Action Learning is a process that involves a small group working on real problems, taking action, and learning as individuals, as a team, and as an organisation. It helps organisations develop creative, flexible and successful strategies to pressing problems.
The process promotes experiential learning and the members of the Action Learning Set must trust that with clever questioning, the individual will find their own solution to the problem. The sets are normally made up of 6-8 people.
Each set requires a facilitator to keep the process on track, provide constructive feedback and ensure reflection and review. The facilitator must also challenge the wrong and encourage the right behaviours.
We began by exploring the key principles of Action Learning:
- Powerful questions
- Active listening
- Sharing and learning
- Group and individual development
As in coaching, we found it challenging at times to ignore any personal agendas and not offer any solutions – especially avoiding any leading questions!
When the group was presented with the issue, the group member physically stepped back and observed whilst the remaining group members discussed their understanding of the events.
It was a powerful experience as the person bringing forth the issue could remove themselves from the situation and hear how their challenge had been interpreted by others in the group. It sometimes felt a little uncomfortable but there was always a very strong future focus and a genuine sense that change could and would happen as a result of the discussion.
The opportunity to reflect on real situations, supporting new ways of thinking and building skills around giving and receiving feedback were just some of the benefits we experienced.We also recognised that this process would be a great way to acknowledge personal behavioural patterns whilst creating constructively challenging support networks.
Thank you to everyone for participating in a really enjoyable session!
Our next event is on Wednesday 1st March and our topic is Conflict.