The practice of reflection and reflexivity is very critical in mentoring and tutoring, especially when coaching those in their youth and prime stages of developmental growth. Being able to step back, outside of yourself and see the situation as a whole, allows the mentor to precisely determine what needs to be taught, strengthened, and grasped more thoroughly.
For those who do not have a solid understanding of what reflection is, here is a small description from the book titled “Reflective Practice: Writing and Professional Development” Some of my own words have been added:
Reflection: Reflection is an in depth consideration of events and situations; the people involved, what they experienced and how they felt about it. This involves reviewing and or reliving the situation, viewing it from all points of view. Small inconspicuous details may be the key to some of your locks and larger more “critical” details may be entirely irrelevant to the issue at hand.
See, reflection is a state of mind. It is not something you do every once in a while. It should be done continually and ongoing in order to benefit your life and those you are in contact with in any kind of relationship. It has been scientifically proven that reflection can increase one’s ability to critically think, maintain homeostasis and lower stress. This said homeostasis is best achieved when our brain is in theta wave mode. Here, brain waves are more subdued and emotional processing can occur. (Human Anatomy and Physiology by Hoehn)
Why is this important? Because all humans have this marvelous way of demonstrating self defeating behavior and limiting beliefs. Being able to reflect back allows us to re-evaluate our actions, behaviors and tendencies that can limit us. Now, sometimes, we cant see the forest through the trees so it may take someone else who has had practice with reflection to help you see something you haven’t seen before. This is why it is vital to have associates that have had similar training as you. A lot of our beliefs and values come from training we received when we were a child. Usually between the ages of 2-8 is where most visual training is learned. This can either work for you or against you. However, reflection is a great way to undo said training and move forward into action.
Reflection also puts us into a state of being. Notice, we are called human BEINGS not human DOINGS. We need to be able to be look into ourselves and be grateful, enthusiastic, happy and cheerful about who we are at that very moment, but society would say otherwise. Granted, these last few paragraphs my not have been completely in the assigned reading but, as my title says, this is a reflection of my thoughts based upon the knowledge I have received and insights I have gained from the reading. Continuing…
What we believe is what creates our reality and life. In physics, you learn that everything is made up of energy. We have so much electromagnetic energy floating around us every day from radio, cell phones, tv’s, internet, microwaves, ovens and most if not all, electronic devices. If the above is true, then what are our thoughts made of? The clear answer to that is energy! Thoughts(values ,beliefs etc etc)then lead into emotions, emotions then flow into actions and actions take off to results. Based off of a person’s results in life, you can get a feel for what type of thoughts they started out with. It’s a very interesting concept. That tells us that we are in more control of our dreams and reality than we give ourselves credit for. Some food for thought for the starving intellectual.
After one has done some reflecting and seen some key details they would like to improve, they can start another practice that is very therapeutic and produces results right away. This method or strategy is named “Through The Mirror Writing”. This allows the practitioner to be fully responsible for their thoughts, feelings, actions and results in their life. A through the mirror writing session is achieved by writing all your thoughts and feelings for self illumination and awareness. To put this into perspective, our brain is like an iceburg. We are only aware of roughly 10% of our thoughts and ideas. The other 90% is under “water” and is constantly running in the background which includes our negative thoughts and beliefs of life. We are more aware than we think we are and this style of writing helps unlock our sub-conscientious mind so that we can break down barriers, limiting beliefs and build our self worth.
As we gain practice with these tools, we can store them in the forefront of our mind as needs be, so, when the time comes up, we have a ready repertoire of methods proven to help mentor and tutor others. It is the practitioner’s responsibility to keep said tools sharp and honed. We must continue to “write to learn” so that we can improve the learning conditions of those around us. These tools will only make mentoring better and more productive if we choose to bring them into play. If we don’t, great learning opportunities can be missed by the mentor and the person receiving the mentoring.