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Reflecting on COVID-19: Harnessing the experience for a successful outcome

All walks of life have been affected by this global pandemic, but how can you harness the experience to ensure a successful outcome within your personal and professional life?

When the World Health Orginisation announced COVID-19 as a global health crisis, people went into panic mode, and panic buying.  It was a natural, knee-jerk reaction to the unknown.  It is a built-in coping mechanism to react radically in times of intense crisis, from problem-solving-mode going into overdrive to rash decision making; all in search of answers to protect oneself from this unseen enemy.

Although this behaviour is instinctive, did you make time to stop and reflect on this crisis’ impacts, and how you can navigate through this to harbor a successful outcome for yourself?

In a time like this, you might wonder “Why reflect?” What are the benefits of reflecting?

  • Most of what we do daily is habitual and typically forms part of a routine.  By standing still, and setting aside time to reflect, that is when we learn, and when we engage in critical thinking processes.
  • When you take a step back, and you reflect on the situation, it calms you down, and gives you some headspace to see the opportunities that you can seize.  You can gain insight from reflection.
  • It transforms the experience to learning.  By reflecting, you can improve on your response for a time when you might face similar situations.
  • Reflecting can give you a sense of achievement. The reward lies within identifying what you have done well.
  • It helps you to help others.  Reflection gives us the chance to understand our response and knowledge-base better, which we then in turn can share with others.
  • Upon reflection, you can identify which knowledge or skills areas you need to improve on.
  • You will be able to understand your emotions better.  You can identify your reactions, good and bad, and will be able to understand where those emotions came from, and how you can change your behaviour in the future when facing a similar situation.

By using a powerful tool like reflection, you give yourself time to quiet your mind.  During this time, you will be able to think about this experience, acknowledge this ‘New Normal’ reality, and envisage the future you want to create for yourself.

If you struggle to reflect freely, The University of Edinburgh has identified 6 reflection models that you can use as a guide to help you reflect:

  1. Gibbs’ reflective cycle
  2. What? So what? Now what?
  3. The integrated reflective cycle
  4. The four F’s of active reviewing
  5. The CARL framework of reflection
  6. The 5R framework for reflection

Source:  University of Edinburgh: Guide to the Gibbs reflective cycle

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