Ten reasons for NOT getting involved in any of this Action Learning stuff

Isn’t it all a bit Californian and up itself?

The purpose of Action Learning is to gain perspective on issues and take action to resolve them. Its intention is very practical and is rooted in the belief that people can get clarity around their ideas through talking them out and then testing their assumptions through disciplined questioning. A clear set of professional ground rules is always established with the facilitator, so there is no reason for the process to become a platform for pseudo-therapeutic ramblings or self-indulgence. It does, however, provide time for personal reflection and development, which can be an all too rare opportunity, particularly for independent artists outside of organisations who have to do a lot of their work alone and without support.

This isn’t intended for me. I’m not really an artist, I just work in the theatre – you know, lighting/doing sound/stuff like that…

No, it is intended for you and other people like you. So don’t miss out by making that assumption.

Why would I tell other people what I’m thinking?

One of the core principles of Action Learning is confidentiality and every effort will be made to avoid conflicts of interest.  Beyond that, however, independent theatre-makers rarely have an opportunity to explore a difficulty they are experiencing or develop an idea for something before having to confront (or, more realistically, avoid confronting) that difficulty or pitching that idea when it isn’t fully formed. How often do you get to sit in a room with other people who have some knowledge and experience of what you are going through? How often do you get the chance to think things through rigorously before making your next move? Taking part in an Action Learning Set offers you those sorts of possibility.

I’m shy and get a bit self-conscious talking about what I’m doing…

All the evidence suggests that participants in Action Learning develop a great deal in terms of confidence and the ability to articulate what matters to them.

Why should I fill in an application form? Who do you think you are?

The application form is to help us understand who might benefit most from this opportunity and to get a sense of people’s backgrounds, so that we can avoid conflicts of interest and enhance the diversity of the groups.

I’m busy already why would I want to take on more commitments?

It may help you work smarter and better. Even so, it can be hugely beneficial to take time out to think about what you are doing and why you are doing it. Therefore, it should feed productively back into your existing commitments.

What if I don’t like it and I change my mind?

The first session is a trial session with no obligation. If you don’t find the process useful or it isn’t what you expect, you can leave the group.

It says it’s for freelancers and I work in an organisation…

At this stage, the main impetus has been to support independent artists, as this kind of support is so rarely available to people outside of organisations. However, you may be thinking about returning to a freelance role at some stage or need to develop your practice in some way. If so, Lucid intends to offer further opportunities and host additional groups in the autumn, so it’s still worth making an application.

I’m not an “emerging” anything, why aren’t there opportunities for people like me?

One of the most common complaints is that there are older, more established artists who would like career support too. While Sherman Cymru wished to establish a group that reflected a priority in the area of emerging artists, the Chapter group reflects a different priority and Lucid hopes to host further opportunities for more established practitioners in the future.

It costs £45. I can’t afford that…

It’s understandable to worry about the cost of things at the moment, but it’s important to understand that this would be an investment in you and your personal development. It could lead to breakthroughs and developments that would be individually beneficial and career enhancing. The initial cost of the groups is hugely subsidised with the support of the Arts Council of Wales, Chapter and Sherman Cymru. However, after the first six sessions, the role of the facilitator would end and the groups could continue under their own steam. So for £45 you could have the chance to be part of a potentially long term development opportunity at no additional cost.


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