While Self-Reflective Practice is regularly promoted in our professions, workplaces and training courses and the benefits espoused, the pressures of work and the fast pace of life mean that space for this important, indeed vital, reflective activity is in increasingly short supply.
More than just being a ‘professional’ activity, Reflective Practice is also very beneficial in achieving and maintaining a healthy work-life balance. It is increasingly becoming a fundamental part of personal growth practices.
Here at Inner Outings we want to create spaces to help people experience and develop their own meaningful reflective practices.
So, what is Reflective Practice and what are some of its benefits?
Fundamentally reflective practice is about growth, it’s about knowledge and about knowledgeable use of that knowledge, in other words – wisdom. This is because reflective practice has the capacity to turn an experience into knowledge, which can then be wisely applied to future activities (experiences).
Reflective practice has a rhythm, one of encounter (experience), reflection, understanding and planning, which leads once more to encounter. That is, there is “experience” then critical reflection upon the experience; from reflection comes understanding and the formulation of new knowledge (theory), guided by that new knowledge the practitioner can plan or set goals in preparation for similar or new experiences.
Reflective practice promotes self-awareness, it helps clarify our thoughts, feelings and values and brings them into sharp focus. This aids in identifying strengths and areas for improvement or further training, in goal setting (professional or personal), better informed praxis, improved interaction with others, and stimulates creative planning and problem solving.
Self-reflective practice is empowering.
“Reflection is an important human activity in which people recapture their experience, think about it, mull it over and evaluate it.”
(Boud, Keogh and Walker. 1985)