Taking time out to reflect

One of the most fundamental tasks that you have to do over the course of your CIPD programme is to manage your CPD & a big part of this is reflection. Reflecting on what you've done, what you've learnt, how you're going to use this knowledge........

Peter Honey has written an interesting post on People Management about the Police Force's idea to make 20 minutes of reflection time compulsory. I'd be interested in your thoughts about how you manage your own "reflection time" - are you structured about it? Do you try & remember to do it once a week, once a month? 

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  • I've been reflecting a lot recently, mainly because I'm in a new role with DPG so I'm covering a lot of new ground. One of the things I really value is feedback and reflection doesn't have to be a lone exercise. What I find useful is getting feedback and input in to things I've done or am planning to do and be open to improving and changing things as I go. I like the structure that Phil uses and even if you don't reflect like this even the fact that you are thinking about what you've done and how you've done is the key.

    Self-improvement comes from reflection and as long as you are self aware and actively do this on a regular basis you will benefit from this activity.

    One of the things I've found useful in my thought process and helps me to reflect is blogging, both reading blogs and writing them. I've been blogging since Sept 2011 and can honestly say its a fantastic reflection exercise.

    I'm thinking how we can help others to see the benefits of blogging and do some stuff on this community so watch this space

    • Interestingly I revisited my Learning Styles last week - whilst I have changed a little over the years, unfortunately reflection is still not my strong point! It's not that I don't do it, it's just that I don't enjoy it & therefore it feels like a chore!

      I've been talking this through with one of my fellow CPD advisors & have realised that I like to reflect in a more holistic way than i was previously - this probably links more to the idea of blogging than completing CPD entries in the traditional way & I will be working on this over coming months. 

      Look forward to seeing your ideas Mike.

      • I've been thinking about how to bring blogging to life a little more and i've written a post called

        A blog about blogs

        It's part 1 focusing primarily on setting up a RSS reader to find and collate blogs of interest so you don't need to keep finding them - they come to you. I've posted some blogs that I read on a regular basis to get people started and I hope we can start to share other blogs that we read.

        The second part will look at commenting on blogs and moving from a lurker to an active contributor - then the big one. Starting your own blog and using the blog in this community.

        Let me know what you think and if there is anything you'd add


        • Hi Mike

          This comment interested as I am a bit of a dinosaur, and new to all this, it sounds like your blog will be a great place for me to start in finding the things I need and want to read.  

          Unfortunately the link isnt working?  Any ideas? 


          • Hi Amanda - sure no problem. The links must have broke when the site got changed. Here are the two related posts.

            A blog about blogs

            A blog about blogs (part 2)

            Give them a read and let me know what you think 

            PS....you've already done a great thing by posting hereand asking for more information :)

            A blog about blogs (Part 1)
            The DPG community is a community of practice, a shared space for professionals with an interest in Learning and Development & HR to come together and…
      • Hi  Fiona,

        What about the concept of "reflecting in-action" see below:-

        Schön (1991) distinguishes between

        reflection-on-action and reflection-in-action in the following way:


        is concerned with practicing critically. So, a physiotherapy student working with a client on an exercise programme is making decisions about the suitability of particular exercises, which exercise to do next and judging the success of each exercise at the same time as they are conducting the activity.


        on the other hand, occurs after the activity has taken place when you are thinking about what you (and others) did, judging how successful you were and whether any changes to what you did could have resulted in different outcomes. This is usually the type of reflection which you are asked to write about as part of your studies.

        So for me reflection can be carried out during the activity (what ever it is)  it means that you consider the impact of you actions in an on going way and make relevent changes there and then.  The important thing is to ensure these changes are captured and result in long term changes if required.    So I consider this as reflection for the activist.... mmmm.. do I see a new educational model comming on?

        Have a great weekend I an off to see the Olympic torch in Guildford this afternoon, can't wait.

        • Thanks Howard - I like this! I am definitely more of an in-action person (rather than an inactive one!) - the art is then in capturing it. Some good thoughts coming through here.

          Enjoy the torch :)

  • Hi Fiona, it is a must for me and I am really disciplined with it.  After each meeting/workshop/coaching session I have, there is at least 20 minutes of time built in to my day to allow me to reflect. 

    Sometimes that is in the car and like Emma, I find using the voice memo function helpful.  I will set it off before I drive and then share my thoughts/reflections.  I then find it really interesting to listen back to them again later.

    Other times it is with a good old trusty mind map (using an app on my tablet if I can) where I can put all my thoughts out.  The structure that works for me is:

    -  What did I do well

    -  What could I have done better

    -  What do I need to learn for next time

    I hope that this helps!

    • What app do you use Phil for mind maps?

      Also have you used Evernote to record your voice notes, have started doing this and it means access on any device with an internet connection.

      • I've just got Evernote - looking forward to making that work for me. Would also love to know what the mindmap app is Phil.....

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