Suraj and Simon are two high school students who had to team up for a class project. Within a few weeks of working together, both of them realized that they have differing views about the project and can’t collaborate together. They communicate this with their teacher and the teacher asks them to reflect on the past few weeks—identify the challenges and write down the pain points that led them to their decision.
In this scenario, the teacher tries to help both Suraj and Simon out by encouraging them to practice self-reflection. An essential workplace skill, self-reflection is fundamental to our growth and development. Reflective writing is a great way to rewind your life and look at it from a different angle.
Meaning Of Reflective Writing
Before we look at the various meanings and examples of reflective writing, let’s understand what the term ‘reflection’ stands for. At its simplest, reflection refers to a mental process that helps in processing and articulating events from the past. It’s a careful consideration of our thoughts and beliefs as we assess our assumptions and reactions to a certain event. Thanks to reflection, we’re able to process emotions and act and move forward in a thoughtful way.
Reflective writing requires you to analyze, describe and evaluate past situations. By evaluating experiences, you’re able to develop new insights that are instrumental to developing new outlooks. Recollecting instances from your past and writing them down is a fruitful way of examining your response to an event. Thinking about how it affected your life and how you could do things differently are the cornerstones of self-improvement.
Here are a few examples of reflective writing in everyday situations:
Self-review or peer reviews
Feedback about a program
Reflective journal or log at work
The Process Of Reflective Writing
As we’ve already established, reflective writing is a mental process involving contemplation and consideration. Before we look at the process involved in reflection, let’s look at the factors that influence your reflective writing style.
Why are you writing it?
Are others going to read it?
How do you feel about writing?
What are the emotions you’re experiencing?
How capable are you of writing reflectively?
Now that you’ve considered multiple factors, let’s look at the important focus areas when it comes to reflective writing.
Provides information about what you’re reflecting on—it can be a personal experience or a topic.
You need to focus on the event, idea or analysis that you feel is most important. For example, identifying whether your previous job experience was good or bad.
Without takeaways, your reflective writing piece remains incomplete. Understand what you’ve learned and what you’re going to focus on, going forward.
Importance Of Reflective Writing At Work
Reflecting on work experiences is crucial as it helps us think about the realities of our work environment and where our strengths and weaknesses lie. In addition to identifying personal areas of growth, it helps us develop career ideas. For example, interviewers often ask job seekers questions such as ‘where would you like to see yourself in five years?’ Reflective writing helps in crafting answers and seeking out information that tells us where our interests, passions and values lie.
If you’re preparing for your next job interview, use this reflective writing format as a template.
<Introduction: Talk about why you were part of the event, the daily activities associated with it and the relevant experience you gained.>
<Main Body: Describe your past accomplishments and how your performance made a difference. Provide examples of any new skills or knowledge you acquired. Provide relevant details of how you applied your skills and gained new experiences.>
<Conclusion: End your reflection with an explanation about how the past experience was. Talk about how it helped you and how it contributed to your professional development.>
Everyone has their own style of writing and that’s the best part about it. Having your unique writing style adds flavor, especially when it comes to self-reflection. If you want to sharpen your writing skills and deliver your thoughts with clarity, turn to Harappa’s Writing Proficiently course. This online writing course will help you structure your thoughts, polish your writing style and teach you to write clearly, concisely and compellingly. The Pyramid Principle in particular will help you present key points of messages upfront with supporting evidence. Discover how to tell a story with every communication you draft!
Explore topics such as What are Written Communication Skills, Different Types of Writing Styles, Examples of Descriptive Writing, What is Narrative Writing, Common Persuasive Writing Techniques & The Importance Of Expository Writing and learn to draft well-crafted messages to convey your ideas and intentions.
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