There are many ways in which one can engage in reflective practice.
A useful and structured process is the ORID method – Objective, Reflective, Interpretive, and Decisional.
The ORID method is a structure for effective reflection for individuals or groups with or without a facilitator. What the method can do is:
- Provide for constructive and logical thinking
- Broaden perspectives
- Develop clear ideas and conclusions
- Result in action and change
The ORID process has four stages:
Collect information about the experience, event, process or project.
- What do you remember?
- What happened? In what order?
- What did you observe? Hear?
- What were the highlights? Lowlights?
- What did you discover?
Identify emotions and feelings associated with the experience.
- Describe your response(s), both positive and negative.
- How did you feel about it at the time? Now?
- What emotions did you observe in others?
- What did others tell you about how they reacted?
Identify the meaning and significance of the experience.
- How do you account for what happened?
- What were the causes and effects?
- What were the most critical factors affecting the project or activity?
- What did you learn? What did others learn?
- What can be applied to similar or new situations?
- What does your learning mean for the project/product/process? Does anything need to change? When? How?
Identify decisions or actions that will be taken as a result of the experience.
- So based on this reflection, what action will you need to take immediately, or in the medium or long term?
- What improvements or changes can be made to the product, process or project?
- What decisions need to be made, by whom and when?
- Write an action plan identifying tasks to be done now that you have undertaken the reflection, and who will do what by when.
- What will you do differently next time you conduct a similar project or activity?
- What actions can you now establish to ensure success in the future?
Adapted from the group facilitation methods of the Institute of Cultural Affairs outlined in R Brian Stanfield (ed) The Art of Focused Conversation 1997