A girl writing in a notebook

Reflect critically and compassionately

We reflect critically and compassionately by pausing to question our assumptions, examine our biases, and take time for reflection, acknowledging our strengths and opportunities for growth.

Reflection is at the heart of being a principled innovator. It means that we pause to examine our own practices, knowledge and understanding, as well as those of others. It means being open to new information and perspectives and changing our actions as needed.

Reasoning and practice

Engage in reasoning and reflection with the following questions to immerse yourself in this practice:

  1. How might you schedule time with yourself to reflect and make adjustments based on your reflections?
  2. How do your biases or perspective influence the approaches you take and decisions you make? What might you be missing?
  3. What evidence do you have to support your perspective?
  4. How do you respond to obstacles or challenges?  Does this meet the needs of the greater good? What are other ways you might respond? How do others help you overcome obstacles?
  5. How do you help others? Are there ways you may hinder others?
  6. When are you at your best and how do your strengths emerge in those situations?
  7. What are your opportunities for growth?
  8. What past experiences did you draw on to help you overcome a challenging situation? Which character assets helped you come through the situation?


The activities and resources below were designed for individual and group development of the knowledge, skills and dispositions necessary to engage this practice.

The 3-2-1 exercise is a growth mindset activity that also serves as a self-assessment check-in. This reflection activity helps us look back at learning moments and analyze them for more opportunities to grow. It is important that we review these moments, our thought patterns and behaviors to fully understand the influences and biases that we carry with us.

Time required: 20-30 minutes

A critical reflection goes beyond a simple summary of what happened or how you felt during an experience. For a reflection to be critical, you must explain how you think or act differently as a result of an event, experience, or new piece of knowledge. Your reflection doesn’t have to be about a positive or successful experience. We often learn the most when things don’t go right. The key is to choose an experience in which you learned something important that challenged your beliefs or actions. Chances are, the more challenging the experience, the more you’ll have to talk about.

Time required: 30-45 minutes