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Introduction

This post outlines methods that can be applied for the acceleration of skills and competencies’ development, including Reflective Practice, Autogenic Training, and Coaching. Why the need to accelerate the development of skills and competencies?
I would take project management as an example.
Project Management is one of the most critical activities in any business that determines business success. Project success means the project completion on time, on budget, meeting the scope, and the total customer satisfaction (PMI 2017; Albert, Balve & Spang 2017). Unfortunately, the number of successful projects is relatively low. Thus, Mulder (2020) found that in the period 2015-2020, 19% of the Information Technology projects failed, 47% of projects were challenged (delivered without total customer satisfaction), and only 35% of the IT projects were successful. Considering that challenged projects are a failure as well, the failed projects represent 65% of total projects. Other researchers, including Hickson (2014), and Horning (2018) affirm as well that about 70% of the Information Technology Projects fail to achieve the project success’ measures. Mulder (2020) and the above-shown researchers assert that the most important causes of failures are human factors, including leadership skills and competencies, as well as leadership style of the project manager, project team’s members, and in many instances the project sponsor. Therefore, there is a need to enhance the leadership skills and competencies of the project team, and manager through learning, especially using Reflective Practice. I will discuss the Relative Practice in the following section.

Reflective Practice

According to Crawford et al. (2006) the development of project managers’ competencies can be accelerated through the application of reflective practice by employing intuition and experimentation. Other authors, including Ayas and Zeniuk (2001) outline the features of project-based learning, that include reflective practices: (1) leaders set the tone for modelling the reflective behaviour, and (2) systemic and collective reflection. Reflective practice can be applied for a range of issues, including enhancing prior knowledge, gaining insight on own values and personal beliefs, and memory retrieval of past learnings (Mace 2017).  I will discuss below the need of applying Autogenic Training that would facilitate the memory retrieval of past learnings.

Autogenic Training

The reflection practice is based on retrieving memories. One of the problems encountered during memory retrieval is the state of body and mind of practitioner. People in the workplace experience stress. Goldfarb (2017) asserts that stress changes the information stored in the memory and give us false information. Caponnetto et al. (2018) describes the benefits of Autogenic Training as a stress management program. Autogenic Training is a method of mind-body relaxation bringing significant benefits to practitioners, including stress management, reduced anxiety, and enhanced motivation (Jencks 1973; Linden 1990).  Further insight in Autogenic Training can be explored in my previous post related to autogenic training. The next section will continue with coaching being related to the application of Gibbs’ Reflective Cycle.

Coaching

Coaching is valuable in the application of Gibbs’ Reflective Cycle that was developed by Graham Gibbs. The purpose of the reflective cycle is to provide the learning from experiences with structure, i.e., framework, that includes the following stages: (1) description of the experience, (2) feelings and thoughts about the experience, (3) evaluation of experience, (4) analysis of the situation, (5) conclusion including learnings, and what could be completed differently, and (6) actions and/or changes to be taken in the future. These stages can be easily incorporated in a future coaching model, that I may call Gibbs Coaching Model.

Conclusion

This blog post outlined a process for the enhancement of the effectiveness of competencies’ development through Reflective Practice, Autogenic Training, and Coaching that will assist with the application of Gibbs’ Reflective Cycle. It was shown that the Gibbs’ Reflective Cycle has six stages, including description of the experience, feelings and thoughts about the experience, evaluation of experience, analysis of the situation, conclusion including learnings, and what could be completed differently, and actions and/or changes to be taken in the future.

Educational Programs & Publications you may want to consult

For further information I recommend you the following Educational Programs and Publications:

Reflective Practice for Educators, Journal Keeping: How to Use Reflective Writing for Learning, The Reflective Practice Guide, My Management Styles using Gibbs’ Reflective Cycle.

Coaching Programs & Publications you may want to consult

For further information I recommend you the following Coaching Programs and Publications:

Certified Life Coach Program, Coaching for Performance, Coaching – 9 Powerful Laws of Transformational Coaching, Life Coaching – How to Become A Successful Life Coach, and The Coaching Habit.

References

Albert, M, Balve, P & Spang, K 2017, ‘Evaluation of project success: a structured literature review’, International Journal of Managing Projects in Business, vol. 10(4), pp. 796-821.

 Ayas, K & Zeniuk, N 2001, ‘Project-based Learning: Building Communities of Reflective Practitioners’, Management Learning, vol. 31(1), pp. 61-76.

Caponnetto, P, Margo, R, Inguscio, L & Cannella, MC 2018, ‘Quality of life, work motivation, burn-out and stress, perceptions benefits of a stress management program by autogenic training for emergency room staff: A pilot study’, Mental Illness, vol. 10(7913), pp. 67-70.

 Crawford, L, Morris, P, Thomas, J & Winter, M 2006, ‘Practitioner development: From trained technicians to reflective practitioners’, International Journal of Project Management, vol. 24(8), pp. 722-733.

Goldfarb, EV 2017, ‘Stress and Multiple Memory Systems’, Doctor of Philosophy thesis, New York University, ProQuest LLC.

Hickson, RC 2014, ‘Project managers’ perceptions of the primary factors contributing to success or failure of projects: a qualitative phenomenological study’, Doctor of Management in Organizational Leadership thesis, University of Phoenix, Published by ProQuest LLC

Horning, TM 2018, ‘Successful Project Management’, Doctor of Business Administration thesis, Walden University, Walden University.

Jencks, B 1973, Exercise manual for J.H. Schultz’s standard autogenic training, Jencks, Beata, Salt Lake City, Utah.

Linden, W 1990, Autogenic Training: A Clinical Guide, The Guilford Press, New York, N.Y

Mace, TL 2017, ‘An Examination of Reflective Practices Amongst Marriage and Family Therapy Candidates’, doctor of education thesis, University of Southern California, ProQuest LLC.

Mulder, H 2020, Chaos 2020-Beyond infinity Standish Group, YouTube, <https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=33&v=W4tmgk2QZBw&feature=emb_logo>.

PMI 2017, A guide to the project management body of knowledge (PMBOK Guide), Project Management Institute, Inc., Newtown Square, PA: Project Management Institute, USA. Linden, W 1990, Autogenic Training: A Clinical Guide, The Guilford Press, New York, N.Y.

About the author

I am a coach, therapist, mentor, counsellor, leader, manager, and project manager. I have more than 30-years of work experience including Coaching, Mentoring, Counselling, Hypnotherapy, NLP, TimeLine Therapy, Thought Field Therapy, and Autogenic Training. In addition to my vast work experience I have a wide range of academic qualifications, and certifications, including Doctorate in Clinical Hypnotherapy, Master of Business, Master of Project Management, Master of Information Technology & Communication, Master of Business Coaching, Certified Professional Coach, Coach U Certified Graduate, Accreditation in Executive Coaching, Certified Leadership Coach, Certified Master Coach, Certified Life Coach, Diploma of Autogenic Training, Diploma of Stress Management, Diploma of Psychology, and Diploma of Weight Loss. I am a full member of several professional associations, including the International Coaching Federation, Australian Traditional Medicine Society, and International Mentoring Association.

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