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Context in Exploration


There was an interesting #LDInsight chat last Friday asking the question:

“What is really required to learn a new skill /change behaviour?”.

I still have mixed feelings about whether anyone working in the field called Learning and Development should be able to give a robust answer to this…

…On the one hand, if you don’t know the answer then what exactly are you doing? On the other hand the question is far deeper than it seems. It’s a bit like asking what is love? Or, how many is too much?

Anyway, I think it’s fair to say that a range of responses and thoughts were shared which you can read on this Storify of the chat. It was a good example of what exploration and sharing these chats can create. Perhaps what really struck me though was the need for context…

What new skill? What behaviour change? Who for, really? In what situation? With what background? For what outcome? With what resources? Over what time period? With what support? Facing what barriers? With what blind spots? With what opportunity for practice? With what challenges? etc…

You see, without context around the challenge being faced we must look to some broad principles but even these won’t ever be enough. The contextual variables may create quite different responses, opportunities and pathways. The answer to such a straightforward question is too big and unwieldy. However, the exploration is precisely what is needed.

With context and skill we can explore suitable pathways. Without context we’re probably just left guessing about what we think is in front of us.




  1. Pingback: Sharing and challenging? | People Performance Potential - September 25, 2015


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