The Importance of Reflective Practice in the Process of Leadership Development

Session Time and Location

Thu, 7 Jun 2018
8:00am to 9:30am
Room: Room:
Oakwood B
Session Track
Session Format


Throughout time, successful leaders have used the tool of reflective practice to understand and learn from their experiences. Raelin (2002) suggests that through reflective practice we find clarity. The clarity of thought and process gained through reflection enables us to develop the skill of critical thinking (Merriam, Caffarella, & Baumgartner, 2007; Knowles, Holton III, & Swanson, 2015). Mezirow (1991) suggested that critical thinking and reflection are foundational in the transformative learning process and allow individuals to analyze and adjust beliefs through problem-solving. Therefore, reflective practice is vital to the process of leadership development and organizational growth.

  • Session References +

    Knowles, M. S., Holton III, E. F., & Swanson, R. A. (2015). The adult learner: the definitive classic in adult education and human resource development (8th ed.). New York, NY: Routledge.

    Merriam, S. B., Caffarella, R. S., & Baumgartner, L. M. (2007). Learning in adulthood: A comprehensive guide (3rd ed.). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

    Mezirow, J. (1991). Transformative dimensions of adult learning. [Kindle PC]. Retrieved from

    Raelin, J. A. (2002). “I don’t have time to think!” versus the art of reflective practice. Reflections, 4(1), 66-79. Retrieved from