Self-Reflection at Work: Why It Matters and How to Harness Its Potential and Avoid Its Pitfalls Academic Article uri icon


  • It is difficult to fathom how an organization could be successful without its employees engaging in self-reflection. Gone would be its personnel's capacity to problem-solve, learn from past experiences, and engage in countless other introspective activities that are vital to success. Indeed, a large body of research highlights the positive value of reflection. Yet, as both common experience and a wealth of findings demonstrate, engaging in this introspective process while focusing on negative experiences often backfires, undermining people's health, well-being, performance, and relationships. Here we synthesize research on the benefits and costs of self-reflection in organizational contexts and discuss the role that psychological distance plays in allowing people to harness the potential of self-reflection while avoiding its common pitfalls.

published proceedings

  • Annual Review of Organizational Psychology and Organizational Behavior

author list (cited authors)

  • Kross, E., Ong, M., & Ayduk, O.

complete list of authors

  • Kross, Ethan||Ong, Madeline||Ayduk, Ozlem

publication date

  • January 2023