A life coach’s thoughts on learning by doing

Successful life coaching most certainly comprises learning by doing. You can have all of the correct knowledge but if there is no action involved the process is null and void. While there are a number of unique ways that can be used to teach people, arguably learning by doing is indeed the best way to learn.

What is the definition of ‘learning by doing’?

The term ‘learning by doing’ refers to a theory of education which was developed by American philosopher John Dewey. As mentioned in the previous paragraph, learning by doing is a hands-on approach to learning. In other words, students need to interact with their environment in order to adapt as well as learn. Dewey applied this idea through the process of setting up the University of Chicago Laboratory School.  His views have been vital in establishing progressive education practices.

How to create an environment conducive to learning by doing

As a life coach, there are a number of ways in which you can create an environment that is conducive to learning by doing.

Create a safe, warm climate in which your clients are prepared to take risks and open themselves up to role-playing

These risks include admitting when they’re wrong, admitting if they’ve had a self-destructive approach to life or a particular issue.

Allow and afford your clients the psychological space to share and explore their fears in terms of performing

Show sensitivity. Don’t judge them. Tell them that it’s OK to feel uneasy about the situation and that it’s absolutely fine to feel awkward when you’re learning a new skill or unlearning an old one. Tell them that old habits are hard to break but it’s a real breakthrough when one does.

Set your clients’ minds at ease that you won’t force them to divulge what they don’t want to and that their private information is safe with you because you follow the ethics of life coaching.

Enhance your clients ‘motivation by helping them to process their experience of demonstration/doing by learning

Frequently, role-playing and activities provide the life coach with invaluable insight on so many levels. This means that you should encourage your client to note them and tell you about it when they’ve gained one of those insights. That emphasises why action I so beneficial.

Encourage your clients to give you constructive feedback

Show them that you’re equally happy with receiving feedback on activity in terms of its usefulness or awkwardness. Be open and encourage two-way communication to flow.

The controlling principle of designing educational opportunities for anyone should reflect both the philosophy of “learning by doing” as well as focusing on content that is based on proven facts (research-based). As we’ve chatted about in this article, learning by doing is active, hands-on and engaging for students. The goal of this approach is for life coaching clients to construct mental models that allow for ‘higher-order’ performance such as applied problem solving and transfer of information and skills.

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