it easy for yourself, and start small.
There are a couple of tools that can help you to start reflecting. The ABC model is an easy tool to start reflecting. In other practices, other tools will be shared to make a deep dive in reflection.
What steps to take for the practice
The ABC model is an easy way to start with reflecting the first time. Be aware that this is not a complete recipe, this is only an appetizer. This is a good way to start discovering the art of reflecting.
Reflection is all about situations that happened that you like to change. You weren’t happy with the process of the situation and your own behavior around this situation. Get a piece of paper and a pen and a red and green marker. Place this situation in the center of your mind and take these three steps:
A: Transform the external to internal. Try to write down a complete description of a situation. Write this down and be as complete as possible. Answer the question: What has touched you in the encounter? To make it easier, use this sentence: Person X did A that made me feel like B.
B: Analyse what has made you feel this way. Discuss the case with yourself (or with others around you). Important is to analyze what your thoughts and feelings were during the encounter. Write these down. Mark the sections that you aren’t happy with red and the parts where you are proud of green. To make it easier, use this sentence: When I felt B1 way I thought about C which made me feel B2.
C: Now gather the green and red parts and write them down below each other. Read them thoroughly. Next to it write what you have to savor (green) or want to change (red) in the encounter.
Congratulations, you did your very first reflection. There are many ways to start reflecting. This is an easy way to start small.
I had a call with my manager, Rob. He was worried about the deliverables for the project. When I gave him a call, he told me that I have to take a break from my work more often. I said this is not important and he shouldn’t interfere with this. He said it is important. That made me really angry and I finished the conversation.
A: Rob did say I had to take a break from my work which made me feel like he was interfering with my personal time schedule.
B: When I felt like he was interfering with my personal time schedule I thought this would not help us to reach the deadline which made me feel very worried.
C: I felt worried about not making it to the deadline. Next time I do not want to finish the conversation, but make it clear that I am worried about the deadline instead of making it personal.
Change of mind and change of behaviour
Learn of the past, grow in the future
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