Action Learning and Coaching


Leading your own business can be a daunting task. This first session will therefore be all about exploring your strengths via a unique group mentoring process that brings together skilled facilitation using action learning techniques, coaching and mentoring, combined with career development and self-reflection tools.

Instead of trying to put into written words what action learning is exactly, we thought we’d let the School for Social Entrepreneurs lend us a helping hand.

What is Action Learning


Wheel of Skills

The aim of this exercise is to help you identify what skills are useful when running a business and rate your confidence in these skills.  Below, are some skills that are desirable in entrepreneurs, can you think of any others?

List of desirable skills/attitudes 

  1. Well organised
  2. Flexible
  3. Disciplined
  4. Able to prioritise and set goals
  5. Able to motivate yourself
  6. Good networker
  7. Focused
  8. Good communication skills
  9. Creative thinking
  10. Perseverance
  11. Problem Solving
  12. Any other?


Mind Maps are a great way to visualise your business, goals and values. Drawing your business idea or yourself as a mind map is a good way to express the uniqueness of your skills for your business idea.

Some of its biggest advantages are:

  • More in synergy with the mind thinking process
  • Relationship of structures and concepts
  • More effective for ideas generation
  • Easier to recall information

Mind-Map Tips

  • Use key words, or images.
  • Start in the centre of the page and work out.
  • Make the centre a clear and strong visual image that depicts the general theme of the map.
  • Put key words on lines. This reinforces structure of notes.
  • Print rather than write in script. It makes them more readable and memorable.
  • Use colour to depict themes, associations and to make things stand out.
  • Anything that stands out on the page will stand out in your mind.
  • Use arrows, icons or other visual aids to show links between different elements.
  • Don’t get stuck in one area. If you dry up in one area go to another branch.
  • Put ideas down as they occur, wherever they fit. Don’t judge or hold back.
  • Break boundaries. If you run out of space, don’t start a new sheet; paste more paper onto the map.
SMART Goal-Setting

To reach your entrepreneurial goals, they need to be realistic. The SMART method will help participants with this and can be applied in all areas of life, be it in a professional or non-professional setting. It brings clarity to what it is you want to achieve and how you can achieve this.

Goalsetting is one of the most important aspects of setting up your business (and living life in general). Without setting goals, no matter how big or small, life can quickly turn into a chaos and you will find your productivity and efficiency levels drop. Accomplishments like sending someone to the moon, developing the first electric car and finally having enough money saved to buy yourself a new laptop are all the result of a goal that was set at some point. A vision that was charted and realised.

What is SMART goal setting?

SMART goal setting brings structure and trackability into your goals and objectives. Each goal or objective, from intermediary step to overarching objective, can be made S.M.A.R.T. and as such, brought closer to reality.

What does S.M.A.R.T. goal setting stand for?



Defines exactly what your focus/goal is.



Your goal is capable of being measured and has a clear outcome described.



Your goal is achievable.



Expresses a goal which is achievable, but which may have some element of stretch and challenge.



Specifies an end date or a date by which the objective will be achieved.


If you write your goals down, you have a higher chance of achieving them. Visualising goals furthermore helps to make them come alive.  Before setting you SMART goals, think about the following questions:

  • What time do you have available?
  • What’s your energy and appetite for achieving this goal?
  • What level of knowledge does it require?
  • Will you need any new knowledge?
  • How are you going to achieve your goal?
  • Can you estimate the effort required in relation to the value of the likely outcome (= valence)?
  • Is it a very large goal that needs to be split into sub-goals?
  • What is the timescale?
  • Are there any quick wins?
  • Do you need to gain support to achieve your goals? Who from – colleagues, your partner, staff? How will you do this? Can you organise goals into a timeframe – Short term, Medium term, and Long term?
  • Do you know other people who have achieved goals like this – can you learn from them and model your behaviour according to their success?
  • Are you able to write your goals using the SMART-format?



download the unit handouts