Reflection helps you to develop your skills and review their effectiveness, rather than just carry on doing things as you have always done them. It is about questioning, in a positive way, what you do and why you do it and then deciding whether there is a better, or more efficient, way of doing it in the future.

The Cove talks about the importance of reflection in education because reflective practice is the foundation upon which your learning should be considered and periodically reviewed as it helps to embed the learning in your mind. Reflection is not just about education, it is about life. Personal reflection allows you to consider the consequences of your words and actions. It also enables you to consider the best, most effective, most helpful way to act in a given situation. When we go through life without pausing to think and reflect, we don’t learn or gain a deeper understanding of life. We simply move from one thing to the next, never pausing to consider what valuable lessons we might learn.

One way to conduct reflection is using the 'what, so what, now what' process. In this instance, this process could be used like this:

  • WHAT did I learn from considering this scenario?
  • SO WHAT am I going to do about what I’ve learned?
  • NOW WHAT does that learning mean for my own practice as a military professional?

We recommend having a look at our recent article - Reflective Practice - One Stop Shop. Here you will find some great references and tools to assist with reflection.

Allow a few minutes for soldiers to view the clip by Daniel Keighran VC and then you can either use the questions below to create a discussion or come up with your own questions.



Discussion Points

  1. Do you reflect? If not, why not? If you do, how do you reflect?
  2. What was the most recent activity you reflected on?
  3. Was there ever a time where you wish you had reflected prior to an activity? If so, what would you have changed?
  4. How important do you think reflection is when it comes to personal growth?
  5. Do you think reflection plays a part in Army?
  6. How can reflection change your behaviour?

Concluding Comments

Now that you know a little bit more about how to conduct reflection, why not complete the full Reflective Practice unit in Cove+ on ADELE(U) so you can be a truly knowledgeable reflective practitioner! Reflection is the foundation for learning in Cove+ so it's the first unit you must complete.

This QME is designed to help junior commanders to develop and deliver PME in their unit environment. If you have feedback or suggestions for improvement to this activity (for example; readings or reference material, alternate discussion points or delivery method), please contact The Cove Team via or leave a comment below this QME.