Reflection 3: Reflecting on Reflection – 2 Key Questions . . .

Reflection (green-yellow)

 

In the last blog we began the process of reflecting on the positive impact of reflection in coaching and mentoring

. . . both for you as the coach or mentor and for your client. This week I want to focus primarily on you.  What are the 2 Key Questions relating to reflection you might find it helpful to ask?

There are the 2 Key Questions relating to reflection that you might find it helpful to ask as a coach/mentor:

 

  1. How can I use reflection to enable me to be the best coach I can be – i.e. to secure effective and ethical practice?
  1. How can I use reflection to better understand how to work most effectively with each and every one of my clients?

As a coach or mentor who is concerned about best practice you will already be building in time for reflecting on your practice following each coaching or mentoring session.  Hopefully you are also building in time to reflect before your session? As it is this reflection which is particularly important in terms of self.

While it is a natural inclination to concentrate on focusing on what is about to come, especially if we have put ourselves under time pressure, the danger is that the equally important task of reflecting on self is squeezed out or even completely forgotten.

We know that what is going on for us as a coach or mentor can have a profound impact on our work. What is going on in both your conscious and unconscious can be as impactful on the coaching session as what is going on for your client.

To ensure that you are totally focused on your client

. . . and that the communication loop leaving you is as neutral as possible, you need to have put your personal baggage in a metaphorical locker. And you can only do this if you have brought it into your consciousness – to enable it to be noted and managed.

For self reflection to do its job you need to make it a highly conscious process by:2 Key Questions

  • building in time to do it
  • making sure you ask yourself the 2 important questions of ‘what am I thinking?’ and ‘what am I feeling?’
  • purposefully reflecting on your reflection of where things are for you
  • identifying a mechanism that enables you to put ‘your baggage’ to one side

On occasions, it may be that you cannot put what is going on for you on hold. We are human too!  If so then it is important not to be too hard on yourself and to recognise that you cannot always be firing on all cylinders even though, as a professional, that will be your aim.

However

. . . if not being able to put it to one side is the reality then it is important to acknowledge it and to ensure that you put your coaching/mentoring on hold until you have dealt with your own issues. This may be through accessing coaching, through professional supervision or by taking some well earned leave. Being able to do this shows maturity as a coach or mentor as well as a professional responsibility to your clients.

On most occasions, of course, you are able to put your thoughts and feelings to one side. This enables you to move on to the coaching or mentoring session completely focused on what the client is bringing and on what you need to do to optimise their opportunities for learning.

What can you do now to build in time for reflecting on the positive impact of reflection in coaching/mentoring as it applies to your own practice? What is a next step?

In next week’s blog I will return to Question 2. If you have found this blog helpful please feel free to share it within your own social media networks via the floating icons on the right. More blogs in this series can be found on our website at www.optimisingcoaching.uk. You can also subscribe to our weekly blogs (posted every Thursday) by clicking this icon RSS Feed

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