There are three questions that can help you determine the quality of the coaching and facilitation you will likely receive.
1. Discover what formalised training has been undertaken
Engage with coaches who offer you their services and have not undergone any action learning training cautiously. Action Learning is a very specific process, and is not one likely to be learned well through osmosis.
Ideally, the potential coach will have undergone formalised training. The training undertaken must be from a certified international body, recognised and accredited by the large coaching accreditation bodies.
2. Understand what approach your action learning will follow
There are a number of varying approaches to action learning.
In the WIAL (Worldwide Institute of Action Learning) approach, the coach (also called a facilitator) has full control over the process. This individual leads the sessions, focusing the conversation around the use of questions. When this process is formally in play, only questions may be asked, and statements can only be made in response to questions.
Contrast this to the BDAL (Business Driven Action Learning) process. Here, once the team set-up has been complete through the efforts of the facilitator, the team is largely left to their own devices. The premise here is that the participants in the team are high-quality candidates, and are capable of delivering a high quality output without much interference.
3. Explore the experience level of your prospective coach
It is important to uncover the level of experience your action learning coach brings. This need not be at a corporate level, but your coach does need to have the skill set to assist their group frame the problem, problem solve, identify risks, undertake financial analysis, and the like. Someone with no experience in these areas is likely to hinder rather than help.
4. Reference the potential coach’s action learning hours
Facilitating and coaching is a skill that is improved with experience. Research how experienced your prospective coach is. Ask not only how many action learning programmes the coach has facilitated, but also the implementation rate of those projects. Remember that a key benefit of action learning is that projects need to deliver a return on investment to the organisation, which means that they must enjoy implementation.
If you’d like to discover more about In2Great Coaching’s Action Learning offering, we’d be delighted to hear from you here.