Reflecting back and moving forward

When I coach Head Teachers, the most common benefit they say they gain from coaching is “time and space to reflect”. As we come to the end of the school holidays and begin a new term, it’s time to start anew, a time for planning and moving forward. But how do you move forward without looking at what you’re moving forward from?

Reflecting back promotes healthy questionning:

  • What has gone well that needs to be maintained?
  • What could I / we do more of?
  • What needs to change?
  • How could I / we use our resources more effectively?

What other questions do you ask yourself? Perhaps you’ve already done your reflecting back. If so, what format did this take? Was it something you did sub-consciously, or with a more structured format (e.g. Performance Management / appraisal meetings)?

So, September is just around the corner; a time for setting new goals or targets, for new beginnings. Thorough and honest self-reflection will provide you with more relevant targets.

What new targets are you setting yourself for this autumn, and how do you know they’re the best ones?

Top 3 tips

1. Make sure there’s a solid reason for the target you set. Don’t just have a target for target’s sake. Ensure it has the capacity to move you / your team / your school forward.

2. Carefully consider the benefits from achieving the target.  Make a list of these and keep them in mind as you progress; they can keep you motivated and on track!

3. Establish an ongoing reflection strategy. Spend a few minutes each week to reflect on how you’re progressing towards your target. Adjust deadlines, resource requirements, expectations, depending on what your reflections tell you.

(Photo credit: sheelamohan)

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