Self-Reflective or Deflective?

It is not sufficient simply to have an experience in order to learn. Without reflecting upon this experience it may quickly be forgotten, or its learning po-tential lost. It is from the feelings and thoughts emerging from this reflection that generalisations or concepts can be generated. And it is generalizations that allow new situations to be tackled effectively. Gibbs (1988)

How often do we pause and really examine an activity or event?  Hold it up to the light and work though in a systematic and rigorous (or even in a light manner), what went well and what we would want to repeat and what we would chose to do differently next time?

To stop and reflect on where we are and how we got there enables us to where necessary adjust our course/actions or reactions, celebrate our wins and acknowledge the distance and progress we have made. We have the power to choose what we would absolutely do again in the same way and other actions we may chose to do differently next time. It can jolt us out of our auto pilot and ensure we are mindful, present and continuously learning and developing. It can aid us to squeeze the learnings from our experiences to our personal growth and understanding others as well.

The reflection process can also serve to re-energize and refuel our inner energy reserves and drive when we recognize our successes and feel empowered due to our choices to be, or act differently.

To deflect is to keep a question, statement or situation from affecting us. Our intent can be to protect and insulate ourselves. Visualize a ball bouncing or deflecting off a shield, it never has an impact and does not make contact. The intent of deflection is often to prevent impact and potential injury. 

In relation to self-reflection, deflecting is a way of not allowing a question (posed by other person or indeed by the person to themselves) to “make contact”. To penetrate the shield and make contact with ones mind, soul & heart. These walls are usually born out of insecurity, fear, acting out of a false self, etc.

Through supporting the individual with active listening and powerful questions one can encourage the person to recognize their own deflections and understand their motivations and behaviors. By doing so, the person can then then determine if this is serving them and their personal aims and goals. By deflecting the person can place obstacles in their path and not gain the personal insights to get more deeply in touch with their genuine selves.

Adapted/ICA (International Coach Academy)/BH

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