Ideas: Wilson & Wilde

Wilson & Wilde (Building Practitioner Strengths, CDF 2001) argue that effective reflection needs three perspectives :

  • intellectual/rationalOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
  • emotional
  • political

Intellectual or rational: trying to look as objectively as we can at any given situation and stick with the known facts

Emotional: people are often discouraged from focussing on how they felt about an experience. Often we are advised to ‘draw a line under it and move on’. Dwelling on feelings can be viewed as not ‘professional’ and seen as a sign of personal weakness. However, exploring our feelings may help us to gain insight into our choices and actions.

Do you acknowledge your feelings about specific areas of work?

If yes – what do you gain from doing this?

If no – what gets in the way or stops you?

If no – is this something you would be interested to try?

Political: awareness of the complex power relationships that exist in situations. This may refer to your own ‘professional power’ – the authority you have because of specialised knowledge or your status in the organisation. It can be helpful to try to see things from different points of view – if, for example, you are involved in community engagement activity, it’s helpful to put yourself in the shoes of others who are involved in some way or another.

How much autonomy do you have in your job?

Do you understand your own professional power and any implications for you and for others?

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