In community development reflection on your own practice, values and beliefs is intrinsic to your work (whether it is paid or unpaid). I am fortunate to have carved out some time for reflective activities in my work, for example I convene an Action Learning Set, and I participate in sessions which prompt reflection on my work and approach, such as an event earlier this week for facilitators trained to use community influence frameworks Voice, echo and DUO. I also read a lot of blogs and try to reflect on what the authors say and add to the conversation.
However I'm concerned that I've been rushing around doing so much that I haven't given deliberate thought to how I am putting community development values in to practice in some significant activities I'm working on.
One of the activities is supporting the East Coseley Community Forum to get people involved in Big Local. I've been blogging a lot about what I'm hearing, seeing and doing in East Coseley, and it's been brilliant that my colleagues are also contributing posts, it feels like a real team effort. But the purpose of the sharing is for updates and information, not reflection.
I'm also working on a community-led health improvement project which is focusing on community assets, and there is so much in what we've done already which warrants reflection. I have been reflecting through dialogue with my colleague, but I often find that writing things down helps to unlock deeper thoughts and draw out new thinking and ideas.
These concerns are shared as a precursor to a more concerted effort to reflect on my practice, and share reflections here and in other spaces I'm creating to promote shared learning. I'd love to hear how others make time and space for reflection, and what helps them.