Reflective Judgement


A series of questions that promote reflective judgment and enable you to question your assumptions about knowledge and its certainty. The technique is based on the Reflective Judgment Model, a stage-based theory used to understand knowledge assumptions and constructs. 


Without reflection, we often operate based on taken-for-granted frames and long-held assumptions. By exploring what we know and how we know it, and by considering what we don’t know, we develop more expansive ways of knowing. The more expansive or broad your thinking, the better able you are to:

  • Understand complex concepts and ill-framed problems.
  • Defend a point of view.
  • Understand and be willing to explore divergent perspectives.


The process that follows is one promoted by Kitchener and King (1990), Wolcott and Lynch (2000), and Hill (2004).

  1. Clearly identify the situation. Provide background relative to the situation at hand, what you believe needs to be done.
  2. Engage the collective in a discussion based on the following questions. These questions are provided as a guide and can/should be modified to meet your needs.
    • How might you or others disagree with my point of view or my take on the situation at hand?
    • How can the factors underlying this situation be interpreted in different or multiple ways?
    • In what ways is the evidence for my point of view strong? Weak?
    • What different perspectives might provide different solutions or thinking?
    • What other potential explanations exist for the current state?
    • What other concepts or theories might be helpful?
    • How can, or should, research inform my selection of strategy?
    • Given a different organizational setting or context, in what ways could my diagnosis or solution be wrong?
    • What are the limitations regarding my current line of reasoning?
  3. Summarize your insights and describe how the conversation has impacted your thinking and planned next steps.