All through our lives we are encouraged to take stock and reflect.
As a child, I would be told to stand in a corner of the room and think about what I had just done and only come back when I was ready to say sorry. Inevitably, I would stand there for a bit, think about the fact that my sister/friends were still playing and I wasn’t and work out that to get back in the game, all I had to do was say sorry!
Reflecting is a skill but not one that is taught – even now we are expected to know how to reflect on our personal and professional development and take appropriate action.
Terry Borton (1970) developed three stem questions from which John Driscoll (1994) derived a series of questions linked to experiential learning. (I’m telling you this in case you want to research the topic further). Those three questions are;
What? ● So What? ● Now What?
When reflecting on a situation, use these three questions to help order your thoughts.
What? – What happened? What are the facts of the situation? What do you know to be true? What do you think may have happened?
So What? – What was the outcome of what happened? What impact has it had. On you. On others? What’s likely to happen next? What do you want to happen next?
Now What? – What action will you take? What action won’t you take? What will you do immediately, in a week, a month, a year from now?
A simple and easy-to-remember tool that can yield some really powerful actions. Take a moment now to use this tool on that thing that’s going round in your mind. You know the one. What? So What? Now What?
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