Have you made the same mistake more than once, an error in judgement on multiple occasions, or has the same pattern of behaviour created challenges for you?
Most of us can definitively answer ‘yes’ to these questions.
Recognising that we have made a similar mistake more than once begs the question – if we do indeed learn through experience, then why do we – on occasion – repeat our errors?
The answer is that learning through experience is not automatic.
Learning is a choice and it requires active participation in order for the learning to be extracted. Therefore, we only learn when we choose to reflect on our experience. It is only through reflection that we can understand what worked for us and what didn’t.
The statement ‘We learn through experience’ therefore needs to be expanded to ‘Learning through experience is achieved when, and only when, we reflect on that experience’.
But it doesn’t end there.
We also need to act on our learning.
There’s a wonderful, but controversial quote by Bruce Lee which says ‘To know, but not to do, is not to know”. Many of us know what we should do, but we don’t do it.
Unless and until we know what to do, and we do it, it could be said that we have not had the benefit of learning from experience.
Reflection is at the very core of what coaching is. Coaching is a process of asking and answering questions, which creates the need to reflect.
A good coaching relationship supports a commitment by the person being coached to do something different as a result of their in- and post-session reflection. The coach assists the client further by holding the client accountable to deliver on their commitment. The coaching process thereby enables the benefit of experience to be reflected upon, decided upon and acted upon.
If you’re ready to enter into a coaching relationship, and want to work with us at In2Great Coaching, contact us here.