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Time for reflective practice? A case study about the barriers and enablers to engaging reflective practice

Author Trish Ganly
Abstract This paper draws on key components of a recent dissertation about the barriers and enablers to engaging reflective practice as experienced by learners of a leadership development programme. Reflective practice is considered an important foundation for quality learning and recalibrating actions, enabling individuals creatively navigate uncertain situations through persistent pivotal questioning (Bolton, 2014), while facilitating timeout from busyness. A dearth of research, focusing on engagement with and impact of reflective practice in the Irish management education sector, was a catalyst for this research. The main finding was the need to address a chasm which was evident between the learning and consistent doing of reflective practice. A key barrier, reported by learners, to crossing this chasm was the lack of time while the converse, taking time, was identified as a key enabler. The main recommendation to crossing this chasm, to provide a foundation for reflective practice to flourish, is taking time to consistently commit to focusing on reflective activities. Adopting Covey's (1994, p.151) time management matrix is recommended as one way to facilitate this focus. The extent to which the reader explores the usefulness of this matrix to cross this chasm, will be one measure of the effectiveness of this discussion paper.
Keywords reflective practice; enablers; barriers; leadership development; taking time
Published In ICEP Proceedings
Year 2017
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