Pause: The Discipline of Noticing | Beth's Blog

Pause: The Discipline of Noticing


Flickr Photo by John Grocki

Last month,  I had the opportunity to participate in a “Share Your Practice” with colleagues at CPSquared (a community of practice of people who are interested in communities of practice).    These sessions are a social reflection process – you intentionally reflect together with professional colleagues on the trade craft of your work.

How many of us have the discipline to notice what we’re doing with our professional work?  Our natural tendency is to keeping moving forward on the to do list, to forget, not to notice, or to be so caught up with our own world that we fail to be sensitive to the possibilities.  What works?  What doesn’t?  And most importantly what and where to improve or repeat what worked.

During the discussion, someone shared a reference to the book, “Researching Your Own Practice:  The Discipline of Noticing” by John Mason.    The book provides a theory, practice, and framework on reflection as related to professional development.      One simple way to begin is to start keeping a keeping a reflection journal.    I’ve been doing this for years focused on areas of training delivery practice, but it not a daily discipline.

How to easily make reflection a daily discipline.  Jennifer Aaker recently shared this post,  “The Best Way to Use the Last Five Minutes of Your Work Day” by Peter Bregman.   He suggests that if an organization could teach only thing to its employees that would have the most impact, it would be to teach people how to learn.   That is to look at their past behavior, figure out what worked, and repeat it, while admitting what didn’t work.

He suggests taking the last five minutes of every day to ask these questions:

  • How did the day go? What success did I experience? What challenges did I endure?
  • What did I learn today? About myself? About others? What do I plan to do — differently or the same — tomorrow?
  • Who did I interact with? Anyone I need to update? Thank? Ask a question? Share feedback?

These would be great questions to ask – and compare against your “to do list” and what you actually accomplished.

Do you make time in your day to pause and reflect on your professional practice of using social media?  What have you learned?

3 Responses

  1. EMFloyd says:

    These are inspiring and useful ideas. I appreciate your blog – bookmarked, shared, tweeted, etc.

    “Follow effective action with quiet reflection. From the quiet reflection will come even more effective action.”~Peter F. Drucker, American Educator/Writer 1909

  2. PamRidd says:

    Hi Beth,
    I recently did a course specifically designed to do some reflection on practice. It is delivered completely online and it was a valuable vehicle for me review my work and make connections with others to develop my learning network. Here is more information if you are interested

    As a result of the course I came across this great little tool Oh Life which you can use as a diary/reflection each day. It sends you an email at a time nominated by you and you just put your reflections into a reply email. I am going to use your prompt questions for my thought each day. Thank you.

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