Reflection is arguably one of the most core practises within learning. It is a strategy that can be used.
Ever heard of double loop learning or triple loop learning?
These phrases that have been bred within the Learning and Development world describing how close someone is to their learning and what level they are experiencing.
The mountain of literature on learning is almost as big as the amount of information on leadership. But let’s focus on the differences between single-loop, double-loop and triple-loop learning.
Single loop learning is more about rule following. It is one dimensional, limited and requires little to no insight as you literally just follow the process or policy. This is the most common style of learning deployed within the workplace. It will deliver the outcome of the person being educated enough to follow the rule, but not to reflect and engage to understand or develop it.
Double-loop learning (changing the rules) requires reflection. It can include investigating into what needs to be done to correct something. This kind of learning needs creativity and critical thinking. It is great at helping us to understand how to solve a problem. It is least used and most necessary within the organisation to adapt, learn and develop.
Triple-loop learning involves “learning how to learn” by reflecting on how we learn in the first place. It is best to imagine yourself as a fly on the wall, watching you learn something. Essentially, you are learning how you learn and what to do to change it to increase its effectiveness. This one is intentional reflection and hugely valuable, although used rarely in most organisations.
Where does your organisation place its emphasis?
What needs to change in how you focus your learning opportunities?
Michelle Crawford is the founder of Newcastle-based human resources firm Being More Human