To me being a reflective practitioner is primarily about choosing to see opportunities to learn and acting on them. I have recently realised that my coaching sessions are as much an opportunity to learn, as they are an opportunity to apply learning. Previously I had seen my learning as something that happened outside of the coaching session and that was applied “to the coachee” in the coaching sessions
What does Kevin, as the reflective practitioner he aspires to be, look like? A future perfect picture might be:
He takes himself less seriously than he currently does. He is not bound to pet ideas but rather focuses on what delivers to the client the outcomes they seeking in their particular context. Kevin is continually evaluating his approach to coaching – prior to coaching encounters, during coaching encounters and after coaching encounters. He regularly seeks feedback from clients as to what is worked for them and why. Kevin is up to date with the latest research and evidence but is judicious in how he utilises it in his coaching interactions. He regularly interacts with, learns from and shares with, his coaching peers. He is perceptive and flexible in his dealings with his clients according to their needs. Kevin applies his learning to determine what approach in a particular situation is most likely to work and is comfortable completely changing direction in midstream as he learns more.
Kevin is aware of how he interprets the world in which he lives and how that can impact both positively and negatively on his coaching. Kevin moves beyond awareness to developing and implementing strategies to ensure he is comfortable and able to work effectively with others who might not interpret it in the same way. As a reflective practitioner Kevin is, and always will be a work in progress.
At the moment I’ve nailed the work in progress part!