How Action Learning Works

The IFAL Executive has drawn up these ‘elements’ and welcomes your comments. Is this how you would define Action Learning?  Let us know what you think.

Working as a group
  • normally of between 5 – 8 members
  • which meets on an agreed basis over an agreed period of time
  • and sets agreed ground rules for its operation.
Equality of membership
  • working on their own and others’ development
  • learning from their own and others’ actions
  • willing to share experience and ideas with the whole group
  • providing support for all members of the group.
Working on real issues/problems
  • members present problems/issues/challenges that are real, current and actionable.
Using skilled and insightful questioning
  • the primary way in which set members help each other work on problems (rather than giving advice or suggestions)
  • to help other set members explore, understand and find solutions to, complex problems
  • to help set members generate their own insights, not at ‘fixing’ the problem for them
  • to provide a balance of support and challenge
  • questions will normally be ‘open’.
Using active listening
  • effectively supporting, challenging and coaching other set members.
Allowing for reflection and feedback
  • members reflect on their experience and learning and are also given opportunities to reflect on the process
  • sets also include a feedback element where members provide feedback to each other on roles (problem holder or ‘presenter’ and set member) and process.
Ensuring action is taken by members
  • following set meetings and members learn from and reflect upon that action.
Following a structure
  • ensuring all these essential elements are core to the set’s activity.