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Reflective Journal



Introduction Recording your learning experiences can provide fresh insights. Think of one learning experience you have had at work this week. Now answer yourself these questions:

Did you consciously recognise it as a learning experience when it happened… or afterwards… or just now? Did you spend time thinking about the learning experience after it happened?

Did you think about what you had learned from it or what implications it may have on your practice?

What did you do as a result of this experience? Did you research or read into the area concerned? Did you discuss it with colleagues? Did you apply your learning elsewhere?

Learning that is achieved through reflection upon everyday experience is highly effective and in fact is the way that most of us do our learning. A reflective learning journal is way of recording the experiences you have during the early stages of developing in a new area. Logically, the early stages of experiencing any new task or role provide a large number of learning experiences as we experiment and discover what works and doesn’t for us. There are many practical lessons which cannot be learned without hands-on experience. The aim of the Reflective Learning Diary is to give you an opportunity to do the following: • Keep a record of the coaching work you undertake during the programme • Note any existing skills you develop, or new skills you learn • Identify areas you would like to improve Your diary will be reviewed at the end of the programme. Your diary need not be signed by your manager, but you can discuss it with him/her or other colleagues if you would like their input. You should fill in an individual entry each time you undertake any coaching or development activities. This will help you to keep track of the learning your have undertaken and the activities you have completed. The following questions can serve as a prompt: • What do you know now that you didn’t know before? • Have you done anything completely new? 2

• Did anything surprise you? For example, about information you found out, the way that you dealt with an issue, or the way you reacted to anything that happened? • Did you find anything challenging? Why? • Did you find anything satisfying? Why? • Were there any problems? How did you resolve them? If you were faced with the same problem again, would you do anything differently? You should note positive experiences and achievements as well as any difficulties. Within this journal we have provided a number of templates which can be used to assist with your reflections and to record the outcomes of specific activities contained within the Coaching activity workbook. Please note that these are offered purely as a suggestion and you may replace these with your own documents should you wish.


Reflective Diary Template The following templates provide a means to record your own reflections and thoughts on the coaching sessions you undertake. Some notes to help get you started: • • • • •


each stage is optional – seek feedback where helpful date each entry – add new thoughts later use supplementary sheets as necessary you can use different coloured text, e.g. red: priority, green: positive etc try to focus on things you can change and accept those you cannot

Reflective diary template 7. What did I learn?

Date: 8. What are my next steps?

2a. Whose fault (if relevant)? Now move on

date each entry – add new reflections any time

6. How would I improve on this?

1. What happened/what did I do?

2. How did I feel/do I now feel?

it’s okay to keep some/all of your reflections private, although feedback can be helpful

5. What went not so well?


4. What went well?

3. Unemotional view, incl. causes

reflective diary/journal – supplementary sheet reflection stage:


date of entry


reflection stage:

date of entry

Proformas to support recording information obtained in workplace activities – Getting Started, Contracting and Goal Setting.


Introductory session notes Coachees Name:

Viewpoint of future life: Values


Life purpose





Goals and Focus for Coaching: Description of goal:

Reality – where is the individual now in relation to this goal:

Options: what options have you explored:

Will: what is the initial action plan:


Beliefs, self talk and enhancing high performance qualities Identifying Beliefs: Use the following to summarise your observations: Name: Potential




Views on peak performers

Response to success of failure


Insight into self-belief and comfort zones Name: Use this space to write a short description of what you have learnt about the individual as a result of this activity:


Enhancing high performance qualities Use this form to make a comprehensive list of qualities you believe would enhance your performance and note when you have displayed this in any aspect of your life. Example: Example: Wanting to be calm under pressure Times when I have displayed this: work on Thursday – stayed calm when the computer system crashed and we had to rework the monthly statistics by hand. Argument with father – didn’t storm out Always calm in exams Stay calm in traffic jams Name:


Quality one:

Quality two:

List of items:

List of items:

Identifying and removing barriers to performance Inner barriers: Name:


Barrier (s):

Possible solutions:

Stretching Goals Name: Return to the goals set at the start of the coaching and imagine a 10% improvement. Ensure the new goals are SMART. Identify the thoughts and feelings of the individual towards these. How can you help them move forward and achieve these? New goal



How you can help:

Outer barriers (people) Name: People who have a negative effect:


Plan for addressing these barriers:

Outer barriers (stressors) Name: Stressors which have impacted:


Plan for addressing these barriers:

Outer barriers (environment) Name: Environmental factors:


Plan for addressing these barriers:

Reviewing and evaluating progress: Name: How has your coach helped you achieve your goals and improve your performance?


Reflective journal  

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