Your end of year reflection

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It's that time of year when we start to look back on the year that has been and think about the coming New Year. Traditionally a time for reflection and goal setting. I remember past conversations about reflective cycles and reflective learning and there being an element of scorn attached to them. I never quite understood why as I felt it gave a framework to what came naturally to nursing - we were always thinking about what went well and what could have made a shift, a day or an procedure better.


As I've built my leadership skills I find that regular reflection helps with learning from experiences and also builds resilience. How often do you remember all the things that went wrong but don't think about the times when things have gone well?

Reflection is a way to step back and critically think about events to improve on future performance. (Thank you to this page from Sheffield University for a simple definition that I liked).

To be powerful you need to build in regular reflection time into your day, week and months. The end of a year is a good chance to take a bigger picture look, celebrate and get a broader perspective on your year.

Prompts, questions or a tool can help you focus the time and get the most out of it. I remember using this popular reflective cycle with staff to help us unpick events and work out how to do better next time. More on using the Gibbs Cycle here.

If you need more convincing that you need to spend some time reflecting try this article from the Harvard Business Review. Reflecting on your own leadership style is beneficial and these 3 questions from Leadfully can build great insight into the direction your leadership is taking you.

How do I build regular reflection into my life? I use a weekly planning tool that includes reflecting on the previous week (I use the tool from Live you Legend). My Get to Work Book has a section for a monthly reflect and goal set.

As we head into December and the end of the year remember to build in some time for you to reflect on the adventure that has been 2017.