In our professional field, we engage in a practice of reflection to support continual learning and development. Reflection is also a valuable way to learn from mistakes, gain perspective, generate ideas and acknowledge and celebrate achievements. As we close the year, our team has come together to share their reflections and hopes for the new year…

Dianne C. Lipsey, MA2017 – what a year!?! With so many ways to reflect, I want to acknowledge the women and men of the federal government we’ve had the honor to work with throughout the year. My generation was witness to our rivers and streams and air getting cleaner; civil rights expanding to embrace our national diversity; our enhanced commitment to the wellbeing of peoples of the world; our security and banking systems strengthened; our honor of the arts and so much more — all results of those dedicated federal employees. It’s been a hard year for many of them and so I reflect, with gratitude, on the pleasure of spending some of our year engaged with them to make their workplaces better. -Dianne

Shayne M. Julius, MSChange is hard – it can be disorienting, stressful and just plain exhausting even for those who fully embrace the change – and 2017 has been full of change! We are creatures of habit so when our usual patterns are disrupted, we are compelled to expend extraordinary amounts of energy to make sense of our surroundings again. Effective communication, kindness and hope are common casualties in this state of fatigue. We must remember though that we also have within us the capacity for resilience – to recover, bounce back and regain our footing perhaps in a new way that we could not have expected or predicted without the disruptiveness of change. My hope for the new year is to intentionally create space to remain curious even when I disagree, to find areas of agreement we can build on and to appreciate the unexpected gifts that come with change like new connections, renewed commitments and fresh ideas. -Shayne

Rick J. Buccheri II, MSODAlthough it is easy to look back at 2017 and recall the challenging and tumultuous events that defined the year, it is certainly not comfortable or convenient to do so. 2017 was a hard year for many, and I cannot let this year pass without acknowledging the pain and exhaustion that 2017 will leave behind. I am also reminded, by countless courageous deeds, that 2017 is also the year that inspired people into action. Victims spoke up and found justice. Voters have turned out in record numbers. Citizens rose up into public service positions and political activism. Communities united to aide each other through destructive events. I feel like this was a year when people woke up. We all somehow realized that if we want change in this world, there is no one better equipped to inspire it than ourselves. As I take stock of what has been gained and lost this year, the sum of everything leaves me with humility and hope. I look forward to seeing what we will accomplish together in 2018. -Rick

Heywette EliasThe arrival of a new year provides a great opportunity to look back at the previous year’s accomplishments, challenges, and to anticipate and work toward a promising and inspirational 2018. I have a lot to be cheerful about this season as I’ve had opportunities to work with an exceptional group of people who truly believe and anchor their work in “Helping People Work Better Together.” With all the end-of-year goals and holiday preparation, it’s easy to forget to pause and reflect. A study by the Harvard Business Review found “reflecting on what you’ve done teaches you to do it better next time. And that reflection boosts performance.” My hope as we enter the new year is that we all take a second to reflect and concentrate more on the positive changes we can make both professionally and personally. -Heywette