Through a mirror clearly . . .

mirroBack to the shop floor, back to basics, roll back the clock, back in time . . . what opportunities do you have to revisit an aspect of your work that you once did when you were first learning it, and in doing so, to help a novice to learn?  And in doing so, rediscovering the experience of inexperience?

Research (2014) by Ting Zhang of Harvard Business School suggests that reflection could be the key to “breaking the expert’s curse” – the inability of a powerful, all knowing teacher, to connect with a less experienced colleague.

I once was not a fan of reflection.  Couldn’t see the point, just wanted to get on and do it, and don’t ask me to dissect the whys and wherefores.

Of course, experience and time, and many, many learning opportunities in which reflection has been a major part of my studies, has taught me otherwise.  And, in my coaching practice, I know I’d be a poorer coach if I didn’t constantly tap into the reflection I do daily in order to better understand who I am and what I’ve done.

So it seems that if you’re an experienced practitioner, you can remind yourself of what it once felt like to be at a starting point by keeping a reflective diary at the beginning of an event or initiative or project, and then once the work is over, reminding yourself of how you felt when it all started by re-reading your initial jottings.  This, apparently, will then help you to understand how a newbie, rookie, novice, less experienced colleague might be feeling.

Worth a try?

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