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Desert Highway
Thoughtful writing authored and shared by members of of the Thinking Collaborative community to support others on the journey.

Sustaining the Journey

Reflection Does Improve Performance

Authored By:

Thinking Collaborative


July 21, 2014

A recent study done at HEC Paris, Harvard Business School, and the University of North Carolina showed a 23% better performance in groups that reflected after a learning experience than those who had not.  The researchers reported that the difference was in the self-efficacy of the participants.  The higher self-efficacy contributed to the better performance.

This is important evidence that supports learning for both teachers and students.  Common Core requires greater student reflection. This research links the Reflecting Conversation map to the State of Mind of efficacy. How might we increase both student and teacher performance by utilizing more reflection in practice?  Taking 5 minutes at the end of a meeting to reflect on our work develops consciousness as well as efficacy.  Using time in meetings to ask individuals to reflect on their work can also build a norm of reflection.  When we interact around experiences, moving ourselves away from storytelling to genuine reflection will enhance our effectiveness.  As you work with others in the coming weeks, consciously pay attention to possible mediative moments for reflection, even they are a simple question like:

What are you noticing as you consider our meeting today?

How did the experience compare to your expectations?

What patterns are emerging in this work?

How might we reframe this experience?</ul>

What effects does this effort have on you and on others?

Reference: Di Stefano, Giada and Gino, Francesca and Pisano, Gary P. and Staats, Bradley R., Learning by Thinking: How Reflection Aids Performance (March 25, 2014). Harvard Business School NOM Unit Working Paper No. 14-093; Harvard Business School Technology &amp; Operations Mgt. Unit Working Paper No. 14-093. Available at SSRN: or

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