What is Gibbs’ Reflective Cycle or Reflection Model?

Gibbs’s Reflective Cycle or Reflection Model is a useful tool for processing an experience. This might be a one-time occurrence or something you repeatedly encounter, like meetings with a team you need to work with.

Although Gibbs first recommended using it in repetitive circumstances, the phases and concepts also hold true for one-time events. If the action plan is created for a standalone event, it may become more generic and focus on how you may use your conclusions moving forward.

gibbs’ reflective cycle

The majority of people discover that experience is the best teacher. However, it’s difficult for kids to learn anything at all if they don’t look back on their experience and deliberately consider how they may perform better the next time.
Gibbs’ Reflective Cycle is helpful in this situation. You can use it to assist your employees in making sense of workplace circumstances so that they can recognise their strengths and areas for improvement. A list of useful questions is provided below for each level of the model.

Stages in Gibbs’s Reflective Cycle

Utilizing this six-step strategy should make it easier to pinpoint your professional strengths, growth areas, and next steps.

The model may be used to examine a scenario for yourself or with a client you’re coaching. In this post, we focus on coaching use, but the same strategy can be used when you’re working alone.
Select a situation to examine, then go through the stages below to create a coaching session using Gibbs’ Cycle.

Steps 1 through 3 deal with what occurred throughout the event, whereas Steps 4 through 6 concentrate on how you may enhance the experience and result going forward. The 6 steps in Gibbs’s Reflective Cycle are:

Step 1 Description

To establish the scene and provide context, this should be a succinct summary of the experience or incident.

Step 2 Feelings

Think back to your thoughts and emotions prior to the event. How did you feel throughout the event? How did you feel following the event? This is a brief descriptive phase as opposed to an analytical one.

Step 3 Evaluation

The evaluation considers both the positive and bad facets of the event objectively. Identify the important components that went very well. Was there anything that didn’t function or go as planned? If relevant, you might mention what other people did well or poorly.

Step 4 Analysis

Analysis should make up the majority of your reflection since it tries to explain why the event was good or bad. Consider the suggestions offered in the preceding sections and note any elements that aided you, such as prior knowledge, study, or consultation with others.

Think on your part in the experience and how you helped make it successful. If things didn’t go as expected, why do you believe that may have happened, such as a lack of planning or uncontrollable outside factors?

Taking into account other participants in the event might be helpful. Did they share your opinions or responses? If not, why do you believe that wasn’t the situation?

Step 5 Conclusion

Pay attention to what you have learnt.

Have you acquired any new skills as a result of the experience? If yes, how would you put them to use in upcoming circumstances or experiences? Do you now need to improve any particular knowledge areas or skills? Is there anything you would change going forward? Try to provide detailed examples.

Step 6 Action Plan

What particular steps can you take right away to increase your knowledge or abilities?
You might list any official or informal training that would be helpful to you, as well as specify information or support sources (people or resources).

Stages in Gibbs’ Reflection Model?

You might wish to employ various levels of information depending on the setting in which you are doing the reflection. The identical scenario utilised in the last example is provided here, except much more briefly.


We separated aspects of a group project into groups based on each person’s areas of strength. We had to spend time revising the homework because it was written in many ways when we tried to piece it together.


I had confidence in our strategy and believed it would succeed. I was angry that we had to rework it.


The division of the parts went smoothly. However, it didn’t work since reworking the parts for coherence and writing styles wasn’t anticipated or planned.


Work should be divided up based on each person’s specific strengths. Belbin’s (2010) team duties would imply a similar idea. It appears to work good because I have done it before.

We didn’t have a strategy for what it needed to look like, which is why trying to piece the job together failed. No one dared to voice an objection since we were so intent on finishing swiftly. The last component can be described by “groupthink” (e.g., Jarvis, 1991), when individuals make a decision that is not optimum because they are scared to go against the majority.


I discovered that it is effective to play to people’s strengths. Additionally, it is beneficial to sketch out the look of the task before starting on our own.

Action plan:

In the future, I’ll separate group projects according to Belbin’s team duties. In order for us to reflect it in our own writing, I’ll also advise that we write one piece collectively before we begin our individual assignments. Last but not least, I will voice my opinions when I have issues since I know it will help the situation.

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