Reflecting with others

Welcome to the fourth part of Reflecting in the TRUE Leaders Programme. Below you will find the video, audio and a transcript as well as a link to the worksheet. 

Worksheet (to download)

Video transcript

Hello and welcome back to part four of "Reflecting" in the TRUE Leaders Programme. So far in this section on reflecting, we have focused on what reflecting is, we have shared a model of reflection and gave it go on how that feels. We have also thought about what are the optimum conditions for helping us reflect. That might change, it might be different but just play around with those.

Today, we are focusing on the next piece of the jigsaw puzzle, which is around reflecting with others. There are two parts to that, there is a part around reflecting collaboratively; how do we reflect with other people. And there is also a part about supporting other people in their reflection.

We are doing the TRUE Leaders Programme and that is about leading your life. But it is also about leading by example: leading others, helping others, and supporting others. And that might be in the workplace or it might be outside of that.

So let us take the first part which is about reflecting with others collaboratively. Now, this might be really important if you are in the workplace and you are coming towards the end of a project; or you want to evaluate a service or you want to just reflect on something that has happened. And it could be a one-off instance or a longer-term thing but you want to reflect on that as a group.

So this is where you might want to think about different preferences and how you might want to do that; whether you want to bring some structure in or whether you want to keep it completely loose.

One thing that I would say from my own experience is that it is incredibly important to be transparent and to ensure that everyone is clear with what they hope to get from the reflection. Try to keep that in mind. I know it is all too easy to let that slip. It is a piece of the puzzle that often gets dropped because we move on to the next thing. Reflecting so that we can appreciate what has gone well. That is a really important part of it as well. There is something in there around what we have learned and what will we take forward. That is the bit that is really important to get right, especially when we are working with other people.

Now, this does not just work in the workplace. This is also applicable for groups of friends or family members. It could be the way that you organise your meals. It could be the way you are when you are on a holiday, or how you structure your time, or how you live together, or any of those things. So it does not need to be a formal process, but it does need to take into consideration the fact that everyone is different and that we all have different goals with this.

The main part around this is just having open conversations with people, being willing to be open-minded about how we do that, and keeping things focused without being too structured. And that is why I really like the "What? So what? Now what?" because, again, we can use that as a loose structure. It does not need to be a big long template that we need to document. It could just be in a conversation where we reflect on something that has happened that we, perhaps, did not handle very well with somebody.

And we have a sort of debriefing, and in our minds, we can keep that "What? So what? Now what?" there but it does not need to be a sort of formula. It does not need to be a structure but it just helps us to hinge that conversation on to those things. That is one important thing.

The second part then is around how do we help other people to reflect. And this is where I think a lot of it actually is about setting by example. It is about leading by showing people the way that we do it and helping them do it.

You may wish to share some of the things that you have learned from this programme or you may just want to start doing it. But, I think the really important thing here is just being open and transparent about the importance of reflecting. I have not yet come across anybody who has said to me, "I do not see the point in reflecting." Everybody that I have spoken to, everybody that I have worked with, where I have given them the opportunity to reflect, has seen the benefits.

Yet it is something that I do not think many of us purposely make time for, myself included. So today is about leading by example and sharing with people the fact that this is an important part of your life and this is how you are going to do it and also helping them support you with that as well.

For example, if I am spending a whole Sunday with someone, I will make it clear that a part of that time will be spent on, just briefly, reflecting on my week. I can manage that, but it is just so that there are no unmet expectations and that they understand what is going on. Often they will be quite curious and ask about it and we will end up getting into a conversation about it.

This is where we start to think about not just doing something for ourselves, but also helping other people and leading by example.

So today's piece, in terms of the task, is to start to think about the people around us and how they might wish to do things. This is where it might be really useful to speak to other people about how they would most like to be supported and if there is anything that you can think about where it would support you to let them know about that as well.

So that is what we are focusing on today that is around reflecting with others and supporting each other with that. And that is part four of reflecting. The next piece will bring everything together and we will start to think about reflecting on reflecting.

There we go. So enjoy today's exercise and I will see you soon.

Audio (to stream or download)