A Coaching Power Tool Created by Sorina Liana Popa
(Executive Coach, ROMANIA)
We are reflecting on things, thoughts, situations, feelings, deep emotions, in order to get to know ourselves and the others better, to better understand each other, to discover new perspectives from which we can look at aspects of life around us, to clarify what is going on in our mind and soul s.o. Also by reflecting before acting, we are creating the time to gather the needed information/knowledge, in order to plan the action to be taken and the decisions that we have to make or just to be with ourselves in that moment, to be present.
It’s true that when we are reflecting too much, in the detriment of action, reflection becomes a barrier; something that can keep us still or even drag us backwards.
Action, on the other hand, is a measurement for the progress that we are making, is building our trust that we can do things, we can face situations, we can solve problems, we can find solutions, it builds our experience, since this consists of the results that we obtained due to the actions that we take.
Action is pushing us forward and, it would be wise not to start acting before we know why and how to do it best.
Without reflection, we go blindly on our way, creating more unintended consequences, and failing to achieve anything useful. Margaret J. Wheatley
Reflection and Action can be seen as positive, as well as negative, depending on perspectives, circumstances, situations and last but not least, by the purpose that you follow.
We are all in a permanent run for…we don’t always know what, but still we are in a hurry to do something, to be somewhere, to get something. Sometimes, when something out of the ordinary is happening to us, generally something bad (losing a love one, having a serious health problem, having a big disappointment or facing a drastic attitude change from a very good friend etc) it is like a disruption. A point of discontinuity, when we suddenly realize that we can stop from this roller-coaster , that we can take the time to look around and decide what to do with ourselves, that we have the option of not being always under pressure. We start asking ourselves deep questions like: what is really important in life, who we really are, what we really want to do/achieve/realize and how did the time passed by until now for us?
How many times you found yourself at the end of your working day, or just the end of the day when, looking backwards, at what you have accomplish during all those hours, you felt that you didn’t really accomplish too much, despite the fact that you haven’t rested at all, that you have been in a permanent movement and still, you are feeling very tired, without knowing why?!
I’m sure that I’m not the only one that has to deal with people that are so eager to act, that don’t have the patience to reflect a little before acting and are explaining this attitude, as a consequence of the speed and the dynamics with which everything is happening around us these days, at micro as well as macro level. It’s also true that some of them are not even realizing that this is what they are doing.
At the same time, there are others who are reflecting too much. They have hard time making decisions, they are postponing acting on things or to move forward, before feeling that they have all the information needed and that everything is clear, or sometimes not even then.
I would see reflection metaphorical, as we are using it quite often, as well as a physical phenomenon: reflection of something, of someone, of the light into a surface that sends this image back – a mirror, a clear/shiny surface (water but not only).
We can say that reflection is a two way journey – from yourself to a better self and back (when you are getting to understand yourself deeper/better/more). Finding your better self is a trip without general accepted standards of appreciation, so it’s up to each of you, as long as it is helping you to go in the desired direction, it is supported by your values and is not bothering/harming anyone around you.
Everyone and everything that shows up in our life, is a reflection of something that is happening inside of us. Alan Cohen
The key – TAKE A BREAK FOM THE SPEED OF LIFE & SPEND THAT MOMENT WITH YOURSELF….FOR YOURSELF…TO UNDERSAND YOURSELF AND THOSE AROUND YOU
If we are looking at Reflection and Action, also from semantic point of view, they are interrelated and in realty they can function with results, only interconnected. The balance in applying/using them, it’s the art that each of us should develop.
Reflection can offer clarification, different perspectives and more information; in fact, it is a real support for Action and Change, for achieving the desired results, if done wisely.
Take time to deliberate, but when the time for action has arrived, stop thinking and go in. Napoleon Bonaparte
Coaching is about forward thinking, is about partnering in a thought-provoking and creative process to maximize personal and professional potential. The Client has the agenda and the coach is creating the environment in which the client will find its way, will discover the needed resources, and will go farther.
Through exploration, empowerment and reframing perspectives, the Client would be able to:
- Balance the two (Reflection with Action)
- Temper the impatience of “act now think later” with the moment of reflection
- Support the energy of “acting” with the power given by looking & focusing into the future (next steps &/or the destination)
- Question (look differently) his/her world, identify and understand circumstances and decide on the action to take.
The ACTION can be: to Think, to Gather more information, to Plan, to Act & then the cycle is repeating itself
- Exercise the optimum balance between “Reflection time” and the “Action moment”, for getting the better-wished results.
The coach needs to understand the client’s perspective, to actively listening at more than one level, in order to support the client in developing awareness about his/her approach to situations, about the way of behaving.
The coach can ask questions or even use role play, in order to increase the self-awareness of the client regarding what is working and what is not, about how well the client is or could be using the reflection, in documenting the action plan needed to fulfill the established objective, in the way that the client wants it to. (efficient, funny, smooth).
Reframing perspectives for the client and supporting him/her in clarifying the ones that are meaningful for him/her, will contribute to the extension of the way in which he/she will be capable to farther explore, better observe and analyze the inner-self as well as the events around.
By using visualization to define the destination/objective, the coach can open the way for bringing out the changes that the client would find appropriate to work on and would support the client to build the structure that would hold that and would make it sustainable.
All action results from thought, so it is thoughts that matter. Sai Baba
- How to use them both in their positive sense?
- How to use them by diminishing their negative understandings and/or effect?
- What will change in your life by focusing more on reflection?
- What will change in your life by focusing more on action?
- If you will find the optimum balance for you in between the two, how will your life look like?
- How can your actions be more a consequence of your reflection?