Rise and Shine – why Reflective Practice is perfect for virtual learning

In some shape or form we always owe the inspiration for our weekly blog to our clients and this one is no different. A Housing Executive we have been working with over a number of years came to her coaching session last week with the desire to dig deeper into the art of Reflective Practice. Her motivation was partly to do with her MBA and upcoming assignments, but it was prompted more by her recognition of how very different her emotional responses are to current ways of working and leading than when she had the familiarity and comparative ease of the office base. She found herself wanting to tap into not only thinking her way through things more but also to allow an exploration of her feelings greater air time, both in herself and others. Being an ESTJ this was not necessarily a comfortable way for her to lead and operate with the ‘J’ in MBTI terms clamouring for the call to action and the chance to tick off as much as possible on that to do list. For us, it was a great opportunity to refresh some of our reflective practice awareness and as we did its contribution to virtual learning kind of almost hit us in the face – a recognition of just what a great fit they are.

Reminders of Reflective Practice*

Essentially, it’s a method of assessing our own thoughts, feelings and actions for the purpose of personal learning and development in whatever setting. How we think and feel about ourselves and situations in the present and the past – work out where we are now to improve our present and future. We’ve always favoured the Gibbs’ model for simplicity but there are tons – just google the images and see!

Gibbs offers a framework for examining experiences, and given its cyclic nature lends itself particularly well to repeated experiences, allowing you to learn and plan from things that either went well or didn’t go well. It covers 6 stages:

  • Description of the experience
  • Feelings and thoughts about the experience
  • Evaluation of the experience, both good and bad
  • Analysis to make sense of the situation
  • Conclusion about what you learned and what you could have done differently
  • Action plan for how you would deal with similar situations in the future, or general changes you might find appropriate.


Reflective Practice doesn’t require extra time, it’s more about a change of mindset and approach; allowing different perspectives and often better decisions based on an increased awareness of self and situation.

 *Bit of history, over 2,500 years ago the ancient Greeks practiced ‘reflection’ as a form of contemplation in search of the truth – you’re welcome!

The power of group think in aiding reflective practice

We’ve recently launched a series of Rise and Shine Virtual Workshops; a portfolio of 90 minute events for leaders and managers delivered either as stand-alone initiatives or as a series of sessions. They’re designed to be supportive, thought-provoking and creative – enabling teams and leaders to connect, share experiences, exchange ideas and hone new leadership skills.

One key piece of feedback we’ve heard so far from delegates who have experienced the sessions is the benefit in being able to stop, step back and reflect on key topics with peers and colleagues.

“It was nice for my co-workers to have shared their personal situations and by doing that I have more appreciation for them for what they are going through and can also relate to that”.

“An enjoyable session that offered insight to my own resilience and provided some practical ways to build that resilience.  Some of the simple steps have already helped me during tough times”.

Our portfolio has been inspired by ongoing conversations with clients and a network of senior leaders and associates. The art of Reflective Practice is a fundamental component in all of our workshops – it’s use of self-analysis to understand, evaluate and interpret events and experiences complements all of them so powerfully.

And if you’re still not convinced, we’re currently offering a free 45 minute taster session for you and your team or cohort to try.

Check out the portfolio: