The Value of Reflection

The Value of Reflection

July 20th, 2011

by Ted Grossnickle


Since the early 2000s, JGA has hosted “Notes for the Reflective Practitioner” on its website. We’ve hosted some other blogs over the years, but “Notes”- written by Paul Pribbenow, President of Augsburg College, is the longest running.

We’ve had several persons tell us that “Notes” is the thing they most enjoy about our site. We’ve had others tell us they enjoy it exactly because it is so unlike a traditional blog and because it brings us back to careful reflection in a world increasingly wanting or expecting the fast, immediate “first blush” thought.

Paul’s “Notes” usually run somewhere along 7-9 pages and contain references to books he’s recently read, scripture, poetry and has sections entitled: “Reflect On This,” “Practice This,” and “Pay Attention To This.”

Hardly the usual “blog” and hardly a perfect fit for what we are urged to write when we communicate via blog, email, twitter and even standard professional business language today…

With good reason, we must be efficient and very concise nowadays in our communication on the day-to-day matters we are charged with.

But what seems to have gotten lost in the last decade or two is the occasional, careful, thoughtful and reflective time – in conversation and in writing. Time which often causes us to:

  • Remember why we started something,
  • Rethink why we are still doing something,
  • Realize there may be some new way to approach something, or,
  • Gain an insight into our life and work that we had missed.

Notes for the Reflective Practitioner makes more sense to me today than it did even a decade ago when Paul started writing them.

It is because the world wants things faster and with less thought that we must regularly find time to slow it down and to think, to reflect and to make connections.

That is at the heart of what I believe JGA does very well with its clients – helping them take stock of the situation, to look ahead, to see patterns and opportunities—- and to remember why they are doing what they do.

Paul has our thanks for his continuing effort to take the time to reflect with – and for – us.

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