Personal, Professional, and Career Development Reflective Essay

Personal and career purpose, career decision.

The ideal development of a person follows a unique route directing resources, facilities, capabilities, abilities, potentials, and interest among other in a line of presumed achievement. Most researchers argue that there are intuitive characters and motivations that shape how an individual grows and becomes prevalent in a community.

Essentially, these developments are associated with personalities, professionalism, career and career paths. There are processes and tactical handling of issues that must be conjoined to direct growth and development on these four aspects. In this regard, it is apparent that the fundamentality of managing and planning these attributes is beyond reproach.

An individual needs to set a line of interests to ensure that his or her working path has objectives and goals. In this manner, the person can develop personality, career and become a professional in his or her area. This paper evaluates a case of development in various aspects and comparisons. In a bid to perform this task, I have evaluated my strategy while striving to develop into a career warranting me a sustainable future.

The presence of a goal or a future aspiration allows me to plan and change my attitudes and characters. Primarily, individual characters determine the people I can interact with and set my social class into a disclosed discourse. The most tactical strategies may involve developing skills and experiences through employment and education.

First, education has allowed me to gain skills and attain credential for employment with reputable and well paying firms. Several personalities like patience and persistence have developed subconsciously and through training systems. Such personalities have significant outcomes in the real life. They make me competitive while searching for employment or any other work related issue.

These situations revealed that I knew how to outline my plan in creating meaning to every situation. At several instances I have managed to create and organize peoples into groups handling various issues as well as lead them tactically pursuant of my leadership dreams. Furthermore, I had managed to identify opportunity where I could develop my talents as I proceeded with further studies.

I have become an experienced and competitive artisan in a way that I can use it to earn a living. Furthermore, it is apparent that people are convinced by my inspirational encouragements, which attract them towards personal development. Therefore, I have become a person to encourage and motivate others.

These aspects are part of a plan developing my skills and experiences to facilitate the integration of huger ideas and knowledge. They have allowed me to attain insight into various levels of my career. Tactically, there have been adequate concerns regarding the credibility of ideas.

Motivation is an aspect that can be implemented to improve the performance of employees and boosting their tactical approaches in attaining customer satisfaction. Essentially, maintaining the workforce of a business in a critical tool for ensuring that secrets and skills are retained within the business. This aspect implies that a business must be conscious about the working conditions of its esteems employees.

In fact, most of the employees working in such a business as the Luxury Hotel undertake shores within a career path where they improve their skills. The employees become the managers and end up becoming significant operators for business proceedings. In this regard, it is vital to create a system that allows employees to show their competitiveness and abilities.

The management may formulate model involving increment in salaries, elevating the working class, and initiating competition plan involving winning prizes among others. All these aspects do not only improve the overall business performance, but also isolate the dedicated employees to work and become future managerial workforce.

The employee would view this process of reward as an opportunity to earn extra income and attain better-working conditions within the business. In essence, some issues related to authoritative management may be transformed to situations where employees work under minimal supervision since they have set goals at a personal level.

This research presents these incentives and shows how they are applied to become beneficial to an organization. In so doing, it reaches the managerial and non-managerial workforce to attain all diverse incentives that may assist businesses to become productive and inspiring.

In essence, the process of making this decision was consistent to some of the theories of decision making. It is an indication that people make decisions in ways that can be generalized to apply to majority. Evidently, the process was characterized by some aspects envisaged in bounded rationality.

The theory of bounded rationality reveals that there are two systems of thoughts, including emotional and rational approaches to decision making (Schiavone 2011). When the parents were making this decision, the mother had taken an emotional approach while the father was rational. Clearly, the mother feared that the financial and moral destructions were beyond repair.

She felt that the family might become financially incapacitated if they bought the private school. However, she did not have the actual figures to support the fact that the current financial capability of the family could not handle the destructions. In essence, it was a decision that was based merely on the outward perception of the school rather than facts.

On the other hand, the father argued that the mismanagement prevailing in the school wasted the lives of many pupils. As a result, it was important to offer a solution to the problem. In his case, he stated that there were two options that included building another school or acquiring the existing one. However, he argued that building another school was more costly that acquisition.

Further, he pointed out that the family cannot make a conclusion on whether the investment was too taxing without getting all the facts first. He also indicated that the family would invest despite financial incapability because he was confident that the school could bring good returns if it were managed correctly.

The theory of common biases was also evident in this entire scenario and the holistic process of making the decision. In this regard, the misconception of chance was the most evident bias. The theory states that people have a tendency to misconceive that the probability of getting a certain outcome is less than another one (Adair 2010). This perception is informed by emotions and past experiences (Choi 2011).

However, present and future events are not necessarily consistent with the past ones (Xu 2011). In this case, the mother had a misconceived perception that the chances of succeeding in an attempt to renovate and improve the school were minimal. However, this perspective was not informed by factual financial figures that could provide a rationale. In essence, it can be considered as a perfect case of misconceived chance.

In a broader perspective, it cannot be disputed resolutely that people are more pessimistic about success (Dolton 2011). Only a few people who have strong will, passion, and determination envisage optimism. As such, the mother was a victim of this general condition since she did not find a good chance of success.

Besides the two theories of decision making, the process also envisaged clear indications of heuristics. In theoretical understanding, heuristics purports that people have certain ways of simplifying information and factor of decision making (Missier 2011). These simplifications create a situation in which the decision maker does not consider the factors with due diligence.

Further, the theory asserts that simplifying the aspects of decision making might lead to a misconception of the reality (Nooraie 2011). Such misconceptions are informed by concentrating on the wrong focus and disregarding the real one (Su 2011). For example, the father asserted that acquiring a constructed school is less costly than building a new one.

However, it is evident that the school, which was in question, had gained a bad reputation among parents and was in a financial crisis. As a result, the cost of acquisition was not the only factor in decision making. Instead, it was important to consider other crucial factors such as reputation and precedence. Whereas these two aspects were important to the investment decision, the father overlooked them.

This ignorance and assumption were caused by the simplification of the scenario in a manner that considered cost as the only important variable.

As a result, it can be concluded that bounded rationality, common biases, and heuristics were among the critical decision-making theories that characterized the entire process of purchasing the school. Indeed, this process contained two parties and hence the analysis is based on both of them.

Having reflected on the event that took place when the decision was being made by the parents, there were critical undertaking that were crucial to notice. First, rationality is a better approach to making a decision that emotional perspective. When a decision makers embrace rationality, they can conceptualize issues from a sober position. In that regard, their decisions are not hasty.

Instead, they are procedural and sequential in nature. Therefore, the approach allows the decision maker to pass through the necessary steps when making a determination. For example, the father’s rationality enabled him to wait and assess the financial requirements before dismissing the acquisition.

On the other hand, an emotional approach is a fundamentally flawed method of making decisions. In this regard, decision makers who used this method rush to determine the way forward without deep and profound considerations. For example, the mother had already dismissed the acquisition of the schools just because of the fear that the family was going to run short of funds.

Whereas this was the core determining factor of her decision, she did not have any convincing figures to show that the family would become incapacitates if they purchased the school. Biases are also important when it comes to the decision-making process. In fact, it is evident that people become biased even without noticing.

Lastly, I would have made this decision in a pretty different manner than how it was done in this case. Personally, I would have talked to some able parents and friends about the challenges facing the school and the community. In the discussion, the issue of poor management and quality of the education provided in the school could be the core agendas.

Afterwards, I would propose to join hands with those colleagues and acquire the school as a group. This decision could have been better than the latter because the potential financial risk would be shared. Additionally, acquiring the school as a group would eliminate the notion of private school and bring a picture of a community-based school.

In essence, this would be an appropriate strategy for removing the bad reputation that had been painted by the previous management. Further, managing the school as a group would allow the availability of diverse intellectual ideas of improving it.

The management of virtual teams may depict various fundamental challenges. The researchers laying arguments in the literature depict the need and effectiveness of virtual teams. They are identified as prevailing businesses effective in reaching the final outcomes of the researchers. The developments of the virtual teams are improving continuously as the information technology proceeds to attain integration across the globe.

The review indicates the proper management allows the teams to attain clients and loyalty for the services they offer. The use of internet in reaching their target members depict the impending quorum required. Presently, the teams have managed to penetrate and unity many people across the globe making the accessibility of services such as marketing easy. The virtual teams have allowed globalization to take place easily.

In fact, such social companies do make not only huge profits due to the prevalence of members and common interests, but also creates global civilization and understanding of cultural differences. Such interactions are similar to the application of virtual teams in handling issues throughout the globe. They bring the human resources at one point where they may be accessed and exploited by firms or business easily.

The most fundamental achievement of the development is attaining a workforce striving the meet the company goals in a willing manner. In businesses that do not consider motivating the employees, their work is usually directed by the salary earning the get from the business.

However, the motivation oriented workforce does not target the salaries solely. The workforce works hard to attain salaries among other benefits being offered. In fact, businesses managed through authoritative systems fail the employees in working effectively due to lack of peaceful and free mind. In this regard, there must be proper developmental capabilities to deal with issues personally and organizationally.

Adair, J 2010, Decision making and problem solving strategies , Kogan Page, London.

Choi, A 2011, Multiple-Criteria Decision-Making Based On Probabilistic Estimation with Contextual Information For Physiological Signal Monitoring, International Journal of Information Technology & Decision Making , vol. 10 no. 1, pp. 109.

Dolton, T 2011, Medical Decision Making: Supplement Policy. Medical Decision Making , vol. 31 no. 3, pp. 376-377.

Missier, F 2011, Decision-making Competence, Executive Functioning, and General Cognitive Abilities, Journal of Behavioral Decision Making , vol. 7, 127-129.

Nooraie, M 2011, Decision’s familiarity and strategic decision-making process output: the mediating impact of rationality of the decision-making process, International Journal of Applied Decision Sciences , vol. 4 no. 4, pp. 385.

Schiavone, F 2011, Strategic reactions to technology competition: A decision-making model, Management Decision , vol. 49 no. 5, pp. 801-809.

Su, Z 2011, A Hybrid Fuzzy Approach to Fuzzy Multi-Attribute Group Decision-Making. International Journal of Information Technology & Decision Making , vol. 10 no. 4, pp. 695.

Xu, Z 2011, Approaches to Multi-Stage Multi-Attribute Group Decision Making, International Journal of Information Technology & Decision Making , vol. 10 no. 1, pp. 121.

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Ultimate guide to writing a reflective essay, carla johnson.

  • June 14, 2023
  • Essay Topics and Ideas , How to Guides

Writing about yourself is a powerful way to learn and grow as a person. It is a type of writing that makes you think about your thoughts, feelings, and experiences and how they have affected your personal and professional growth. A reflective essay is a type of writing that lets you talk about your own experiences, thoughts, and insights. In this article , we’ll tell you everything you need to know about writing a reflective essay, from how to define it and figure out what it’s for to how to do it well.

What You'll Learn

Definition of a Reflective Essay

A reflective essay is a type of writing in which you write about your own thoughts, feelings, and experiences. It is a type of personal writing that lets you talk about your own thoughts and experiences and share them with other people. Students are often asked to write reflective essays for school, but they can also be used for personal or professional growth.

Purpose of a Reflective Essay

The goal of a reflective essay is to get you to think about your life and how it has affected your personal and professional growth. Reflective essays can help you learn more about yourself and your experiences, as well as find places where you can grow and improve. They can also help you get better at writing and better at getting your ideas across.

Importance of Reflective Writing

Writing about yourself and your work is an important way to grow personally and professionally. It can help you learn more about yourself, figure out where you need to grow and change, and learn more about how you think and feel. Writing about yourself can also help you get better at critical thinking and analysis , and it can help you get your ideas across better. It is a useful tool for anyone who wants to grow personally and professionally, and it can be used in many different situations, from academic writing to keeping a personal journal.

Writing about yourself and your work is a powerful way to grow personally and professionally. Reflective essays give you a chance to think about your own life and how it has affected your personal and professional growth. By writing about your thoughts and feelings, you can learn more about them, find ways to grow and improve, and improve your writing and communication skills . In the next parts of this article, we’ll show you how to write a good reflective essay step by step, from choosing a topic and organizing your thoughts to writing and revising your essay.

Elements of a Reflective Essay

A reflective essay is a type of writing that allows you to reflect on your personal experiences, thoughts, and feelings. There are several essential elements that should be included in a reflective essay to ensure that it is effective in conveying your personal reflections and experiences.

Personal Reflection

The first essential element of a reflective essay is personal reflection. This involves exploring your own thoughts and feelings about the experience you are reflecting on. It is important to be honest and open about your thoughts and feelings, as this will make your essay more authentic and meaningful.

Description of the Experience

The second element of a reflective essay is a description of the experience that you are reflecting on. This includes providing details about the experience, such as where it took place, who was involved, and what happened. The description should be clear and concise, and should provide enough detail for the reader to understand the context of your reflection.

Analysis of the Experience

The third element of a reflective essay is analysis of the experience. This involves exploring the experience in more depth, and examining your thoughts and feelings about it. You should consider what you learned from the experience, and how it impacted your personal and professional growth .

Evaluation of the Experience

The fourth element of a reflective essay is evaluation of the experience. This involves examining the experience from different perspectives, and considering its strengths and weaknesses. You should reflect on what you would do differently if you were in the same situation again, and how you could improve your response or approach.

Identification of Key Learning

The fifth element of a reflective essay is identifying the key learning that you gained from the experience. This involves reflecting on the insights and lessons that you learned from the experience, and how these have impacted your personal and professional growth. This can include new skills, knowledge, or perspectives that you gained from the experience.

Planning for Future Action

The final element of a reflective essay is planning for future action. This involves considering how you can apply the lessons and insights gained from the experience to improve your future actions. You should reflect on how you can use what you learned to approach similar situations differently in the future.

How to Write a Reflective Essay

Writing a reflective essay can be a challenging task, but by following a few simple steps, you can write an effective and meaningful essay .

Steps for Writing a Reflective Essay:

1. Brainstorming and Selecting a Topic

Begin by brainstorming and selecting a topic for your reflective essay. Think about a personal experience or event that had a significant impact on your personal or professional growth.

2. Creating an Outline

Create an outline for your essay . This should include an introduction, body, and conclusion, as well as sections for each of the essential elements described above.

3. Writing the Introduction

Write the introduction for your essay . This should include a brief overview of the experience that you will be reflecting on, as well as the purpose and focus of your essay.

4. Writing the Body

Write the body of your essay, which should include the personal reflection, description of the experience, analysis of the experience, evaluation of the experience, identification of key learning, and planning for future action . Make sure to use specific examples and details to support your reflection.

5. Writing the Conclusion

Write the conclusion for your essay , which should summarize the key points of your reflection and provide closure for the reader. You can also include a final reflection on the experience and what it means to you.

6. Revising and Editing

Pay close attention to grammar, spelling, and sentence structure as you reread and edit your essay . Make sure your essay is easy to read and flows well. You might also want someone else to look over your essay and give you feedback and ideas.

If you follow these steps, you should be able to write a good reflective essay. Remember to be honest and open about your thoughts and feelings, and to support your reflection with specific examples and details. You can become a good reflective writer with practice , and you can use this skill to help your personal and professional growth.

Reflective Essay Topics

Reflective essays can be written on a wide range of topics, as they are based on personal experiences and reflections. Here are some common categories of reflective essay topics:

Personal Experiences

– A time when you overcame a personal challenge

– A difficult decision you had to make

– A significant event in your life that changed you

– A moment when you learned an important lesson

– A relationship that had a significant impact on you

Professional Experiences

– A challenging project or assignment at work

– A significant accomplishment or success in your career

– A time when you had to deal with a difficult colleague or boss

– A failure or setback in your career and what you learned from it

– A career change or transition that had a significant impact on you

Academic Experiences

– A challenging course or assignment in school

– A significant accomplishment or success in your academic career

– A time when you struggled with a particular subject or topic and how you overcame it

– A research project or paper that had a significant impact on you

– A teacher or mentor who had a significant impact on your academic career

Cultural Experiences

– A significant trip or travel experience

– A significant cultural event or celebration you participated in

– A time when you experienced culture shock

– A significant interaction with someone from a different culture

– A time when you learned something new about a different culture and how it impacted you

Social Issues

– A personal experience with discrimination or prejudice

– A time when you volunteered or worked for a social cause or organization

– A significant event or moment related to a social issue (e.g. protest, rally, community event)

– A time when you had to confront your own biases or privilege

– A social issue that you are passionate about and how it has impacted you personally

Reflective Essay Examples

Example 1: Reflecting on a Personal Challenge

In this reflective essay, the writer reflects on a personal challenge they faced and how they overcame it. They explore their thoughts, feelings, and actions during this time, and reflect on the lessons they learned from the experience.

Example 2: Reflecting on a Professional Experience

In this reflective essay, the writer reflects on a challenging project they worked on at work and how they overcame obstacles to successfully complete it. They explore their thoughts and feelings about the experience and reflect on the skills and knowledge they gained from it.

Example 3: Reflecting on an Academic Assignment

In this reflective essay, the writer reflects on a challenging academic assignment they completed and how they overcame difficulties to successfully complete it. They explore their thoughts and feelings about the experience and reflect on the skills and knowledge they gained from it.

Example 4: Reflecting on a Cultural Experience

In this reflective essay, the writer reflects on a significant cultural experience they had, such as traveling to a new country or participating in a cultural event. Theyexplore their thoughts and feelings about the experience, reflect on what they learned about the culture, and how it impacted them personally.

Example 5: Reflecting on a Social Issue

In this reflective essay, the writer reflects on their personal experiences with discrimination or prejudice and how it impacted them. They explore their thoughts and feelings about the experience, reflect on what they learned about themselves and the issue, and how they can take action to address it.

These examples demonstrate how reflective essays can be used to explore a wide range of personal experiences and reflections. By exploring your own thoughts and feelings about an experience, you can gain insights into your personal and professional growth and identify areas for further development . Reflective writing is a powerful tool for self-reflection and personal growth, and it can be used in many different contexts to help you gain a deeper understanding of yourself and the world around you.

Reflective Essay Outline

A reflective essay should follow a basic outline that includes an introduction, body, and conclusion. Here is a breakdown of each section:

Introduction: The introduction should provide an overview of the experience you will be reflecting on and a preview of the key points you will be discussing in your essay .

Body: The body of the essay should include several paragraphs that explore your personal reflection, description of the experience, analysis of the experience, evaluation of the experience, identification of key learning, and planning for future action.

Conclusion: The conclusion should summarize the key points of your reflection and provide closure for the reader.

Reflective Essay Thesis

A reflective essay thesis is a statement that summarizes the main points of your essay and provides a clear focus for your writing. A strong thesis statement is essential for a successful reflective essay, as it helps to guide your writing and ensure that your essay is focused and coherent.

Importance of a Strong Thesis Statement

A strong thesis statement is important for several reasons. First, it provides a clear focus for your writing, which helps to ensure that your essay is coherent and well-organized. Second, it helps to guide your writing and ensure that you stay on topic throughout your essay . Finally, it helps to engage your reader and provide them with a clear understanding of what your essay is about.

Tips for Writing a Thesis Statement

To write a strong thesis statement for your reflective essay, follow these tips:

– Be clear and concise: Yourthesis statement should clearly state the main focus and purpose of your essay in a concise manner.

– Use specific language: Use specific language to describe the experience you will be reflecting on and the key points you will be discussing in your essay .

– Make it arguable: A strong thesis statement should be arguable and provide some insight or perspective on the experience you are reflecting on.

– Reflect on the significance: Reflect on the significance of the experience you are reflecting on and why it is important to you.

Reflective Essay Structure

The structure of a reflective essay is important for ensuring that your essay is well-organized and easy to read. A clear structure helps to guide the reader through your thoughts and reflections, and it makes it easier for them to understand your main points.

The Importance of a Clear Structure

A clear structure is important for several reasons. First, it helps to ensure that your essay is well-organized and easy to read. Second, it helps to guide your writing and ensure that you stay on topic throughout your essay. Finally, it helps to engage your reader and provide them with a clear understanding of the key points you are making.

Tips for Structuring a Reflective Essay

To structure your reflective essay effectively, follow these tips:

– Start with an introduction that provides an overview of the experience you are reflecting on and a preview of the key points you will be discussing in your essay .

– Use body paragraphs to explore your personal reflection, description of the experience, analysisof the experience, evaluation of the experience, identification of key learning, and planning for future action. Ensure that each paragraph has a clear focus and supports your thesis statement .

– Use transition words and phrases to connect your paragraphs and make your essay flow smoothly.

– End your essay with a conclusion that summarizes the key points of your reflection and provides closure for the reader.

– Consider using subheadings to organize your essay and make it more structured and easy to read.

By following these tips, you can create a clear and well-structured reflective essay that effectively communicates your personal experiences and reflections. Remember to use specific examples and details to support your reflection, and to keep your focus on the main topic and thesis statement of your essay .

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. what is a reflective essay.

A reflective essay is a type of writing that allows you to reflect on your personal experiences, thoughts, and feelings. It involves exploring your own thoughts and feelings about an experience, and reflecting on what you learned from it.

2. What are the elements of a reflective essay?

The essential elements of a reflective essay include personal reflection, description of the experience, analysis of the experience, evaluation of the experience, identification of key learning, and planning for future action.

3. How do I choose a topic for a reflective essay?

To choose a topic for a reflective essay, think about a personal experience or event that had a significant impact on your personal or professional growth. You may also consider professional experiences, academic experiences, cultural experiences, or social issues that have impacted you personally.

Reflective writing is a powerful tool for personal and professional development. By exploring your own thoughts and feelings about an experience, you can gain insights into your personal and professional growth and identify areas for further development. To write an effective reflective essay, it is important to follow a clear structure, use specific examples and details to support your reflection, and stay focused on the main topic and thesis statement of your essay . By following these tips and guidelines, you can become a skilled reflective writer and use this tool to improve your personal and professional growth.

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Home — Essay Samples — Life — Personal Growth and Development — Personal Development: Reflection and Growth

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Personal Development: Reflection and Growth

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Published: Feb 7, 2024

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Introduction, strengths and weaknesses analysis, goal setting and action planning, feedback and self-reflection.

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reflective essay of personal and professional development

Reflective Practice in Personal and Professional Development

Introduction, the importance of reflective practice, emotional intelligence, reference list.

Reflective practice is one of the essential techniques for personal growth. It refers to self-examination and introspection into one’s actions, and decisions after the event have occurred in order to gain a deeper understanding of the potential for future improvements. This method of professional development is especially crucial for our company, as Walmart’s organizational structure relies heavily on employees’ ability to understand customers’ emotions and intentions. Our company does not actively promote this practice among employees at all levels, which can be perceived as a significant disadvantage, therefore, it requires a talent development program.

Professional and personal development is inseparable from the growth of an organization. Personal achievements have a positive impact on the employee’s performance, thus bringing the organization additional benefit. Professional development means an employee will be able to perform their job more efficiently, increasing the value they add to the company. There are several core techniques that help people to develop their skills and expand their knowledge. A higher capacity for self-assessment makes the person more suitable for autonomy and decision making, as it gives a better understanding of circumstances and relationships (Fergusson et al., 2019, p. 294). This briefing paper aims to highlight the impact of reflective practice on the performance of both the individual and the organization.

The growth of an organization primarily depends on the actions of its employees and leaders. In order to make the right decision in any situation, whether business-related or not, it is essential to possess the knowledge that will allow a person to take all present factors into consideration. At this point, the experience is defined as a collection of information about past events and their results. Reflective practice is a method of looking back at these events and breaking them down to the smallest details in order to gain a better understanding and, therefore, experience. What is also important, the change of habits that comes with the adoption of reflective practice gives a person a chance to improve other aspects of his or her life.

Being aware of one’s actions and their consequences brings a great deal of information regarding what could have been done better. This retrospection allows the person to become a strong leader, as the accumulated experience gives him or her the more significant potential to guide, motivate, and inspire others. Fergusson et al. (2019, p. 292) state that regular reflective practice allows employees “to enhance learning, practical insight, and knowledge about operating successfully when working.” Moreover, a person with high self-awareness appears more trustworthy and responsive.

There are many approaches to reflective practice that are suitable for different types of situations, personalities, or goals. These models describe different kinds of events and beliefs that are being analyzed, which can be professional or personal (Hewson & Carroll, 2016). Moreover, they rely on different perspectives that are taken into consideration when a person reflects on his or her experiences (Hewson & Carroll, 2016). The most popular methods are Three Levels of Reflection by van Manen, Four Processes by Schon, and Four Lenses for Critical Reflection by Brookfield (Hewson & Carroll, 2016). They are created to help people to focus on the past to extract benefit from it in the future.

I would like to use Starbucks as an example of a company that heavily relies on reflective practices for growth. The coffeehouse chain is renowned for the hospitality and friendliness of its employees, which is largely attributed to the hiring and training procedures (Kang & Namkung, 2017). The growth of the company relies on reflective practice as a tool for exploring and adapting to the new trends in society. Moreover, its employees are highly social and exhibit superior emotional intelligence.

Emotional intelligence provides a significant amount of data for reflection, as emotions tend to affect one’s actions to a non-negligible extent. Chowdhury (2020) describes emotional intelligence as the “ability to perceive, manage, and express emotions effectively in real life.” As seen from this description, this ability expands beyond one’s emotions and their analysis. A person with high emotional intelligence also possesses great empathy, knows when to listen to other people, takes a more active role in conversations, and knows how to convey their thoughts efficiently. It is expected for a person who regularly employs reflective practice to have higher emotional intelligence due to the changes in behavior and strengthening self-control.

To conclude this briefing paper, I would like to signify the importance of encouraging employees to take time and self-reflect on their actions and decisions at the workplace. Walmart did not implement an efficient managerial strategy that will positively impact the experience of both its employees and customers. By implementing this technique in professional life, our employees and leaders can optimize their behavior, relations with customers and increase the efficiency of managerial activities. As one of the largest companies in the world, Walmart has a social obligation to its workers and customers to improve their lives and promote development.

Chowdhury, M. R. (2019 ) ‘How to improve emotional intelligence through training ‘, Positive Psychology. 

Fergusson, L., Van der Laan, L., and Baker, S. (2019) ‘Reflective practice and work-based research: A description of micro- and macro-reflective cycles’, Reflective Practice , 20(2). pp. 289-303. Web.

Hewson, D., and Carroll, M. (2016) Approaches to reflective practice . Reflective Supervision. 

Kang, J., and Namkung, Y. (2017) ‘The effect of corporate social responsibility on brand equity and the moderating role of ethical consumerism: The case of Starbucks’, Journal of Hospitality & Tourism Research , 42(7). pp. 1130-1151. Web.

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Digging Deep into Purpose and Importance of Reflective Essay

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Reflection writing is a powerful tool for students and professionals as they offer a unique opportunity for self-exploration, growth, and understanding. This guide on the importance and purpose of  reflective essays  aims to change your perception of writing and shed light on the many benefits of incorporating reflection into your life. With our amazing  paper help  resources and expert guidance, you can master the art of reflective essay writing and unlock your full potential.

Table of Contents

What is a Reflective Essay?

A reflective essay is a type of writing that allows the author to explore their thoughts, feelings, and experiences in a structured and analytical manner. This form of writing encourages critical thinking and personal growth by examining the author’s experiences, thoughts, actions, and reactions. 

Reflective essays often focus on personal development, learning experiences, or the impact of specific events on the author’s life. However, reflection writing is also used for  college essays  or other forms of academic writing.

Types of Reflection Writing

Reflection essays come in various forms, each with its unique focus and purpose. In this note, we will delve into five types of reflective writing;

Personal Reflective Writing

Professional reflection, academic reflective essay, creative reflection.

  • Social or Cultural Reflection Writing

Understanding these different approaches will enable you to choose the most suitable reflection essay type for your needs and make your writing more coherent, insightful and trustworthy.

Journaling, manifestation dairies, and written meditations are common ideas. But would you believe these are all forms and branches of personal reflection writing?

Personal reflection essays explore what you’re going through, emotionally, mentally, and provide insights. These could be about their learning, inner conflicts, resolutions and growth.

This type of reflective writing allows individuals to examine their values, beliefs, and actions, fostering self-awareness and personal development. 

Personal reflection essays may focus on topics such as significant life events, personal challenges, or the impact of relationships on one’s identity and growth.

Professional reflection writing is common in academic or workplace settings. They involve analyzing personal and professional skills and challenges and identifying areas for improvement. 

This reflection essay encourages individuals to examine their professional experiences, decisions, and outcomes, fostering critical thinking and problem-solving skills. 

Professional reflection essays may focus on workplace conflicts, leadership experiences, or developing specific professional competencies.

As a  college paper writing service  platform, we know that most students are intimidated by reflective essay writing. In an academic setting, the reflection essay blurs the lines between informal and formal writing. 

You might be assigned an essay account of your experience with an event, but you’ll still need to follow strict rules of academic writing, i.e., formatting or  organizing a paper . 

Academic reflective writing involves analyzing and evaluating academic materials, such as readings, lectures, or research projects, and connecting them to personal experiences or broader concepts. 

It encourages students to engage with course content on a deeper level, fostering a better understanding of the material and its relevance to their lives and future careers.

For example:

You can be assigned to write a reflection essay on  modernism in literature . You’d have to write your thoughts and observations about this era. Still, you must follow the rules like citation, proper referencing, and contextual analysis of the ideas presented in that era. 

Creative reflection essays are often utilized in artistic or creative fields, allowing individuals to examine their creative process, inspirations, and outcomes. 

This reflective writing fosters self-awareness, critical thinking, and artistic growth, enabling individuals to explore their creative motivations, challenges, and successes. 

Creative reflection essays may focus on topics such as the development of a specific artistic project, the influence of personal experiences on one’s creative work, or the role of collaboration in the creative process.

Social or Cultural Reflection

These reflection essays focus on exploring and understanding social or cultural phenomena. It involves analyzing personal experiences, observations, or interactions with others and reflecting on their significance and broader societal implications. 

Social or cultural reflection essays encourage individuals to engage with the world around them, fostering empathy, critical thinking, and a deeper understanding of social and cultural issues. 

These essays may focus on topics such as the impact of social media on interpersonal relationships, the role of cultural identity in shaping one’s worldview, or the challenges of navigating diverse social environments.

Students must grasp all of these forms of reflective essay writing. Understanding the different types of reflective writing and their unique purposes is required for crafting effective reflection essays.

By selecting the most appropriate reflection essay type for your needs, you can create a coherent, understandable, and persuasive piece of writing that fosters personal and professional growth.

Reflective writing offers a valuable opportunity for self-exploration, critical thinking, and meaningful learning, whether you are exploring your personal experiences, professional challenges, academic materials, creative endeavors, or social and cultural phenomena.

 What is the Purpose of Reflective Essay Writing?

The amazing thing about reflective essay writing is that, although we have discussed its few meaningful purposes, there’s still a long list to cover. 

These numerous goals are particularly for students dealing with academic stress and professionals experiencing work-related challenges. Here are 8 key purposes of reflective paper writing. 

  • Self-awareness : Reflective essays help individuals develop a deeper understanding of themselves, their values, beliefs, and emotions.
  • Critical thinking : It encourages the examination of one’s thoughts and experiences, fostering the development of critical thinking skills.
  • Personal growth : Reflection writing enables individuals to learn from their experiences, identify areas for improvement, and set goals for personal development.
  • Problem-solving : Reflection essay writing can help identify the root causes of problems and generate potential solutions.
  • Emotional processing : Writing about emotional experiences can help individuals process and cope with their feelings.
  • Learning from mistakes : Reflection writing encourages individuals to examine their failures, learn from them, and develop resilience.
  • Enhancing communication skills : Reflective writing helps improve written communication skills and promotes effective self-expression.
  • Empathy development:  The reflective essays can foster empathy by encouraging individuals to consider the perspectives and experiences of others.

Why Is Reflection Essay Important for Students?

Reflection writing is a crucial aspect of a student’s academic journey. Here are several reasons why reflection writing is essential for students:

Promotes Self-Awareness

Self-awareness in a student involves recognizing their academic learning style, studying habits, strengths, and weaknesses. Reflective Writing plays a crucial role in building self-awareness in students. 

Most students struggle with consulting adults or peers with issues like processing information, retaining knowledge, and solving problems effectively. They have a hard time coming to terms with certain values, beliefs, goals, and emotions. 

And an even harder time in exploring and creating their identities. Practicing reflective thought writing enables students to make informed decisions, set realistic goals, and develop healthy relationships. 

Self-aware students take ownership of their learning and personal development, seeking feedback, reflecting on experiences, and adapting their approaches. Thus, reflective essay writing contributes to effective communication, collaboration, and navigating challenges.

Develops Critical Thinking Skills

Reflective writing develops critical thinking skills in students by prompting them to analyze and evaluate their thoughts, experiences, and perspectives. 

It encourages questioning assumptions, considering alternative viewpoints, and making informed judgments. Students practice higher-order thinking skills such as analysis, synthesis, and evaluation through reflection. 

They learn to articulate their ideas clearly and support them with evidence. Overall, reflective writing plays a crucial role in fostering critical thinking by promoting deep thinking, evaluation of evidence, and effective communication of thoughts.

Practical Academic Stress Dealing

Reflective writing induces practical academic stress dealing in students by improving self-expression, facilitating self-composition, promoting goal-setting and problem-solving, enhancing writing skills, and fulfilling academic requirements. These benefits empower students to navigate their academic challenges more effectively and succeed in their studies.

  • Improves self-expression : Reflection writing helps students enhance their written communication skills and promotes effective self-expression, which is vital for academic success and personal growth.
  • Self-composition:  Reflective writing allows students to compose their thoughts and ideas in a structured and coherent manner. It encourages them to organize their reflections, leading to clearer and more articulate writing.
  • Setting better goals:  Engaging in reflective writing prompts students to set better academic goals. It helps them assess their strengths and weaknesses, identify areas for improvement, and establish realistic objectives for their studies.
  • Problem-solving : Reflective writing encourages students to analyze academic challenges and develop strategies to overcome them. It fosters critical thinking and problem-solving skills, enabling students to tackle obstacles and find effective solutions.
  • Organized and better-polished writing skills : Regular practice of reflective writing hones students’ writing skills. It enhances their ability to structure their thoughts, use appropriate language, and present coherent arguments, leading to more organized and polished writing.
  • Fulfills academic requirements : Reflective essays are often assigned as part of the coursework, and students need to write them to meet academic requirements. Developing reflection writing skills ensures students can effectively complete these assignments while meeting the expectations of their instructors.

Navigating Life Transitions 

Students often face significant life transitions, such as moving away from home or choosing a career path. Reflection essay writing can help them process these changes, identify their goals, and make informed decisions. 

By engaging in reflective writing, students can explore their thoughts, emotions, and experiences related to the transitions they are facing. This process allows them to gain clarity, understand their values and aspirations, and evaluate different options. 

Reflective writing is a valuable tool for self-reflection and self-discovery, empowering students to navigate life’s transitions with a deeper understanding of themselves and their desired path forward.

Addresses Emotional and Mental Conflicts 

Students may experience emotional or  mental conflicts  due to various factors, such as relationships, academic pressure, or personal issues. Reflection writing provides an opportunity to explore and resolve these conflicts, promoting mental well-being. 

By engaging in reflective writing, students can express and process their emotions, gain insights into their turmoil’s underlying causes, and develop coping and problem-solving strategies. It offers a safe and therapeutic outlet for self-expression, self-reflection, and self-care. 

Reflective essay writing empowers students to navigate their emotional and mental challenges, fostering resilience, self-awareness, and overall psychological well-being.

Balancing Work and Studies 

Many students juggle work and studies simultaneously. Reflection writing can help them assess their time management and prioritization skills, identify areas for improvement, and develop strategies to maintain a healthy work-study balance.

Encourages Empathy Development

Reflective essays can foster empathy by encouraging students to consider the perspectives and experiences of others, an essential skill for building strong relationships and navigating diverse social environments.

Reflection Essay Writing Format

Reflection essays require a structured approach to ensure coherence and clarity in presenting one’s thoughts, emotions, and experiences. This detailed tutorial will provide an overview of the reflection essay writing format and offer instructions on how to apply APA and  MLA formatting to your reflection essay.

A well-structured reflection essay typically includes the following elements:

  • Introduction : Provide an overview of the topic or experience you will be reflecting on and briefly explain its significance.
  • Description : Describe the experience or event in detail, including relevant facts, feelings, and observations.
  • Analysis : Examine your thoughts, emotions, and reactions to the experience, and consider the factors that influenced your response.
  • Evaluation : Assess the impact of the experience on your personal growth, learning, or development and discuss any lessons learned.
  • Conclusion : Summarize your reflections, reiterate the significance of the experience, and discuss any future implications or goals.

APA Formatting for Reflection Essays

The American Psychological Association ( APA ) formatting style is commonly used in social sciences and education. Here are the key formatting instructions for a reflection essay in  APA  style:

  • Title Page : Include a title page with the title of your essay, your name, and the name of your institution, all centered and double-spaced.
  • Running Head : Include a running head on the top-left corner of each page, consisting of a shortened version of your essay title (in capital letters) and the page number.
  • Font and Spacing : Use a 12-point, Times New Roman font with double-spacing throughout the essay.
  • Margins : Set 1-inch margins on all sides of the page.
  • Headings : Use headings to organize your essay, with level one headings centered and bold, level two headings flush left and bold, and level three headings flush left, bold, and italicized.
  • Citations :  If you refer to any external sources, use in-text citations with the author’s last name and the publication year in parentheses.
  • Reference List : Include a reference list at the end of your essay, with a centered and bold “References” heading, and list all cited sources in alphabetical order by the author’s last name.

MLA Formatting for Reflection Essays

The Modern Language Association (MLA) formatting style is commonly used in humanities and liberal arts. Here are the key formatting instructions for a reflection essay in MLA style:

  • Header :  Include a header on the top-right corner of each page, consisting of your last name and the page number.
  • Title :  Center the title of your essay at the top of the first page, using standard capitalization. Do not underline, italicize, or place the title in quotation marks.
  • Indentation : Indent the first line of each paragraph by 0.5 inches.
  • Citations :  If you refer to any external sources, use in-text citations with the author’s last name and the page number in parentheses.
  • Works Cited : Include a Works Cited page at the end of your essay, with a centered “Works Cited” heading, and list all cited sources in alphabetical order by the author’s last name.

Topics for Reflection Essays

Reflective essay topics can vary widely, depending on the individual’s experiences, interests, and goals. Some examples of reflective essay topics include:

  • A significant personal experience and its impact on your life.
  • A challenging academic or professional situation and the lessons learned.
  • A personal or professional failure and how it has shaped your development.
  • A meaningful relationship or encounter with someone who has influenced your perspective.
  • A volunteer or community service experience and its effect on your values or beliefs.
  • A time when you faced a moral or ethical dilemma and how you resolved it.
  • A personal or professional goal and the steps taken to achieve it.
  • A cultural or travel experience that broadened your understanding of the world.

Examples of Reflective Essay

Our writers have written numerous examples of reflective essays here are some of them. 

Reflection Essay Example 1

A Poetic Turnaround: How an Online Assignment Platform Reshaped My Perception

Reflection Paper Example 2 

A Day Among Colors and Canvas: Art Exhibition at School 

Reflection Writing Example 3 

Spinning the Semester Around: Witnessing a Friend Succeeding in Their Academic Battles 

Reflective essay writing can polish your being in many ways. By understanding the purpose and importance of reflective essays, as well as mastering the format and selecting meaningful topics, you can transform your writing and unlock the full potential of self-reflection. For additional help, you can avail of our top-of-the-line writing service and confidently pursue your goals, knowing you have the best support for securing impressive grades.

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Exploring the effective elements on the personal and professional development among health-care providers: A qualitative study

Shervin farahmand.

1 Department of Emergency Medicine, School of Medicine, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

Elaheh Malakan Rad

2 Department of Pediatric Cardiology, Children's Hospital Center (Pediatric Center of Excellence), Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

Fatemeh Keshmiri

3 Department of Medical Education, Education Development Center, Shahid Sadoughi University of Medical Sciences, Yazd, Iran

BACKGROUND:

A new domain of “personal and professional development” was introduced as a core competency of health-care providers. This study aimed to explore the experiences of learners and faculty members about what competencies or skills were essential for the professional development and success of health-care providers.

MATERIALS AND METHODS:

This is a qualitative study using an inductive content analysis approach in 2019–2020. In the present study, 58 academic faculty members participated by purposeful sampling including ten associate professors (17.24%) and 24 assistance professors (41.37%), in addition to 23-year medical residents (20.65%) and 4 th -year nursing students (20.65%). Individual and group interviews were conducted. Data were analyzed by the inductive content analysis approach introduced by Graneheim and Lundman.

The qualitative data were classified in 953 open codes and eight categories, which were further divided into four main categories: “socio-emotional skills,” “life-long learning skills,” “coping skills,” and “well-being strategies.”

CONCLUSIONS:

The present results showed socioemotional and coping skills affect interpersonal and professional interactions that contributed to their improved health-care providers’ capabilities. Participants also considered lifelong learning as influential in developing professional capabilities and keeping their knowledge and skills up-to-date for accountability to duties. Moreover, using well-being strategies protects the mental and physical health of health-care providers. These skills are synergistic, and their combination can have a significant role in improving the personal and professional capabilities.

Introduction

Health-care providers have to deal with various challenges and crises that can affect their professional performance and success during their careers. Health-care providers are faced with stresses such as physical tiredness, lack of sleep, high job pressure, emotional tensions related to work, improper performance of the system at work, and shortage of time for their personal life, which decrease the well-being of health-care providers.[ 1 , 2 ] Change in the balance between stress and coping strategies leads to fluctuation of well-being during professional work.[ 3 ] It has been suggested that in order to overcome these stresses, providers should improve personal and professional development competencies.[ 4 ] Therefore, it is vital to consider the competencies that help the medical doctors cope with the challenges and protect their physical and mental health. In this regard, besides to improvement of professional abilities, there has been an emphasis on skills such as management capabilities, the ability of team membership, committing to professionalism, interpersonal communication skills, informatics, education, and accountability.[ 5 ]

Hicks et al . have introduced the new domain of “personal and professional development” (PPD) as a core competency which was introduced as a successful element of health-care providers. The goal of PPD is to ensure the quality of health services.[ 6 ] Considering the growth of knowledge in the field of healthcare, there is essential for various health-care professionals to improve their abilities in order to provide efficient services continuously. Several studies indicate that skills in PPD are also fundamental for the provision of high-quality health care and success in medical profession especially in crisis periods.[ 4 , 6 ] Self-management abilities in stressful situations, identifying and managing ambiguity, increasing self-confidence in relation to patients, and the degree of help seeking based on self-reflection and conflict management between personal and professional life were vital elements in health-care providers’ professional development.[ 6 ] Health-care providers are constantly faced with crises and difficult situations. Therefore, it is necessary to provide the necessary skills to provide services in this situation. It expects growth of the competencies that can protect the personnel from serious problems, which threaten their health or adversely affect their professional performance. Previous studies on the factors affecting personal and professional development were mainly based on the opinions of experts or descriptive studies on one of the dimensions of the phenomenon. The aim of the present study was to explore the experiences of faculty members in medical and nursing schools and regarding the essential skills through which they need to achieve professional development and success in healthcare systems.

Materials and Methods

Study design and setting.

This was a qualitative study that was conducted by inductive content analysis approach of Graneheim and Lundman.[ 7 ]

Study participants and sampling

In the present study, the participants have entered by purposeful sampling. Learners and academic faculty members in medical and nursing schools, who were well known as multi-dimensional and successful individuals in their professional careers, with a willingness to participate in the study, were enrolled.

Data collection tool and technique

In the present study, ten individual interviews and five group interviews were conducted to explore the experience of the participants about the effective underlying factors and skills for personal and professional development. Experiences of the senior faculty members (associate professors) were obtained using in-depth, individual, and semi-structured interviews. Each interview took 60–90 min. In addition, we have used group interviews for the collection of experiences of junior faculty members and learners. Each group interview took about 4 h. The total duration of individual and group interviews was 30 h. All the interviews were performed face to face in the quiet and calm environment of the conference hall of the medical school. The first author performed the individual interviews, facilitated, and guided the group interviews. As well, she wrote the field notes during and after the sessions. All the interviews were audio-recorded. Each interview was started with the following question “What are your most important personal experiences regarding personal and professional development in your own life?” and “Could you describe what were the most effective factors to your professional success in difficult situations and crises?” Probing was performed according to the reflections of each participant about his/her prior experiences of PPD, facilitators, barriers, skills, and perceptions.

Data were analyzed using the inductive content analysis approach described by Graneheim and Lundman.[ 7 ] The process of analysis included “ code, subcategories, categories, and theme .” All the audio-recorded files were transcribed word for word. To become immersed in the data, the transcripts were read several times. Then important words were highlighted and written as notes in the text during the reading of the transcripts. We used the original words of the interviewees for initial coding. Relevant codes were collected together to form sub-categories. Categories were developed by collecting the subcategories. Themes were emerged by putting together the relevant categories.

The data have obtained through several methods including reflection on the aim of the study and the main research question, using open-ended questions, reflection on meaning units in order to conduct in-depth analysis of data, spending adequate time on data gathering and analysis, and review and revision of categories by the research team were done if required. Member checking was used to determine the accuracy of the qualitative data. In order to these criteria, we gave five of the transcripts back to the interviewees to ensure of accuracy of codes and categories. The interviews were performed in a defined time interval, with stringent emphasis on following the same subject and questions throughout all the interviews. We spend prolonged time to analysis process to obtain an in-depth understanding of the phenomenon. All the steps of the research, in particular, the steps of analysis of data were written in detail. This enabled other researchers to continue this study based on the documents of interviews and based on the categorization and coding process. We presented a clear description of the context, selection criteria, and characteristics of the interviewees, data collection, and analysis to increase the transferability of the findings.

Ethical considerations

Before starting the interview, the purpose of the research, the method of interview, and the right of the participants to decline to participate were explained to all the interviewees. They were informed that we would record the interviews with consideration of confidentiality. Informed consent was obtained from all the interviewees. Only the first author had access to the recorded voices. The transcripts were anonymous and saved as confidential information. The present study was approved by the Ethics committee in Shahid Sadoughi University of Medical Sciences (ID: IR.SSU.REC.1399.044).

Fifty-eight academic faculty members and learners of the medical and nursing schools of the Tehran University of Medical Sciences and Shahid Sadoughi University of Medical Sciences were enrolled in this study. The demographic data of the participants are shown in Table 1 . The participants in different specialties included internal medicine, cardiology, orthopedics, psychiatry, emergency medicine, internal medicine, sports medicine, general surgery, geriatrics, neurology, forensic medicine, ophthalmology, infectious disease, gynecology, urology, pediatrics, anesthesia, pathology, radiology, radiotherapy, and occupational medicine were entered in the present study.

Basic demographic characteristic of participants

SD=Standard deviation

Analysis of the qualitative data, including 953 open codes, eight categories were classified into four main categories including: (a) Socio-emotional skills, (b) Life-long learning skills, (c) Coping skills and (d) Well-being [ Table 2 ].

Categories and themes of essential skills for healthcare providers’ success at difficult situations and crisis

Cognitive and meta-cognitive skills

Socio-emotional skills

In this theme, we classified the effective skills for develop and maintaining professional competencies in dealing with stressful and challenging situations. This theme encompasses four subcategories, as below:

Self-awareness

Participants in this study believed that self-awareness of one's capabilities and limitations enables one to plan an effective program for the improvement of professional performance. One of the associate professors said:

“ If we accept that we are not the knower of everything and we have limitations, then we plan for becoming better .”(Participant 3).

Emotional management

Competencies which enable health-care providers to recognize and manage emotions were described to be an effective factor for surviving in difficult situations. One of the learners said:

“ When someone cries, you may cry too, when one shouts, you may shout too or you may be dominated by him/her. However, sometimes you have learned what the appropriate way of dealing with these situations is. You should know how to behave when a resident, a professor, or a patient, shout at you. I need to learn how to control, manage and guide my emotions and anxieties in order to be able to work efficiently during our career .” (Participant 5).

Communication skills

Participants considered communication skills including interpersonal, inter-group and inter-professional communication as an important factor in managing in difficult situations. An assistant professor mentioned.

“ To achieve peace of mind, my family members were very helpful to me. In my view, communication with others provides emotional support. Family is the most important supportive unit .” (Participant 14).

Responsibility and accountability

Responsibility and accountability were described as critical skills. Participants believed when the professors or peers delegate the responsibility of doing a task to the individual, it causes a feeling that one can do it and one should try to do it to the best of his/her ability. One of the assistance professors said:

“ As I remember, I always did my best to accept the full responsibility of a delegated task to me and to do my job as perfect as possible, regardless of being a resident, an academic staff, a manager or a physician. In every role, I did my best .” (Participant 12).

Well-being strategies

In this theme, skills on application of methods for protection of personal health and for keeping balance between personal and professional commitments are included. Two categories were included in this theme:

Striking the balance

Participants believed that skills causing happiness, hopefulness, optimism and resilience in personal and professional life set the appropriate stage for improvement of personal and professional competencies of a physician. One of the assistant professor said:

“ One important point is to keep balance between work and personal life that I tried to do that. I believe the doctors need to learn how they can make balance between personal life and professional and educational commitments. I should be able to manage these situations .” (Participant 22).

The “being at the present moment” technique was another practical tip for success in my professional life. One of the learners said:

“ At the time of rest, we should rest with peace of mind and at the time of work and study, we should dedicate ourselves to the work and the study. People, who are always worried, neither can have a good rest nor can do a perfect job .” (Participant 15).

Preservation of physical and mental health

The participants emphasized the importance of preservation of physical and mental health. One of assistant professors said:

“ I found that too much work and sleep deprivation can increase the risk of various diseases. Therefore, I decided to counteract this work overload by planning some vacations, entertainment and hobbies such as going to cinema, going to theater and spending time with my friends and family. This leisure time helps me to reconstruct my body and soul .” (Participant 19).

Coping skills

This theme addresses the competencies that make the healthcare providers capable of managing difficult situations. It includes two subcategories of “stress and conflict management” and “resilience.”

Stress and conflict management

There are different sources of stress and conflict in professional healthcare environments. Participants showed that the ability to manage stress and the conflicts could foster success in stressful situations. One of the assistant professor said:

“… I thought that the challenges occur only in our hospital. However, later, I learned that challenges are facts that exist everywhere. Now, I have learned to empower myself to know how to deal with and how to manage the challenges .” (Participant 13).

In the present study, participants believed that resilience helps health-care providers efficiently handle difficult situations by applying their skills in showing flexibility in dealing with and managing difficult situations. This trait enables the person to bounce back to his/her original level of stability after encountering a difficult and unfavorable event. One of the learners said:

“Many times, we do not have the optimal conditions and we face challenges. We should know how to cope with these hard circumstances. This means how much you break with a challenge or how much you can spring back to your original point of balance after the challenge. This skill helped me a lot.” (Participant 26).

Life-long learning skills

These are the constellation of skills that enable the healthcare providers to seek to learn what they need to know in terms of knowledge, skills, and attitudes to perform their professional role with high quality. One of the associate professors said:

“ I found I need to learn how to search for up-to-date information, how to do critical appraisal of the literature, I learn how to achieve my needs .” (Participant 29).

This theme includes two categories of “self-directed learning” and “cognitive and meta-cognitive skills.

Self-directed learning

Micro-skills such as goal setting, determining strategies to achieve the goals, reflection and self-evaluation are included in this category. One of the associate professor mentioned:

“ I believed that I should maintain my competencies at the high level up to the end of the period of my career that will be at least 30 years, of course, if no events happen. Thus, I should learn up-to-date knowledge and skills by various methods, including self-study, participation in continuing professional development programs and so on in order to be able to provide efficient health care to my patients. This needs discipline and planning at the very first step .” (Participant 32).

This includes skills that a physician needs for personal development to perform his/her professional role in a society with diverse needs. The skills classified in the category include searching for information, problem-solving, time management and critical thinking. These skills set the stage for changing the resident to a life-long learner. One of the learners said:

“ When I was a resident, I realized that a physician came and said one therapeutic approach for the patient, and then another resident came and offered a different approach. I got confused on which one I should follow. This situation pushed me to study the evidences and to learn about evidence-based medicine and problem-solving skills. All of these skills helped me to have a better performance .” (Participant 16).

Reflection was another main skill that was stated by the participants. One of the assistant professors said: “ At the end of the shift, I always thought with myself what I did wrong, what to do to make fewer mistakes, what I did well and how can I reinforce them .” (Participant 42) [ Appendix 1 ].

The present results showed socioemotional and coping skills affect interpersonal and professional interactions that contributed to their improved healthcare providers’ capabilities. Participants also considered lifelong learning as an influential in the development of professional capabilities and keeping their knowledge and skills up-to-date for accountability to duties. Moreover, using well-being strategies protects the mental and physical health of the health-care providers. These skills are synergistic, and their combination can have a significant role in improving the personal and professional capabilities.

According to the socioemotional intelligence model, people with emotional intelligence are able to effectively express themselves, to understand and to communicate with others, to have flexibility in decision-making, and to overcome problems.[ 8 ] The interpersonal component in emotional intelligence deals with the individual's ability to live with others peacefully, and includes empathy, social responsibility, and interpersonal relationships.[ 8 ] The present results showed that socioemotional skills such as communication skills, self-awareness, emotional control, and accountability were necessary for achieving success in personal and professional life. Participants believed that establishing effective communication is one of the strategies for understanding the situation, empathizing, improving resilience, and reducing stress among health-care providers. They also considered the effective communication important in performing the delegated tasks to them by other team members. They stated that the mastering interpersonal skills enable them to have effective communication with other team members in stressful situations. Effective interpersonal communication skills are introduced as a core feature in various definitions of emotional intelligence.[ 9 , 10 ] In our study, self-awareness was explained as one of the factors affecting professional success in difficult circumstances. Self-awareness, defined as the ability to know one's capabilities and limitations, enables individuals to plan to improve their performance and facilitate personal and professional development. Furthermore, recognition of one's limitations, results in timely requests for help from other team members. Hicks defined the capability of personal and professional development as the ability to create self-awareness in relation to one's knowledge, and emotions, and limitations, which leads to appropriately asking for help. In his study, “identity development” is introduced as a key feature in professional development of a physician. He believes that recognition of personal and professional capabilities and limitations, positive attitude, and ability to “ ask colleagues and peers for help ” are important elements in PPD.[ 6 ] Our findings are in accordance with this study.

Emotional management includes recognition and control of emotions has been emphasized in various emotional intelligence models.[ 8 ] To acquire this skill, the individual should be able to perfectly understand other people's feelings and emotions and to control them appropriately. In a systematic review of a three-decade literature, Arora et al . reported positive correlation between emotional intelligence and teamwork, communication skills, improved empathy, stress management, organizational commitment, and leadership in the context of competencies of the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education.[ 11 ] Similarly, in the present study, participants believed that their socioemotional skills have improved their communications, teamwork, stress management, and resilience.

Stress and conflict, induced by professional responsibilities, workplace, and personal life, among members of the health profession are multifactorial.[ 6 ] The synergy of sources of stress also causes stress and worsens physical and mental pressures.[ 6 , 12 ] The ability to use coping mechanisms in response to stress has been explained as an essential capability for professional development.[ 6 ] Our participants also recognized coping skills such as problem-solving skills, social support, and the individual's flexibility for change. People try to cope with stress by combining problem-solving activities to change stressful situations and emotion-based activities to reduce emotional factors and stressors. In addition, support from colleagues and outside interests have been recommended as coping strategies.[ 13 ] Participants conferred that stressful and conflicting situations among medical team members and peers are factors causing impaired personal-professional interactions. They believed personal distress, factors disturb mental peace and adversely affect individual's performance in treating patients. In addition, the inability to use stress and conflict management strategies to control one's performance has adverse implications for personal performance and professional relationships. Fothergill reported high levels of stress and burnout among personnel affect the efficacy of working with the patients. Therefore, training is necessary to help the providers to overcome work-related emotional stresses and challenging issues. Our findings are in accordance with their study.

In the present study, resilience was explored as a category of coping skills. Resilience has been defined as the process of dynamic flexibility in difficult situations[ 14 ] This skill enables the individual to be positively flexible in the face of adversities and resilient in dealing with many challenges in ongoing development.[ 15 ] Resilience skills include active problem-solving, structured understanding of difficulties, promoting positive interaction with others, and performing and understanding the meaning of events through spirituality and faith.[ 16 ] Resilience strategies s include creating and fostering positive communications and relationships, maintaining positivity, developing emotional insight, creating a balance in life, spirituality, and using reflective skill.[ 15 ] The development of resilience capability among health system personnel can reduce their vulnerability in the workplace and improve well-being and better outcomes in health care settings.[ 17 ] Grant believed improving sing emotional resilience for practice between health-care providers enhances well-being and job satisfaction.[ 16 ] In the present study, flexibility was essential an important feature of resilience that allows the individual to adapt to challenging and changing situations, which had been effective on participants’ resilience under challenging conditions during residency and professional development. In Hicks’ study, self-awareness, personal management, and self-confidence were considered as factors affecting flexibility. Flexibility and maturity in adapting to change were essential capabilities for personal and professional development.[ 6 ] In his study, resilience, confidence, self-efficacy, and adaptability were considered as effective components in flexibility,[ 6 ] which agrees with the present study results.

Applying well-being strategies emphasizes strategies such as preservation of physical-mental health of healthcare providers, mechanisms of happiness, creating peace of mind such as hobbies and entertainments, and being in friendly and family gatherings. Well-being is closely related to personal development,[ 18 ] professional success and leads to avoiding work pressures.[ 19 ] Well-being was defined as a balance between different area including professional development, communications, and physical and mental health. In line with our results, their results showed that the six themes affecting well-being include balance in different domains, professional development and temporary imbalance, professional satisfaction and achievement, maintaining a sense of self, stress management and coping skills, and role of residency programs.[ 20 ] Similar to the present study, in Hicks’ study, conflict management between personal and professional responsibilities was determined as the essential capability for personal and professional promotion.[ 6 ] In this study, personal recognition, interaction with family and friends, hobbies and interests, and maintaining physical health through exercise and nutrition, awareness of personal limitations, the and use of defensive mechanisms such as humor, determining and pursuing goals, and self-care explored as stress coping activities.[ 6 ] In the present study, in the theme of well-being, a balance between personal and professional life, strategies for preservation of physical and mental health and methods such as interaction with family and friends, hobbies, and interests have been emphasized.

In the present study, the last theme, “lifelong learning,” was explained as a factor affecting professional development in crisis. Lifelong learning has been defined as a dynamic process that enables learners to progress in core skills for obtaining expertise.[ 4 ] The goal of lifelong learning is defined to develop learners’ potential capabilities through ongoing support by stimulating and empowering them to acquire necessary knowledge, values, skills, and attitude. Core competencies of lifelong learning include the ability to recognize one's performance, manage learning in action, search for information and create and answer questions, evaluate and improve performance and motivation.[ 4 ] Acquiring meta-cognitive skills, self-directed learning, self-evaluation, and reflection were proposed as the most important features of lifelong learning.[ 21 ]

In the present study, in the category of self-directed learning, skills such as personal planning skills, evaluation and reflection, and effective learning strategies have been emphasized. Self-directed learning is regarded as one of the key lifelong learning strategies that defined as a process in which learners are actively involved in recognizing their learning needs, set learning goals, gather resources, develop, and implement appropriate strategies, plan and evaluating learning outcomes independently or with others’ help.[ 22 ] Self-directed learning increases self-confidence, independence, motivation, and readiness for lifelong learning.[ 22 , 23 ] In the present study, recognition of self-performance, management of learning, evaluation, and reflection were explained as factors affecting self-directed learning. Participants believed that planning, self-evaluation, setting goals, personal reflection, and effective learning strategies empower the learners to design a proper program for developing their capabilities. Using self-directed learning and keeping up-to-date were described as professional development strategies.

Moreover, the present results showed that cognitive skills such as problem-solving, critical thinking, proactive thinking, and meta-cognitive skills meaning learning how to learn are factors affecting individuals’ dynamics and direction of the learner's ongoing learning for personal and professional development. Meta-cognitive and self-directed learning skills are regarded as features of lifelong learning.[ 21 ] Cognitive skills, critical thinking, creativity, problem-solving, reflection, and self-regulation skills have been defined as skills needed in preparation for life-long learning, which have an effective role in professional achievements.[ 24 , 25 ] The present study participants believed that self-directed learning and using cognitive-metacognitive skills such as critical thinking and problem-solving can direct a physician in successful learning and toward lifelong learning, and this has a major role in professional development. Similar to our results, improving problem-solving, interpersonal communication skills, and self-directed learning activities have been emphasized for coping in our results. Improving problem problem-solving, interpersonal communication skills, and self-directed learning activities have been emphasized for coping with stressful situations.[ 6 ] In addition, developing skills such as self-awareness, emotional intelligence, time management, and life-long learning were emphasized for physicians.[ 26 ]

Limitations and recommendation

The present qualitative study provided the viewpoints of physicians and nurses on essential elements of personal and professional development in difficult and stressful situations. The qualitative method may limit the application of these findings to other contexts with different cultures. Therefore, we recommend further studies to explore the contributive elements to professional success and development under stressful circumstances from the perspective of a broader range of health care professionals.

Conclusions

In this study, the experiences of successful people who were famous for their personal and professional development were explained. The experiences of successful people can provide a better description of the phenomenon and its dimensions. The study showed socio-emotional and coping skills affect interpersonal and professional interactions and improve healthcare providers’ capabilities. Participants also considered lifelong learning influential in developing professional capabilities and keeping their knowledge and skills up-to-date for accountability to duties. Moreover, using well-being strategies protects the mental and physical health of health-care providers. These skills are synergistic, and their combination can significantly improve personal and professional competencies.

Financial support and sponsorship

The present study was conducted with the financial support of the Vice-Chancellor for Research and Technology of Shahid Sadoughi University of Medical Sciences, Yazd, Iran (ID code: 7633).

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

Acknowledgment

We would like to express our sincere thanks to participants who contributed in the study.

Effective factors on personal and professional development in medical education

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Article Contents

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Reflection as part of continuous professional development for public health professionals: a literature review

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Nishamali Jayatilleke, Anne Mackie, Reflection as part of continuous professional development for public health professionals: a literature review, Journal of Public Health , Volume 35, Issue 2, June 2013, Pages 308–312, https://doi.org/10.1093/pubmed/fds083

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For many years, reflection has been considered good practice in medical education. In public health (PH), while no formal training or teaching of reflection takes place, it is expected as part of continuous professional development. This paper aims to identify reflective models useful for PH and to review published literature on the role of reflection in PH. The paper also aims to investigate the reported contribution, if any, of reflection by PH workers as part of their professional practice.

A review of the literature was carried out in order to identify reflective experience, either directly related to PH or in health education. Free text searches were conducted for English language papers on electronic bibliographic databases in September 2011. Thirteen papers met the inclusion criteria and were reviewed.

There is limited but growing evidence to suggest reflection improves practice in disciplines allied to PH. No specific models are currently recommended or widely used in PH.

Health education literature has reflective models which could be applied to PH practice.

The practice of public health (PH) is a science as well as an art. 1 PH professionals may work across all or some of its main domains—health improvement, health protection and health services. The Faculty of Public Health provides direction and guidance to enable the development of professionals and establish competencies that specify behaviour, skills and attitudes. The Faculty encourages professionals to reflect as part of essential practice. 2 Many different disciplines contribute to the PH workforce, but all are expected to keep themselves up to date through continuing professional development (CPD). However, the mere experience of carrying out some developmental activity may not be sufficient to enable future improvements and thus many medical specialities encourage their practitioners to reflect on their experiences. 3

Reflection can contribute to learning. 4 Illeris 4 describes learning to consist of emotional and social dimensions as well as cognitive. In practice, the cognitive aspects are most easily measured through assessments or performance, while the emotional and social aspects may be less easily captured. Frameworks of reflection could support the development of both these dimensions. 5 Further to this, if learning is considered to take place in the form of a cycle, as shown in Fig.  1 , the role of reflection becomes apparent.

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Four stages of Kolb's learning cycle 6 .

The cycle of learning comprises four elements—a concrete experience, an observation and reflection, formation of abstract concepts and testing in new situations. 6 The circular model does not mean each stage should be equally weighted in time and emphasis. 7 Kolb and Fry, in their theory, argue that the cycle can begin at any of those points. However, in its simplified form, the learning cycle will begin by carrying out a task, the person would reflect on that experience and apply the learning in a new situation. In order to apply experience to the new situation, the ability to generalize through identifying principles and their connections to actions over a range of circumstances is required. Throughout the process, learners rate themselves which is an important element for adult learners 8 and could be considered relevant for continuous professional development. In his work, Donald Schon 9 concludes that the possible objects for reflection can be as varied as the situations faced and the systems in which they occur. Reflection can be understood as the ‘ability to gain understanding of specific issues in practice through critically contextualizing, observing and analysing to generate new knowledge and insights which can enhance practice’. 10 This may mean the individual might reflect on the feeling for a situation which has led to adoption of a particular course of action, the way in which the problem has been framed and/or the role this has created for the individual in the wider institution as a result. 9 It can be seen as the process of reasoned thought which enables a critical assessment of both self as a professional and as an agent of change. 10 This latter is of particular relevance to PH professionals in their roles of influencing decision-making.

However, as a speciality on the whole, PH has focused heavily on quantitative measures for evaluation. The purpose of this paper is to describe the development of a framework for learning to reflection for individuals as well as for teams and to identify approaches to guide continuous professional development. This paper describes how this could be implemented and used in everyday work to enable professional development.

Literature search strategy

A literature search was undertaken using CINAHL, Medline and OvidSP electronic databases in September 2011. The search terms used were evidence-based practice, research evidence, medical education, qualitative research, reflective practice, reflection and evidence. Other sources included handpicking of books on evidence-based practice, reflection and research. Full texts of potentially relevant articles were obtained. Papers were identified for inclusion in the review by examination of full text articles. Data relating to characteristics of the population, intervention, outcome measures, study design and outcomes were collected.

Inclusion criteria

Papers written in English only were included. Articles pertaining to reflection in or on practice in PH or related disciplines were included. Documents published between 1970 and 2011 were included. Peer- and non-peer-reviewed publications were considered.

Exclusion criteria

Articles that included reflection as by-product rather than the main focus were excluded. Non-English language publications were excluded.

Electronic searches yielded over 100 citations. Further citations were obtained by hand searching of reference lists. More than 20 full articles were retrieved and assessed against the set inclusion criteria. Of the five papers included in this review, none were from PH, two from nursing and two from other allied health professions or other education literature. One further model was included from non-health background.

The search did not find evidence that particular frameworks were in regular use in current PH practice. The search identified educational concepts from the literature which could be applied to PH. Several approaches to reflection were found. While none of these were linked directly to PH practice, their use in medicine was referenced. The literature discussed here were selected on relevance and focused on the synthesis on framework, service-based learning and mentorship.

Burton's approach 11 was to use the core questions focused on reflection on action but with the ability to be applied in and before action. Burton's cycle of three questions comprises the questions: What? So what? Now what? These are questions which the reflector can answer during the reflective process.

Boud et al . 12 defines reflection in the learning context and focuses on the personal experience as the object of reflection—as the intellect and affects lead to new understandings and appreciations. Boud describes three main components to consider—experience, reflection and outcome. The experience can be a behaviour, ideas or feelings. The reflection will include returning to the experience, attend to feelings that it brought about and a re-evaluation of the experience. The outcome will look at new perspectives, changes to behaviour and an application of learning into practice.

The Gibbs' reflective cycle (1988) encourages a clear description of the situation, analysis of feelings, evaluation of the experience and an analysis to make sense of the experience. This would be followed by conclusions where other options are considered and reflection upon experience to examine what one would do if the situation arose again. 13 In essence, Gibbs describes a cycle of description, feelings, evaluation, analysis, conclusion and action plan. The description is questioning what happened followed by the feelings brought about through the questions—‘what were you thinking and feeling?’. The evaluation component describes what was good and not so good about the experience. The analysis should identify what sense can be made of the situation and the conclusion details of what else could have been done. The process of reflection is ended with an action plan for what could be done if the situation arose again.

Atkins and Murphy 5 through their model suggest that for reflection to have a real effect it needs to be followed by an action commitment. The authors describe a cycle of awareness, description, analysis, evaluation and learning. The reflective process begins with the awareness of uncomfortable feelings and thoughts from the action or new experience followed by a description of the situation including thoughts and feelings. This would need to include salient events and key features identified by the reflector. The reflector would need to analyse feelings and knowledge relevant to the situation—identifying knowledge, challenging assumptions, imagining and exploring alternatives.

The reflection process would also need to include evaluation and consolidating learning. Evaluate the relevance of knowledge through asking questions includes the following: ‘Does it help to explain and/or solve problems’? ‘How complete was the use of knowledge’? These steps would be followed by identifying any learning which has occurred.

After-action review is a de-brief process in practice originally developed by the US army which aims to identify how to improve, maintain strengths and focus on performance of specific objectives. The de-brief manual provides guidance for individuals and group reviews. 14 The review would answer the following four questions: What was supposed to happen? What actually happened? Why were they different? What did we (I) learn?

Main findings

There is no published evidence of the use of particular models of reflection in PH practice. The general medical education literature contains various approaches to reflection.

The evidence base to suggest learner's self-reflection skills can be improved through formal training is still lacking.

There are a variety of theories on reflection in the education literature. The implication this brings to individual PH practitioners is to consider when and how they will reflect as part of their continuous learning cycle. In addition, whether the act of reflection should be done alone or as part of a team or both will need to be established. As a discipline that has focused less on reflection in the past it is possible to draw on theories and models already existent and in use within medicine. There are a range of ways to reflect which include methods like journal writing, discussions and use of technology such as blogs. 15 There is also a range of aspects to be considered, for example, individual perspective, team dynamics and societal impacts. Ultimately, the aim of reflection would be to improve practice and learn from relevant experiences. It is obvious that this comes from being an analytical reflector and moving beyond pure description. As some of the literature suggests, it is useful to recognise emotional influence and challenge one's ideas. In broader learning terms, it is also useful to consider the relevance of prior experience.

Reflection enhances personal development by leading to self-awareness. 16 If the focus of reflection is improvement in patient care, it helps to expand and develop clinical knowledge and skills. 17–19 The process slows down activity providing time to process material of learning and link to previous ideas. 20 It should also enable more ownership of the learning taking place. 20 Reflection has been reckoned to promote optimum effectiveness and efficiency in an ever evolving and complex health-care system through practitioners auditing their own practice. 21 , 22 ‘Reflection reminds qualified practitioners that there is no end point to learning about their everyday practice’. 18

Where it exists, the practice of reflection has tended to focus on individual professionals at specific points in time and/or on specific elements of practice. 10 This, however, can form only a part of the experience as many PH actions involve many disciplines. Often action takes place across multi-sectoral teams and involves multi-phased interventions. Programme delivery is often longer term, should be population focused and policy led.

The learner involvement is a key fundamental principle of adult education. PH CPD and the reflection that forms part of it can be viewed in light of adult education as individuals need to take ownership and engage in setting their learning agenda. 23 Therefore, the mere act of reflecting supports the androgogical model as adults need to be able to establish the purpose of the activity undertaken and identify how to cope effectively with real-life situations. 24

There needs to be opportunity to reflect as individuals as well as in teams in an acute manner while carrying out the longer term projects. Reflection can be used as a tool to facilitate professionals to assess beliefs, values and approaches to practice. 25 These factors determine how individuals personally and the policies/programmes which they deliver, act as agents of change, contributing to empowerment. Adult learners are more likely to believe and instil ideas that they help create. The environment can provide many structured activities that generate the ideas, concepts or techniques if an active decision to do so is taken. The practitioner could then experience surprise, puzzlement or confusion associated with the situation. Reflecting on the phenomena that is being experienced and prior understanding which have implicated, the resulting behaviour will lead the learner to new understanding. 9

In the health promotion literature, reflection on external and internal factors is recommended. These factors, however, could be equally applied to other domains of PH as they will include policy, professional and societal influences (examples of external factors) and attitudes, skills, experiences and team dynamics (examples of internal factors). 26

The practice of self-reflection in academic achievement has been captured in disciplines that contribute to PH. A positive impact was noted through reflective journal writing over only scientific report writing for those studying biology. 27 This was evidenced through greater awareness of cognitive strategies and conceptions of learning when learners constructed more complex and related knowledge when learning from text. In studies of mathematics students, while reflection was not necessary for high grades of achievements, it supported better conceptualization of meanings of the technical definitions. 28 Practice, shaped through reflection can develop professionals, organizations and society. This is already considered important within health promotion. 25

Educational concepts and the impact of reflection are not easily measurable. 29 Therefore, its merits may be overlooked. One can argue that this approach of reflecting on an issue is too straight forward and, in practice, difficult issues may take months to reflect on. Doing so quickly might lead to a paper exercise. Explicit frameworks may not be suitable for some situations. Frameworks vary in their focus of contexts. However, they are aimed to be critical analyses of knowledge and experience to deepen understanding. Time, motivation, initial expertise and lack of peer support are recognized barriers to reflection. To add to this are organizational contexts and team dynamics—frequent problems faced by PH professionals. 10 However, a structure to guide the process of reflection on the content and the process of learning would be deemed useful. 30

Limitations

With the aim of providing a broad overview of reflective approaches relevant to PH professionals, this work provides a selection and not a complete comprehensive collection of medical education literature.

What does this report add?

There are very few articles relating the use of reflection to current PH practice and furthermore on the strengths and weaknesses of different models that could be applied. This review article outlines some of the most applicable and outlines their merits and otherwise. Individuals working in PH may consider some of the approaches described here alongside their current professional development activities either as individual learners or as part of learning within teams.

At present, the strength and extent of the evidence base for the educational effects of reflection in a PH setting is limited.

However, there is evidence of an improving trend in the quality of reported studies. ‘Higher quality’ papers identify improvements in knowledge and understanding, increased self-awareness and engagement in reflection and improved opportunities through specialist training and continuous professional development.

In recognition of the time commitment involved, the benefits to the profession must be apparent. In addition, the opportunity cost of other learning and developmental activity forgone needs to be considered. Further work is needed to strengthen the evidence base for reflection, particularly, where possible, comparative studies which observe changes in knowledge and abilities directly.

Given its merits, while the quantitative evidence base is limited, what are the implications for practice? Given PH's stated desire to base practice upon evidence there is urgent need to formally assess the effectiveness of reflection in the improvement of PH practice.

We would like to thank Joanne Harcombe for her helpful comments on the draft manuscript.

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    Participants believed that planning, self-evaluation, setting goals, personal reflection, and effective learning strategies empower the learners to design a proper program for developing their capabilities. Using self-directed learning and keeping up-to-date were described as professional development strategies.

  10. Reflective Essay: My Professional Development Experience

    Continuing Professional Development (CPD) refers to a way in which midwives and nurses improve, maintain and broaden their expertise, ability, and knowledge and develop professional and personal qualities necessary during their professional career (Jeffery et al., 2016). CPD is hugely significant in health care system in ensuring continuous ...

  11. Reflection as part of continuous professional development for public

    Reflection enhances personal development by leading to self-awareness. 16 If the focus of reflection is improvement in patient care, it helps to expand and develop clinical knowledge and skills. 17-19 The process slows down activity providing time to process material of learning and link to previous ideas. 20 It should also enable more ...

  12. 50 Best Reflective Essay Examples (+Topic Samples)

    A reflective essay is a type of written work which reflects your own self. Since it's about yourself, you already have a topic to write about. For reflective essay examples, readers expect you to evaluate a specific part of your life. To do this, you may reflect on emotions, memories, and feelings you've experienced at that time.

  13. The role of reflective practice in professional development

    Reflective practice is a fundamental component of professional and personal development and can provide an opportunity to encourage further self-directed learning (Fontaine, 2018). It can also be ...

  14. Work Based Reflective Practice 1

    Reflection is essential because you may decide to do something differently or decide what you are doing is the best way. Tice stated 'that is what professional development is all about' (2004, P. Unknown). Over many years' theorists such as Gibbs, Schon and Dewey have had a role in the development of reflective practice.

  15. Professional Development Report and Reflective Practice Essay

    This reflection essay includes the reflection of all of my personal and academic challenges and activities I had during the course of last eighteen month being in the life in the United Kingdom. This essay will mainly highlight the critical events which help my professional as well as personal development, Gibb's reflection model will be used ...

  16. Reflective essay of personal and professional development

    Reflective essay of personal and professional development. This assignment is a critical analysis and reflection of my continuing personal and professional development (CPPD) needs in practice. This account will identify practical needs that I must improve with supportive evidence based research, and evaluate the impact of this need for my ...

  17. PDF A Guide to Planning your Professional and Personal Development

    What is a Personal Development Plan? A Personal Development Plan (PDP) is a structured process undertaken by an individual to reflect on their learning and development needs and to plan how they can fill their learning gap. Personal and Professional Development Planning is part of being a 'reflective practitioner' and should be part of

  18. Reflection on Personal Development and Self-Awareness

    The title of this essay is "The Voyage" . It's a reflective essay, and I am using the Gibbs Reflective Cycle (Gibbs, 1988) as a template for this exercise. It's a critical reflection on the importance of personal development and self-awareness, which are necessary if one is successful in becoming, and remaining a councillor.

  19. Personal And Professional Development

    Abstract. This report looks at Reflective practice along with Personal and Professional development with a detailed action plan mutually beneficial to both the individual and to the organization. As mentioned in the following report the following four major leadership skill set is crucial for every employee in the leadership pipeline; in order ...

  20. Reflective essay of personal and professional development

    Reflective essay of personal and professional development. This assignment is a critical analysis and reflection of my continuing personal and professional development (CPPD) needs in practice. This account will identify practical needs that I must improve with supportive evidence based research, and evaluate the impact of this need for my ...

  21. Reflection In Personal And Professional Development Nursing Essay

    Briefly, reflection is knowledge which is about and for the improvement of self, the team and the context of healthcare (Mamede, et al., 2012).following factor are highlighting the importance of reflection in quality of care (Mamede, et al., 2012): Reflection is with no apologetic attitude though not exclusively practical in kind.

  22. PDF Higher National Unit Specification Unit title: Understanding Personal

    1 Discuss the importance of reflection on personal and professional development. 2 Develop individual learning needs and goals via a portfolio of evidence. 3 Investigate wellbeing for personal and professional effectiveness. Credit points and level 1 Higher National Unit credit at SCQF level 7: (8 SCQF credit points at SCQF level 7)