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Reflection in Action – Creating new ways of thinking and working

Critical reflection plays an important role in improving workplace practices. It encourages services to create new ways of thinking and working by reflecting critically on existing practices.

For years, the Health and Community Services Workforce Council (Workforce Council) has provided professional development and support in the area of reflective practice, or critical reflection, to health and community services across Queensland. In working closely with these services, we found that they faced collective challenges that seemed to hinder their critical reflection processes.

Firstly, we kept hearing from services and individuals that they didn’t quite seem to hit the mark when it came to reflecting at a level that was required by their professional framework. This was a concern for us, as we knew that robust reflective processes are the underpinning of inclusive, progressive and thriving services.

Secondly, leaders in services often shared that they struggled to lead a team through a reflective process, even if they understood critical reflection themselves. We know good group processes that allow leaders to guide their team’s critical reflection are essential to keep the team on track, and to support individuals within the team to develop their personal critical reflection skills. In our experience, teams have far more momentum and motivation to improve practice when they have been part of the conversation that identifies improvements and offers new ways of working.

To support services through these challenges we wanted to offer a resource that would guide users through the multi-layered process that critical reflection is – considering multiple perspectives, practice frameworks and theory, leading to new thinking, and finally, action.

In 2015, we began work developing a resource that was simple to use, broadened understanding of critical reflection, and developed the participatory group process skills of leaders. In March 2016, we launched “Reflection in Action – A Practical Tool for Critical Reflection”, designed not only to support critical reflection, but to deepen understanding of the conversational processes that lead to service-wide reflective practice.

The resource includes:

  • An introductory and instructional pamphlet
  • 5 stones that act as lenses through which you consider your reflections
  • 40 Resource Cards featuring images, questions and provocations
  • 10 Lead Cards to guide you to deeper reflection
  • A folding whiteboard to record your reflections, and use again

Able to be used again and again, this resource can be used for the simplest of conversations, or for ongoing projects.

If you are interested in purchasing a Reflection in Action toolkit, the resource can be found for purchase here. Alternatively, you may wish to join us at one of our face to face workshops using this resource, we have workshops currently open for registrations in Ipswich and Rockhampton.

To register for these workshops please visit