Action Learning Set Facilitator Training

Why would you want to learn how to facilitate action learning sets?  Because your organisational clients want to:

  • Build authentic leaders; and independent, critical thinkers
  • Offer a leveraged coaching approach to people at all levels of the organisation, at a fraction of the cost of executive coaching
  • Create a coaching culture
  • Transfer learning from classroom training back into the workplace
  • Build trusting, collaborative relationships across departments and geographies

You can personally leverage your coaching skills to make a difference for more people.

In this highly experiential training, you will learn how to facilitate action learning sets for high impact learning, drawing on your existing coaching experience.  As an added bonus, you will be able to work on your own challenges and opportunities within the set, experiencing what it’s like to be a participant.

The course will be run over two days from 9.30pm-5pm, with up to 6 participants (minimum four participants), all experienced coaches. 

Why Action Learning?

Adults learn best when they decide what they want to learn, and the learning is closely linked to issues or problems of immediate concern.  Action Learning is the antithesis of a one-size-fits all learning programme; it is tailored to the individual’s needs.

Learning in an action learning set is directly linked to change and action, and therefore business performance.

Asking good questions is important to learning and to future success on the job.  Members of an action learning set learn to coach, self-coach and give feedback, which are skills they can utilise in their daily work.

Action learning moves people, and cultures, towards using a coach-approach.

What is action learning?

Individuals, usually 4 to 6 in number, meet regularly to support one another in their learning, based on real problems, following a process originally developed by Reg Revans.   Within a session, each set member has time in which to present a challenge or opportunity that they face, and then receive coaching from the other members; to define the problem more precisely, to create options, to establish a desired solution,  and to select a strategy for the way forward.  The action tends to happen in between sets, and they report back on what they learned from experimenting with new behaviours.  As part of the process, they also learn how to coach, how to give feedback and how to work better in a group, all of which are transferable skills.

The approach used is often described as a coaching style. This means that set members do not offer advice, but ask questions and offer observations that help the presenter think his or her way through the issues. In this way the problem remains the ‘property’ of the presenter, who also then ‘owns’ the solution.   Each person brings a different perspective to the group, new lenses through which to figure out what to do next.

Course Programme

Day one:

  • Experience different kinds of action learning as an action learning set yourselves
  • Observe the facilitation skills needed for a successful set, multiple times
  • Receive the kinds of pre- and post-session materials that you could use with your own groups

Day two:

  • Facilitate action learning, experimenting as you do so, with feedback on your facilitation skills
  • Learn from others’ facilitation skills
  • Discuss the implementation of action learning sets

Cost: £600 + VAT for two days, to include lunches, teas/coffees and use of all materials.

Payment terms and refund policy: A non-refundable deposit of £100 to book your place; with remaining payment to be made six weeks before the event.  There will be no refund for a cancellation within this six week window.  A full refund will be paid one week before the start date, should the course be cancelled due to low numbers.

Date: 15th and 16th July 2019

Location: Beaulieu, Hampshire (accommodation is not provided).


“My experience with the [action learning] really helped to boost my confidence in a way that couldn’t be achieved in other training programmes.”

“I appreciated the balance of the facilitator – allowing us freedom to risk and learn, and also there to prevent us from going down wrong paths.”

Here’s a case study that might give you some more food-for-thought.

Individualised Leadership Program

What is the ILP?

  • Originally launched in response to managers’ input that ‘one-size-fits-all’ leadership training was inadequate for meeting their individual leadership styles, strengths, needs and goals.
  • The goal of the ILP is to enhance the unique leadership capabilities of its participants by providing them with a dynamic environment that requires them to take ownership of their development and results.
  • There is no taught content in the program; all goals and learning are driven by the participants.

How does it work?

  • Each participant brings an issue to each session, in this case related to managing their people.
  • The other participants and facilitator ask questions and reflect back, such that the individual can figure out the most appropriate approach for their situation and people.
  • Follow-on action leads to further learning, and therefore business performance.
  • An appropriate degree of personal risk makes it more likely that learning will take place.
  • Participants learn to coach and give feedback, which are skills they can utilize in their daily work.

The impact?

  • This program satisfied my unique goals as a leader.  4.7/5.0.
  • As a result of this program, I am a more effective leader in my professional and/or personal life. 4.4/5.0.
  • As a result of this program, I feel more engaged. 4.5/5.0.
  • “My experience with the program really helped to boost my confidence in a way that couldn’t be achieved in other training programs.”
  • Participants also reported an increase in trust between the group members, enabling more collaboration across functions.

The ILP won the Brandon Hall Award for Excellence in Coaching and Mentoring.

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