Action learning

Today I was part of an action learning set, training to become a facilitator of a set mostly through real experience of techniques in action. We’ve been doing this through the Centre for Action Learning Facilitation- Centre for action learning


Was so curious before it all started. What would it be like? How powerful could learning be in that forum ? How would I feel about it?

It’s been great to see and feel it work, to really hear people’s challenges. Great too to think of questions that will genuinely help them move forwards by opening them up to different ways of looking at and thinking about the challenge, which in turn opens them up to find new solutions.

It’s helpful to reflect on how often our questions of others come from a very different place – questions that in fact are not so subtly leading people to our preferred solutions, questions that just satisfy our curiosity to know more. It’s great to have a day out of the hustle and bustle of everyday workplace work to sit back, reflect, listen, explore at a pace and depth and in ways that can lead to really powerful solutions. Solutions both for the individual and the organisation too – the possibility of taking from this exploration of one person’s described problem, learning that could be a game changer for the organisation too.

We’ve practiced different ways of helping people explore their problems today, their “wicked” problems (ones without an obvious answer) – using techniques like placing people in the room to explore the different perspectives of the issue in hand, telling the problem like a story in creative ways. All differently powerful and intriguing.

And when it came to my turn an initial reluctance to share something so personal. But wanted to push myself. And did. And pleased I did. Always an opportunity to grow if you take chances. Lots to think about still. It was a wicked problem after all!

I’m coming away from the group with new skills and experience that will allow me to develop into being a good action learning set facilitator. Perhaps more unexpectedly coming away with a whole new level of respect for and understanding of some work colleagues – a knowing them that’s come from the shared experience of this set. And that’s not that I wasn’t open to being impressed by them or to knowing them better – just didn’t quite expect how much.

It’s a been a Good Friday.


2 thoughts on “Action learning”

  1. Sounds like a great workshop. I’m a sucker for sessions on interpersonal relationships and things like that. My co-workers and I usually take about one class a year. It’s always enlightening.

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