Learning experiences are pointless without reflection

No reflection = No learning (as demonstrated by Hubert the Cavoodle)

This was the day Hubert ate 5 dark chocolate Lindt balls.

Dark chocolate is really bad for dogs.

Apparently, the equivalent amount of milk chocolate wouldn’t result in the same level of concern. But for small dogs, we learned the toxicity from 5 dark chocolate Lindt balls requires drastic action.


After a quick phone call to the vet, we rushed Hubert in to receive immediate attention.

It was tough.

In a short matter of time the treatment took effect. Hubert cried. He vomited. And he vomited. He looked heartbroken. He vomited again. Then he lay down exhausted and depleted for a while. His face was green with vomit, and he appeared so sad and forlorn.

Both dog parents were worried sick.

Why and how did it happen?

Chocolate? Really?

We puzzled over what possessed Hubert to steal an unopened box of chocolate out of a full bag of groceries on the dining chair.

We chastised ourselves for leaving the groceries there, then consoled ourselves that we couldn’t possibly have known he would be able to open a box and unwrap individual chocolates like that.

It was unthinkable. Until it happened.

What next?

When Hubert was returned to us still groggy from the medication our hearts melted. We monitored him diligently at home and fed him charcoal when he was well enough to tolerate it (as instructed and shown in the photograph).

The learning experience

Some would call this a learning experience.

The truth is, it was only a learning experience for the humans. We were the ones who reflected. We keep chocolate totally out of Hubert’s reach now. We know what happens when he eats chocolate, and we don’t want it to happen again.

Hubert doesn’t reflect

Hubert on the other hand, has a taste for chocolate. He thought it was yummy. He hasn’t reflected on the outcome from eating it at all. Any time someone has chocolate, Hubert’s nose goes into overdrive. He follows the source of the chocolate is if under its spell.

And so, I highlight the point that experiential learning is more than “learning by doing”. We only truly learn something from a “learning experience” when reflection is involved.

Hubert’s message about reflection

“Hi, I’m Hubert.

Reflecting on learning experiences is what humans do. I don’t have time for reflection, especially when I could be eating more chocolate.”

Lyndal’s message about reflection

“Hi, I’m Lyndal.

Guess what happens when I help you introduce learning experiences with built in reflection? The learning sticks! Experience the difference. Get better results. Achieve measurable performance improvements. That’s what LB Learning Solutions does.”

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