Why do I need to reflect?
For us it is always time to review and reflect on your professional development. This month our topic is reflection as it is key to our learning and as we are more than half way through the year it is a good opportunity to stop and think about where we are, where we want to be and how we are going to get there. We are always encouraging reflection as it is a key skill that needs to be planned and a structured approach to benefit from fully.
Reflection is an integral (and often overlooked) part of the CPD cycle. If you are recording your development, it is more time efficient and will give you a greater depth of understanding to consider how the activity has contributed, to your learning, development and knowledge. Studies prove that people who reflect on their learning, retain more information and are significantly more efficient at applying it to improve upon their performance. Reflection is especially valuable if you wish to get the best results from planned development activities. Reaping the rewards of a solid reflection strategy is a low cost way to better career opportunities and improve ROI for business owners.
Gibbs Reflective Cycle is our ‘go-to’ model as it is easy to follow and gives you more awareness and understanding of the situation. We encourage you to try using this cycle, go through each stage asking yourself the questions and see the difference it can make.
Various aspects of the Leap Online Hub help you reflect upon what you have achieved and the activities that you have completed. Both the ‘CPD Hub’ and ‘document upload’ sections allow easy access to the information that you’ve uploaded onto the platform. You can then share these activities with others in your team and communicate with them and they can share their activities. This allows whole groups to reflect as a community enhancing the CPD experience.
How to start with your reflection
Consider the following:
- Have I achieved goals and targets in line with those stipulated on my development plan for this period?
- Have I progressed in line with my career aspirations?
- Is it time to change my career aspirations? This might be based on new information.
- What type of development has been of most value and the greatest benefit?
- What type of development has delivered the least benefit and a low ROI?
- Which new elements should I look to include in my next development planning cycle in 2019(or whenever)?
In addition to reflecting on what you have learnt, you should benefit from reflecting on how you best learn AND how you best reflect. Identifying types of CPD activities that best suit you will help you focus and plan efficient, effective activities to aid in meeting your future goals and organisational requirements. Leap Like A Salmon offers MBTI assessments to help teams understand how best they learn and consequently achieve even greater returns from the time invested in their learning and development.
The result of this stage enables you to inform your next round of planning as per the CPD cycle. If you record accurately what you have learned and how you intend to apply it to your career, you can then plan activities in other topics where you have acknowledged further development is necessary.
Reflection is a way of demonstrating an understanding of trends, the latest industry methods and techniques and the ability to apply new knowledge as well as professional skills. All professionals can use self-directed reflections and recording systems to provide a permanent and accessible record of knowledge or skills they have gained, this then can be used as evidence to support continuing professional development.
Regarding the process of recording CPD at last, there is a shift away from point collecting as a measure of CPD and a move towards self-reflection in relation to an individual’s professional development objectives and performance assessment. It is becoming increasingly customised and personal to individuals’ in every profession, so that learning is just it time, just enough and just for me. This is great because it helps you to be you and work on what you want, and is important to you. Even better, if it counts and contributes to your career, workplace, and soft skill development.
Feel free to share any thoughts about your own professional development this year below and we hope you have found this useful and are now motivated to reflect!
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