Implementing reflection, feedback &
fast dynamic growth into your daily workday

Go to the profile of Annet Kloprogge

By Annet Kloprogge
Strategist at VBAT


Last June I graduated from Hyper Island. A school that designs learning experiences that challenge companies and individuals to grow and stay competitive in an increasingly digitised world.

But what learning experiences, you ask?
Well, a big part of the education that Hyper Island preaches, has to do with Group Dynamics. Because, like they told us almost every single day;

So how do you build the best team possible?
Doesn’t seem like an easy task right? By using a set of methods that focuses on the why as much as the how and the what, on team collaboration instead of individual effort, you challenge participants to grow personally and professionally. Through new ways of thinking and learning, your team can develop themselves into lifelong learners.

And therefore I’d like to introduce you to some of the methods which I thought were the most useful:

Check In-Check Out

Either checking-in or checking-out is a simple way for a team to open or close a process, symbolically and in a collaborative way.

Checking-in/out invites each member in a group to be present, seen and heard, and to express a reflection or a feeling.

Checking-in emphasises presence, focus and group commitment; checking-out emphasises reflection and symbolic closure.

Appreciation Train

This exercise is useful for bringing groups together, to create interpersonal bonds, and to build trust.

Participants stand opposite each other and have 30 seconds to give appreciative feedback to the other person.

The group rotates until everyone has given feedback to everyone else. It is often used as part of wrap-up activities, to create an energized feeling to leave with.

Start Stop Continue

You divide your answers in three subjects; what you should start doing, what you should stop doing and what you should continue to do.

Giving feedback to your team members can be difficult, but this methods makes it a lot easier to put in words what you want to say. By dividing the feedback into three subjects; start, stop & continue, your feedback can’t be either positive or negative, and will always be useful.

Tip: write this information on a post-it and hand it over after you’ve explained the three subjects. This way the teammember can look back at it and remind itself of implementing the feedback.

Reflection

The purpose of reflecting as a team is for members to express thoughts, feelings and opinions about a shared experience, to build openness and trust in the team, and to draw out key learnings and insights to take forward into subsequent experiences. Team members generally sit in a circle, reflecting first as individuals, sharing those reflections with the group, then discussing the insights and potential actions to take out of the session. Use this session one or more times throughout a project or program.

The key to reflection is asking: “What does this experience mean to me?” Here’s a simple yet powerful set of reflection questions that can be used in almost any setting for individuals and/or groups.

  • What happened?
  • How did I feel and what were my reactions?
  • What insights or conclusions can I draw from the experience?
  • What actions can I take based on what I learned?

It’s the practice of actively reflecting on one’s experiences in order to continuously learn and develop. Reflection is a natural human activity, of course. But by making reflection more intentional and regular, people learn more and develop more quickly. Practicing reflection in teams and organisations helps people learn collectively.

Implementing these methods is not an easy task to do, but from my own experience I can say that it’s definitely worth it. The general working atmosphere improves, you get challenged on a daily basis and you see that your team will grows with every project.

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