An Action Reflection approach

Learning by doing

statueWhat we know is that very little learning is transferred into observable behavioural change from the traditional model of training workshops alone. If we define learning as the ability to take effective action, rather than just knowing information then we have to do a lot more than just impart concepts, theories and frameworks. We have to support people to apply knowledge they already have or have recently acquired to their own workplace situations and real life concerns. We then have to support a process whereby people commit to experimenting with new ideas, ways of doing things or even ways of seeing things. We need to provide opportunities for people to reflect on their experience of this experimentation and to learn from this experience and continue the process of action and reflection.


In a leadership program we can do this by supporting people within a workshop process to:

–       apply any knowledge shared to their relevant life and work experience;

–       make decisions about what actions they would like to experiment with in between workshops;

–       reflect on (possibly through journaling) and share their experiences with others;

–       derive learnings from their experience and reflections;

–       commit to further actions or next steps;

–       continue this process of action and reflection throughout any workshop experiences.


In between workshops, people can learn by doing by:

–       Committing to individual actions related to their work;

–       Committing to shared projects and reflecting on these experiences together;

–       Having an external group coach facilitate conversations and learning about the experience and learning from shared projects;

–       Have a coach observe in the workplace (at meetings etc), provide feedback and coaching related to feedback, more observation.