Action learning can be simply defined as learning by sharing one’s real problems with others, and taking action as a result. A small group of people meet over an agreed period of time; members take it in turns to have the group focus on their issue. The group’s role is to ask questions to help each member find their own solutions. And my role as facilitator is to help the group develop the necessary skills for action learning to take place.
I’ve led action learning in many organisations, including Amnesty International (UK), The Body Shop, Barclaycard, National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, and the School for Social Entrepreneurs. I’m always struck by how powerfully it can help people to:
- make progress with complex problems
- build listening and questioning skills
- create powerful and supportive networks
- develop their self-awareness and emotional intelligence
- create positive change for themselves and others.
Action learning traditionally happens face-to-face but, like coaching, it can be just as effective virtually. People notice how different the ‘listening environment’ of action learning is from the usual multi-tasking conference call.
As well as being an action learning facilitator myself, I train others in how to facilitate it. This can be a very effective tool for organisational development.
If you’re new to action learning, this 2-minute animation from School for Social Entrepreneurs is a great introduction:
If you’d like to find out more, why not contact me for a free consultation?