Two weeks ago, I wrote about the power of action learning. Being a quick read, in that short paper I mentioned only a few of the benefits offered by this team approach.
I mainly focused on the creative way to develop the best solution to a compelling problem, issue, or need. I also highlighted a major benefit to the learning, i.e., how action learning develops better teammates and teamwork.
In this paper, I will expand upon this benefit to suggest other positive outcomes associated with action learning.
As mentioned, the foundation of action learning is asking appreciative questions, where statements may only be made in answer to questions. Participants work to listen to one another and build upon one another’s questions and answers, diving deeper to reframe, peel back the layers, and get to the core, of the problem, need, or issue. The technique goes a long way toward ensuring everyone understands and agrees upon the real issue and then works as a true team to develop the best solution.
In addition, and this is very important, the action learning code of conduct does wonders for the development of our people. The code of conduct includes that everyone:
- Assumes noble intent
- Uses the power of questions
- Listens to understand
- Builds on another's questions
- Provides response statements that are thoughtful and short
- Respects each other’s questions and ideas
I would not have believed the transformation from a group of individuals into a true team had I not experienced this myself in my training.
Based on what I have personally experienced, I encourage the consideration of action learning as a development approach to becoming a better teammate, breaking down turf issues or silos within companies and, very importantly, to developing creative solutions to something important that needs to be solved or done as well as possible.
If you are interested in more information, in addition to my paper dated June 11, under Ideas & Advice on www.commonsenseleadership.com, I will send you another more in-depth paper, though still short, which I recently wrote, and a longer, excellent description of action learning by Bea Carson, PhD, a very able instructor and coach. Bea’s paper contains a lot of powerful information.