Stop and Think! The Power of Reflection - IEDP
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Stop and Think! The Power of Reflection

How learning by thinking and reflection aids performance


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“We do not learn from experience…we learn reflecting on experience” John Dewey.

The value of experiential learning is well proven but the value of 'reflection', that other essential component of learning and executive performance, is less easy to measure. A new study from Professor Giada Di Stefano  at HEC Paris shows that to stop and think could help us to be 23% more productive.

It is an irony of the modern world that instant communication technologies, that in many ways have made our lives easier, have greatly added to the pressure on our time. In the high-speed busy business world time is especially short and the drive for ever greater performance and productivity tends to push us to work faster and harder, often causing us to be overwhelmed, stressed, and less effective than we have the potential to be.

In the working paper ‘Learning by Thinking: How Reflection Aids Performance’, the authors Giada Di Stefano of HEC Paris, Francesca Gino and Gary Pisano of Harvard Business School, and Bradley Staats of the University of North Carolina show that finding the time to reflect on our actions and decisions enables us to improve our performance..

In this latest HEC Insight video, Giada Di Stefano, Professor of Strategy at HEC Paris presents the results of their research, based on a combination of two laboratory experiments with a field experiment conducted in a large business process outsourcing company in India. Employees who spent the last 15 minutes of each day of their training period writing and reflecting on what they had learned did 23% better in the final training test than other employees. Professor Di Stefano also explains the role of self-efficacy on the finding that people work better if they take time to reflect.


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