Reflection and Learning

How can we learn from difficult conversations?

Whether a difficult conversation goes well or badly, we can use this experience as an opportunity to learn and improve. In fact, we are more likely to learn something valuable when things have not worked out as well as we initially hoped.

Difficult conversations are opportunities for learning and reflection. We can examine what has happened, identify what we have learnt from the experience, and work on what we would do differently next time if a similar situation was to occur again. This is basic reflective learning, which is considered the most appropriate way for adults to learn and develop. It supports the basic human need of self-actualisation.

These questions can help prompt your reflection:

  • What happened?
  • What were you thinking at the time?
  • What did you feel at the time?
  • What do you think now?
  • How do you feel now?
  • What were the major contributions to the situation that caused it to happen?
  • What have you learned from the experience?
  • What will you do differently next time?