• Barbara Mayfield, MS, RD, LD, FAND

Harness the power of reflection

Updated: 4 days ago


Trees and sky reflected in water

A message that is personalized is more powerful. More transformative. It changes from being merely a good idea to something that can impact a life.


How do you personalize a message?


One of the most effective methods is to provide your audience with the opportunity to reflect.


What is reflection?

Reflection is the act of giving something serious thought or consideration. When we reflect on a message, it helps us process the information and enhances our understanding. We consider how the message applies to our lives and we can thoughtfully determine our response.


Reflection can be thought of as an opportunity to step back, pause, and ponder. Insights gained from careful reflection can help avoid misunderstandings and subsequent poor decisions. Reflection can help prevent later regrets.


Provide your audience with opportunities to reflect

An important message deserves reflection. When communicating, provide audiences with opportunities to reflect. The result will be audience members who not only understand the message more fully but have formed an opinion and a course of action.


Providing these opportunities is easily done. See the audience reflection activities listed in the box. These are from Chapter 20 in Communicating Nutrition: The Authoritative Guide. The entire chapter is devoted to ways to engage your audience and enhance participation.


The activities listed are proven to work well in a variety of settings with all types of audiences. Look over the list. Which ones have you tried? Which ones are new to you?


Pick one or more to try in your next communication endeavor – whether you are communicating in writing, in person, virtually, or by some other means. Reflection works. See if your outcomes are improved.


Audience reflection activities from Communicating Nutrition: The Authoritative Guide chaper 20.

In essence, reflection is asking the audience to reflect on what your message means to them. What do they understand? What is still confusing? What is important to them? How can it be applied to their life and current situation? Essential questions for successful communication.


Their answers allow for clarification, improved communication, and a greater likelihood of achieving the desired outcomes. Harness the power of reflection!


“By three methods we may learn wisdom: First, by reflection, which is noblest; Second, by imitation, which is easiest; and Third, by experience, which is the bitterest.” ~ Confucius


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