The Importance of Reflection

The end of any year has always been a time for reflection, thinking about what has happened in the past year and, perhaps, what changes do we want (or need) to make in the coming year and beyond. My personal sense of reflection has been turbo-charged this year with a visit to CIPD HQ in Wimbledon to deliver a workshop on leveraging the power of experiential learning to 60 of their trainers and coaches. As an introduction to the workshop the ever-inspiring Andy Lancaster, Head of Learning at CIPD, offered us a vision of the changing professional environment that L+D practitioners need to respond to - and this is what has really made me think hard about how we work.  

One takeaway for me was that we view change, particularly organisational change through the lenses of some particularly negative models e.g. Kubler Ross - derived from how to get through bereavement! It’s clear to me that we need models that reflect a much more positive attitude to inevitable change (and here Andy offered some possibilities), perhaps drawn from non-traditional sources such as Prochaska and DiClemente’s Transtheoretical model. This is, to me, a strong contender for supporting change in that it highlights the importance of getting ready to make the changes that are needed. Before we go through the “Action” stage of transformation we go through “Precontemplation” “Contemplation” and “Preparation” - a whole lot of thinking and reflection before we’re ready to take the first steps.

My reflection was around how we, at RSVP Design, can support these stages by offering learning tools that can support people in contemplating potential changes. Here the questions we need to be posing are:

“Why do I need to change?”

“What’s wrong with not changing? 

“How am I going to make the first steps towards changing?”

and for the L+D professional, 

“How can I offer a space and structure for these questions to be asked and considered in a way that acknowledges their importance?”

Two things that are obvious in relation to this are: