Writing to Reflect: Mindful Leadership in the Face of Change

6 Pages Posted: 9 Jun 2009

See all articles by Elizabeth A. Powell

Elizabeth A. Powell

University of Virginia - Darden School of Business


"Writing to Reflect" introduces the use of writing as an aid to creative and critical thinking in the context of leading change. The note explains how the process of reflective writing slows thinking and encourages improved skills in sense making, analysis, decision making, and metacognition. Included are ideas on how to get started and 13 writing prompts related to leading change.



March 4, 2009


MINDFUL LEADership in the face of CHANGE

Most of us know that writing is a technology invented several millennia ago to aid memory, but few consider how much writing—especially reflective writing—can aid creative and critical thinking, particularly when leading organizational change. As Andrew Robinson has pointed out:

Writing is among the greatest inventions in human history, perhaps the greatest invention, since it made history possible. Yet it is a skill most writers take for granted.… As adults we seldom stop to think about the mental-cum-physical process that turns our thoughts into symbols on a piece of paper.

. . .

Keywords: writing, reflection, mindfulness, leadership, change

Suggested Citation

Powell, Elizabeth A., Writing to Reflect: Mindful Leadership in the Face of Change. Darden Case No. UVA-BC-0217, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1416510 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1416510

Elizabeth A. Powell (Contact Author)

University of Virginia - Darden School of Business ( email )

P.O. Box 6550
Charlottesville, VA 22906-6550
United States
434-982-2730 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.darden.edu/faculty/Powell.htm

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