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Skip to 0 minutes and 5 secondsHi, everyone, in this video I want to discuss self-reflection and the power it can have in helping you develop your career and professional self. Joanne Nottingham who is the author of numerous articles on self-reflection, describes it as a process that allows one to identify strengths and limitations in specific environments, as well as the individual personality, learning, and behaviour characteristics. Self-reflection helps us to uncover hidden attitudes, beliefs, cultures, ethics, and values in our life experiences. Nottingham goes on to explain that a professional development is required to develop the effectiveness of your work place, that every staff member must have a deep understanding of themselves to maximise their individual effectiveness.

Skip to 0 minutes and 45 secondsSelf-reflection is actually an ancient skill, but it's recently become more popular as a professional and business tool for professional career development. As far back as 1988, Anthony Storr, the author of the book named Solitude, wrote "As one engages in an interactive professionalism, it's essential that the development and change are grounded in some inner reflection and processing. Otherwise, we can too easily become alienated from our own deepest needs and feelings." So self-reflection is basically looking at yourself and describing what you're seeing, both individually and in your professional self. You can reflect on this and develop your skills to maximise effectiveness, not just follow the same path your whole career. Thanks, and see you soon in the next step.

Reflective practitioner

We need to take some time to step back and learn from our experiences.

But how do we do that? In creating your own elevator speech, you must have reflected and thought about all the attributes that you bring to your respective organisation.

We use self-reflection as a guiding process to achieve this. Reflective practice is thinking about or reflecting on what you do. It is closely linked to the concept of learning from experience in that you think about what you did and what happened. Based on this process you explore what you would do differently next time.

People who reflect on how they operate in different jobs and under different challenges are better prepared for their work in today’s world of uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity.

We have already noted that the 21st century professional needs to be agile and responsive to change. They need to be able to respond to what management theorists have dubbed the VUCA (Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity and Ambiguity) challenge. This model has been variously used in the military and more recently in strategic leadership in all kinds of organisations. It is a guide for describing or reflecting on the many diverse situations we can find ourself in.

The VUCA framework can be used to assist with:

  • anticipating and reacting to the nature and speed of change
  • acting decisively without always having clear direction and certainty
  • navigating through complexity, chaos and confusion
  • maintaining effectiveness despite constant surprises and a lack of predictability.

Your task

Take a look at the VUCA guide. Using this framework, pick one element (eg complexity) and use it to describe a challenge that you have faced. Paying attention to the approaches mentioned in the guide, come up with your own approach to solving that particular challenge. Share your approaches in the comments and respond to other learners’ ideas.


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This video is from the free online course:

Becoming Career Smart: How to Sell Yourself

Deakin University

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