Optimizing the learning in action learning: Reflective questions, levels of learning, and coaching

  • Sofo F
  • Yeo R
  • Villafañe J
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Abstract

Action learning has become a popular tool in the workplace and is frequently included as part of corporate leadership development programs. Often, what is called action learning focuses on action—and little or no learning occurs. Too often the “urgency” of the action drives out the “importance” of learning. This article focuses on the learning side of the action learning equation, presenting some theoretical perspectives on action learning and then demonstrating the enhanced power of action learning when attention is given to both the learning as well as the action. We explore reflective questions and the role of the action learning coach. We then discuss how the coach enables the team to reflect on their dynamics and processes in real time, thus encouraging dialogue versus discussion, listening versus speaking, and deeper creativity in problem solving. We conclude by exploring the importance of a skilled action learning coach. Keywords

Author-supplied keywords

  • Action learning
  • Coaching
  • Learning cycle
  • Problem solving
  • Reflective questions

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Authors

  • Francesco Sofo

  • Roland K. Yeo

  • Jacqueline Villafañe

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