Reflective Inquiry on Practice
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Okay, so you are interested in growing, in improving what you do, in taking yourself or your team to the next level. You probably have a pretty good idea what your core capabilities are and you know what your peers or competitors are doing that you’re not doing. But that doesn’t automatically mean you should start imitating them – after all, you believe you have a unique contribution.
If you aren’t sure exactly what direction to start moving in, how to go about it, or what kind of learning will get you there, you might consider reflective inquiry on practice. Here’s how it works:
First, we identify what your “practice” is. You are a professional, but what is your practice? Think of a specific profession, such as law, medicine, teaching or counseling. These specialists have a fairly well-defined arena in which they perform a service: clients have certain kinds of expectations, regulatory bodies often set guidelines and their background and training have prepared them to deal with a specific range of issues or situations.
But perhaps you are a project manager, an executive or a development engineer, a technical specialist, an administrator, or a coordinator. Job title may be a clue to what your practice is, but not necessarily. What is important is that you understand what your contribution is to your clients, employees, organization or enterprise. We help you identify closely and understand more clearly where your value lies, and where it doesn’t. We do this by interviewing you, or if needed, a few of your clients.
Then, we help you set goals around what you would like to improve or how you would like to enhance your capacity or that of your team. Using guided inquiry into times in the past when you have been successful, or when you have met a prior learning challenge, we help you discover patterns of learning and steps to improvement.
This is similar to, but different from, coaching. A coach helps you identify your strengths and weaknesses, helps you learn from mistakes and prepare for the demands of peak performance. The reinforcement for success comes from the coach. In reflective inquiry on practice, the reinforcement comes from within you. You identify the path that you will take, and you alone choose your next steps.
Reflective inquiry on practice takes an appreciative, invitational approach. It’s a great complement to in-house coaching and mentoring programs. Once you’ve tried it, be sure to ask about our ability to train other people in your organization how to help each other through reflective inquiry on practice.

 

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This page last modified on 04/12/10