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Reflection

Posted by on Thursday, May 21, 2020 in Blog, Leadership Tidbit, News.

If you’ve ever attended one of our workshops, you might notice that we often end with 3 “Exit Ticket” questions:

  1. What was your greatest takeaway from today’s workshop?
  2. What will you stop, start, or continue doing as a result of today’s workshop?
  3. What, if anything, would you change about today’s workshop?

Yes, these allow us to collect feedback about the session but more importantly, it provides an opportunity for reflection.

Reflection is simply the act of engaging in meaning-making. It’s about making sense of an experience and developing an awareness and understanding of its impact on you. It’s also about deciding how you will use what you learned in future experiences. Self- reflection is also important as it helps to develop self-awareness, which we know is critical to serving as an effective leader.

Often, we find ourselves running through life like hamsters on a wheel and life just begins to happen to us. We go from class to class, event to event, interaction to interaction, and it all becomes a blur. Rarely do we prioritize time to stop and think deeply about all that is happening around us and who/what we’re becoming through these experiences. There is a great deal of growth that goes on in your life while at Vandy and it will help you to understand it if you take time to engage in critical reflection.

For students who serve as leaders (formal and informal) or who are in search of such opportunities, the best way to become a leader or a better leader is to plug in and reflect on your experiential, interpersonal, and educational experiences. Remember, leaders learn from their failures and their successes.  Reflection helps you to gather the data you need from each situation and apply it to your future practice.

By offering these three questions above before you leave the room after one of our workshops, we are creating space for a moment of reflection.

There are many ways to reflect including:

  • Journaling with prompts or free writing
  • Pair & Share/Group Conversations
  • Event debriefs
  • Presentations
  • Quotes
  • Exit Ticket Questions
  • Portfolios
  • Art or other forms of creative expression

The 2019-2020 school year has ended and so much happened. Now, that you’re a couple of weeks out of it, this might be a great time to sit down and reflect. This entire COVID-19 experience will require you to engage in deep reflection as you continue navigating our current reality and the consequences. Often, reflection is when I find gratitude, the long-lasting lessons that play a role in my work, it’s when I let go of regret, when I find pride in myself, and the way forward. Reflection helps me to understand my purpose and how I can keep becoming who I want to be.

My favorite way to reflect is to answer great questions/prompts.  Whip out your journal or connect with a friend to dig into these questions offered by the SLD Team.

  1. What do your needs look like in your relationships with yourself and others? Sound like? Feel like?
  2. List the things you need to feel supported at this moment.
  3. After completing this academic year, what skill(s) do you think you utilized to help you complete this semester?
  4. How have you focused on maintaining your wellbeing?
  5. What characteristics have you developed during this time that will help you to continue to overcome adversity?
  6. What is something new that you learned or was reminded of about yourself during this time?
  7. “In the rush to return to normal, use this time to consider which parts of normal are worth rushing back to.”- Dave Hollis — What parts of normal are worth rushing back to? What parts of normal have you realized might not be worth rushing back to?

 

Here are some other question options to explore:

Maxie McCoy https://maxiemccoy.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/Year-In-Review_Questions_WRITEABLE_FINAL.pdf

Positive Psychology https://positivepsychology.com/introspection-self-reflection/

Self-Reflection Questions for Leaders https://www.metattude.com/self-reflection-questions-for-leaders/

Inc. 11 Questions Self-Aware Leaders Ask Themselves Daily

https://www.inc.com/melody-wilding/11-questions-self-aware-leaders-ask-themselves-daily.html

Author: Krystal N. Clark (krystal.clark@vanderbilt.edu)

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