Why reflection matters

Reflection (or Reflective Practice) is the practice of actively considering your experiences in order to continuously learn and develop. Reflection is a natural human activity and by doing it proactively and regularly, you’ll learn more and develop more quickly. 

Practicing reflection in teams and organizations can you learn collectively.

The key to reflection is asking: “What does this experience mean to me?” Here’s a simple yet powerful set of reflection questions that can be used in almost any setting for individuals and/or groups.

  • What happened?
  • How did I feel and what were my reactions?
  • What insights or conclusions can I draw from the experience?
  • What actions can I take based on what I learned?

At Hyper Island, we use reflection as a way to support people to harvest the most possible learning from their individual and shared experiences.

How to do it right

While researching her piece for Harvard Business Review, Why You Should Make Time for Self-Reflection (Even If You Hate Doing It), executive coach Jennifer Porter found that employees who spend a little time at the end of the day reflecting about lessons learned perform better than those who don’t.

But, how do you do it right?

Individual reflection helps to pick apart complex experiences, so that the successes of the experience can be repeated or improved, and the failures provide learning opportunities for growth.

The Hyper Island reflection exercise for individuals is flexible, taking you through key stages of the reflection process, and ending with key action points.

Time frame: 30-60 minutes.

All you need is a quiet space to sit, a pen and a notepad.

Step 1

This is an individual exercise. You are facilitating your own reflective process. First, create the right physical and mental state for reflection. Finish any pressing tasks. Send any important emails. If possible, go somewhere quiet.

Step 2

Check-in with yourself: How do I feel? How was the day? What’s on my mind? Take a few moments to get into become present in the moment. Decide what experience your reflection will focus on (for example, an experience that has recently taken place, a social interaction, a recent event).

Step 3

You may wish to write down reflections with a pen and paper, free from the distractions of computers, phones, or tablets. You may want to set timings for each of the following questions, if time is of any concern: What happened during the experience? How did I feel and what were my reactions? What conclusions can I draw? How can I apply what I learned to improve future experience?

Step 4

If relevant, set deadlines for each of the actions you have identified during your reflections and share them with a colleague. Your colleague can support you by holding you accountable to complete them.

Methods & Tools curated by Hyper Island

Hyper Island Toolbox is for anyone who wants to do things more creatively and collaboratively in their team or organization. It’s a collection of methods and activities, based on Hyper Island’s methodology, that you can start using today. It’s free to use.

The toolbox grows over time. We’re constantly developing and discovering new tools and methods and adding them. If you have suggestions or would like to contribute, please let us know.