Reflect on your Path

This week I have been reflecting on my progress in my third Path and unpacking what I have learned and achieved. My overall perception of my growth as a Public Speaker and a Leader has definitely changed in the 14 months I have been working in Pathways. Changed for the better!

Pathways has provided me with a welcome challenge to my personal and professional development. I now understand the Pathways framework!

My understanding of the ‘Why Toastmasters?’ question has improved and deepened – there is so much more to achievements than just completing a manual of speeches, a suite of projects in a Level or a number of roles in a meeting. Now I am much more focused on my long term goals and how to select a Path that will help me achieve them. Now I know how to plan ahead and select elective projects to fit my short term goals. Now I am a much more knowledgeable and skilled mentor after completing the Pathways Mentor Program.

I have completed Effective Coaching and Visionary Communication and almost finished with Strategic Relationships. My next Path, Team Collaboration, is already selected and I have begun to request my speeches for projects in Levels 1 and 2 with my clubs. Meanwhile I have scoped my approach to my Pathways Distinguished Toastmasters program and will be working on that during 2019.

This week I am looking back over my achievements and experiences in those Paths and preparing my final speech for Strategic Relationships.

Toastmasters like me, who reach Level 5 in their Paths, need to prepare for the final project Reflect on Your Path, as the final requirement for Path completion.
reflect on path purpose

  • What are your strategies for engaging your audience in this final 10-12 minute speech?
  • How will you summarize the skills you have learned and developed?
  • Why should you consider the process of reflecting on your growth during the completion of an entire Path?

reflecting on learning experience

I like this quote from John Dewey for its relevance to us as we reach this part of our journey in a Path.

Thinking back on the 14 projects that you have completed in the Path is essential in preparing for the Reflect on your Path project.

But what do you do after that? How do you share your reflections with an audience?

Reflective Practice

I recommend a simple Reflective Practice process to prepare for this project! This process is based on the Gibbs Reflective Cycle model.

reflective practice

  1. What happened?
    • Describe what happened during your Path:
      • who did you involve
      • where did you give speeches
      • what did you learn from the projects
  2. Thoughts
    • Self-awareness:
      • what did you feel
      • how did others around you feel
      • how do you feel about the outcomes of projects
  3. Evaluation
    • Consider your feedback:
      • what went well and not so well, in your speeches, from others’ perspectives
      • what was good and not so good about your own experiences
      • what feedback have you been able to incorporate into other projects
  4. Analysis
    • What is your learning viewpoint:
      • break down your Path into the levels and consider each one separately
      • ask new questions to dig deeper and make sense of your progress
  5. Conclusion
    • Synthesis:
      • explore what you could have done differently
      • define new strategies or directions
  6. Action Plan
    • Implement your learning:
      • consider what you will do for the next Path
      • consider how you will share your reflections with others in your club

At the end of this process you will have a speech outline for Reflect on Your Path. Plus you will have become a Reflective Practitioner.

reflective practitioner Someone who:

  • Takes the time to step back and make sense of what was done and why
  • Tries to understand the (often implicit) ‘theories of change’ that guide actions
  • Is not afraid to challenge assumptions – both their own and those of others.

Are you a Reflective Practitioner?

How will you share your reflections in Reflect on your Path?

In my next post, I will show you how to create your own Reflective Practice Eportfolio!

eportfolio for reflection on pathways

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