Why should I spend my valuable time thinking about the past? What can I really learn from reflection? Is it actually worth my time and effort?
Any process that can be repeated is worth reflecting about. Through reflection, we discover what can be critiqued, find ways to improve upon it, and implement those changes to produce a better result. Writing, designing, coding, and business management are all processes that can benefit from reflection.
So how do we do this? How do we reflect with the intention of improving? According to Patricia E. Call, a professor at Brigham Young University, the most productive way to reflect is to utilize reflective questioning.
“Reflective questioning is a metacognitive strategy that blends … (a) self-questioning, (b) thinking on three levels: factual, inferential and critical, and (c) uses four communication skills: reading, writing, speaking, and listening.”
– Patricia E. Call
Asking ourselves questions about the process, and results, can lead us to discover potential flaws and identify areas for improvement. Some valuable questions to consider are:
- How did I manage my time?
- How can I act more efficiently?
- Did I need to use all the resources I did?
- Would more or less resources impact the outcome? If so, for the better?
- Who has experience in this area that can provide feedback and suggestions?
- What is the most impactful part of this product?
- How do I cater to it more?
Using the answers to these questions and applying them to your future methods will improve the outcome. The US National Library of Medicine performed a study intended to determine if a relationship existed between students who reflected on their schoolwork and their academic success. After analyzing a sample of 600 first-year science students they concluded:
“Self-reflection on both how and what students have learned, does lead to improvements in academic performance.”
There is a relationship between reflection and performance. Those who take the time to step back and consider what they have done, and the process they took to achieve it, find ways to improve upon it. All you have to do is put in the effort.
It’s easy to see the cost of reflection, but difficult to see the potential that will originate from it. Harvard Business Review, in a study concerning reflection’s impact on job performance, addresses this struggle:
“Now more than ever we seem to be living lives where we’re busy and overworked, and our research shows that if we’d take some time out for reflection, we might be better off.”
While not apparent, there is a reward that comes from meditating on your decisions. It can inspire you to improve what you write, better your design, enhance your code, and develop your business.
It is also valuable to lean on others who have spent years reflecting on the same problems. Asking others for guidance is an important step in seeing your goals become reality. Here at Lynk, the team strives to be a resource to those utilizing reflection to achieve their goals. Our Knowledge Partners have professional expertise in a vast array of fields and are eager to communicate their years of experience to guide your development through a business consultation.
Take the time to reflect, you’ll find it was worth the investment.
Think you could benefit from Lynk’s Knowledge Partners through a business consultation or would like to become a member of our network?