In the book Work Based Learning: Bridging Knowledge and Action in the Workplace, Joseph A. Raelin writes about the importance of reflection for professional growth. Before we go any further, let's stop for a minute and think about how often you reflect while at work? Is there a 'culture of reflection'? Does your boss encourage reflection?
Raelin contends that a "work team becomes a learning team when it spends time clarifying it’s thought before and after action." Think back to the last time you worked on a team project. Prior to each team meeting did you all explore your thoughts? After the meeting did you discuss how productive you were? What could have been done differently? Did everyone feel included? Did everyone have an opportunity to contribute? Were questions thoroughly addressed?
In this super busy world, taking the time to reflect on our progress and effectiveness may seem like a luxury we don't have. Really though it's a necessity we can't afford to do without. As competition increases, those organizations that take time to reflect and improve performance based on reflection will have the advantage.