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  • Keith Hopper

Coaching Others Through Learning Loops

The key to helping others see and experience the benefits of a Learning Loop is to guide them through a small initial loop of their own and use structured questions to encourage effective loop design and meaningful reflection.

Effective Learning Loops consist of four deliberate steps: Planning, Doing, Checking and Adjusting.

Planning: Determining where you’re uncertain - particularly on project next steps or around an idea you’d like to try, or simply an area where you’d like to get smarter.

Sample coaching questions:

  • Where are the uncertainties you’re currently facing with the project - for example, thoughts about how to proceed that are untried or untested, or a lack of clarity on how to achieve your desired outcomes.

  • “What do you have to do next on this project and what’s holding you back? Is there an area where you’re stuck or where the next step is unclear or unproven? A problem you’re trying to solve?”

Doing: Identifying and executing on a meaningful effort to try.

Sample coaching questions:

  • What's one small thing you might try next to help you learn?

  • What specifically might you do with your target user/customer to better get at the truth? Is there something you might show them to get feedback on, or ask them to commit to?

  • What are you hoping to learn by running your loop?

Checking: Pausing and objectively reflecting on what was learned.

Sample coaching questions:

  • Where has your understanding changed? What do you know or believe now that’s different from when you started your loop?

  • What surprised you?

Adjusting: Ask yourself how you should respond differently now that you have new knowledge.

Sample coaching questions:

  • What does this mean for you moving forward? What will you do differently moving forward?

  • How might you make the next loop smaller, faster, easier or more creatively reveal the truth behind your uncertainty?

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