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Active Reflection & Mindfulness

I am happy to announce that I have just posted a new addition to the "Learning Practices" here on the Aspire Consulting website, Practice #8: Actively Reflect and Practice Mindfulness. It has taken me some time to get my thoughts together on the topic of active reflection and mindfulness, and they certainly could benefit from further editing and polishing, but here they are...

Active reflection and mindfulness are central to learning from experience. According to Bennis (1989), “the basis for leadership is learning, and principally learning from experience,” however, "most managers are not active and continuous learners. Most people learn easily within their comfort zone but find it much more difficult to learn when operating under new challenges” (Van Velsor & Guthrie, 1998). Merely having an experience does not guarantee that one learns from that experience (Fiedler, 1970); therefore, the ability to learn is one of the most important competencies for successful leadership (Argyris, 1991; Dechant, 1989).

Please navigate over to the "Resources" section of the site, and look for the "Learning Practices" subsection. There you will find a number of documents available for downloading, on what I consider to be key continuous learning practices - those practices that drive and accelerate leadership learning. The Learning Practices you will find there include:

  1. Take responsibility for your own learning and development

  2. Approach new assignments/opportunities with openness to experience and positive intention to learn

  3. Seek and use feedback

  4. Develop a clear understanding of your strengths and areas of development

  5. Ask great questions and demonstrate curiosity

  6. Listen transformatively – Intently, deeply, empathically

  7. Respond to experience with adaptability and flexibility

  8. Actively reflect and demonstrate mindfulness

  9. Actively experiment with new approaches

  10. Observe and learn from others

Over time, I will add content to the two missing practices (Actively experiment, and Observe and learn from others), and possibly expand the list. In the meantime, I hope you find value here, and hope you will follow this blog and share your feedback.


Steve Terrell

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