Make last week’s experience this week’s improvements
By Kathy Chapman
Have you ever learned something new you were really excited about, but didn’t do anything with it? Or have you ever repeated the same mistake? If so, you’re not alone. That’s why I wanted to share a three-step reflection method I’ve been using recently to apply new learning and make the most of my mistakes.
- Reflect on experiences
This key step results in learning, insights and improvement ideas. On Monday morning, I reflect on the previous week’s experiences, asking myself a series of questions:
- “What?”: What happened? What were the results?
- “So what?”: What do these results imply? How did I influence the outcome?
- “Now what?”: What will I do differently next time?
What kind of experiences? Try thinking about meetings, classes, activities, complete and incomplete tasks and conversations. And here’s a tip: I prefer to write down my answers so I can see my thinking.
- Turn learning into action
Looking at my results from Step 1, I identify at least one small improvement and some related action steps I want to take this week. For example, this week I devoted 15 minutes to researching two principles that were mentioned last week but which I didn’t understand well.
- Share key learnings
Finally, I share a few key learnings from my reflection at our weekly team meeting. Sharing holds me accountable and increases the likelihood I will use my learning and make improvements.
Try it. And adapt it to make it your own.
Interested in learning more? Here are some resources:
- Blog on Experiential Learning Cycles
- How students use reflection in educational setting
- Using reflection on a group shared experience
“What gets us from experience to understanding is reflection.” ~ Jo Ayoubi, The importance of reflection
Kathy Chapman is a member of Results Washington’s Lean fellowship program.