You only need 6 minutes

Tree and its reflection in water

Remember last week when I shared with you that I’m going to try and be more consistent with reflection?

Well, that idea came from one of my clients – a senior executive at a well known toy company. I’m actually a bit jealous of him and not just because of his access to toys.

In our second session he asked me what I thought about using a learning journal to note down what he had learned that week. I thought it could be a good idea so we talked through:

  • When to reflect
  • Where in his house
  • Getting a dedicated notebook
  • Keeping the notebook in a visible place as a reminder

A little while later he reported back that he was loving reflecting, was doing it more than once a week and was learning so much about himself.

And I can see the impact it has on our coaching sessions too. He comes with his reflections in mind so the coaching starts before he sees me. Our sessions are a continuation of the work he is already doing and he is hitting on some amazing stuff.

That’s what I’m jealous of.

His professional development is racing ahead and I guess I feel a bit like mine isn’t.

I know taking time to reflect is one of the fastest ways to develop and yet I don’t regularly do it.

So that’s why I committed to you last week that I would focus on consistent reflection.

This week I’ve reflected 4 times and I’m already beginning to feel wiser than last week.

I’m playing with the idea you have to go slow to go fast (more on that next week), I’m noticing I can hold back from the impulse to jump in to speak and I have come up with questions for one client that I think might move us past a block we’re facing.

The reflection technique I use only takes 6 minutes and I’m going to share it with you so you can start reaping the benefits too.

Go on, grab a pen and paper (or open a doc), find a quiet spot and follow these instructions.

3-2-1 Reflection


Set a timer for 3 minutes:

  • Write quickly and keep your hand moving
  • Write whatever comes into your head
  • Don’t sensor what is written on the page
  • Ignore spelling, grammar or punctuation
  • Keep pen to paper or fingers to keys
  • Stop when the timer sounds


Set a timer for 2 minutes and briefly reread what you have written and then write using one of these sentence stems.
As I read this:
  • I notice …
  • I am aware of …
  • I am curious about …
  • I feel …
  • I am surprised by …


Set a timer for 1 minute and write a list of:
  • Learning you have identified
  • Actions you want to take
  • Items you want to discuss with someone
How was it? Drop me a line and let me know.
PS1: This this technique was developed by Liz Ford for 101 Coaching, Supervision Techniques, Enquiries and Experiments, Edited by Michelle Lucas, Routledge 2020

PS2: As promised my weekly check-in.

The orange ticks are for exercising that day. It doesn’t matter for how long, it only matters that I did it.

The pink elephant shows how many opportunities I had for reflection and how many times I reflected.

The silver number is the number of weeks in a row I’ve written this letter.

I fear tracking 3 things all at once may be too much but lets see how it goes.

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