How Effective Team Training Is Powered by Social Learning

effective_team_training“In order to succeed, people need a sense of self-efficacy, to struggle together with resilience to meet the inevitable obstacles and inequities of life.” – Albert Badura

Many leaders are increasingly frustrated by the time and money wasted on traditional types of training. These seminars, workshops, and webinars, while packed with helpful information, rarely lead to tangible results. If you lead a team, finding the best way for your team to be fully engaged in what they are learning should be a priority. Which is why many organizations are looking at social learning as the real powerhouse behind effective team training.

Although the term is relatively new, social learning has been a powerful vehicle for human progress throughout history. According to ideas proposed by learning experts, such as psychologist Albert Bandura, we learn primarily via interaction and shared experience. 

One increasingly popular example of a social learning forum is YouTube. YouTube users upload their own content, on a topic of their choosing, and the content’s credibility is mainly determined by the popularity and rating of the video from those within the community. This highlights a key difference—social learning is self-regulatory. (Interestingly, an article from Wegner and Trayner comments on how some online communities mirror aspects of Communities of Practice). 

Community of practice, Team Leadership Skills

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Social Learning in the Workplace Sparks Creativity & Increases Productivity

No matter the size of your business, you can use the principles of social learning in the workplace to bring your employees closer together to work as a cohesive team.When did you learn the big concepts that molded you into the person you are today? Were they learned in an academic lecture room or in a relaxed social context? For the most part, didn’t we learn our roles, responsibilities, and expectations from our family, neighborhood circles, and intimate discussions with teachers, trusted coaches, and advisors? Knowing this, the questions arise: How can this be translated into the workplace? How can social learning in the workplace help your team be more productive?

As CEOs and team leaders, you most likely recruited your team based on their individual merit. However, to make your collaborative project wildly successful you need a cohesive team that is fully engaged and invested in the work they do together. Yet, without an open atmosphere conducive to learning, each team member remains an individual. Before we identify how to do this, we need to establish whether employing social learning in the workplace is right for your organization. 

What types of businesses and organizations can benefit from social learning in the workplace?

Productive Team Meetings, Team Leadership Skills

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How to Keep Team Members Engaged — Social Learning Spaces Make it Easy!

As a team leader, are you wondering how to keep team members engaged, when your team lost some of its cohesiveness and enthusiasm? Try Social Learning Spaces!Is your team fully engaged in their work as a team or are they distracted? Really, who can blame them if they are distracted? This last year has brought major upheaval in how teams interact and in how work gets done. There’s no going back to normal and maybe that’s a very good thing. If you’ve been wondering how to keep team members engaged, there is a new and exciting opportunity for you! I believe leaders can use this time of transition as an opportunity to re-engage their teams through social learning spaces.

What exactly is a social learning space and how can you use it to help your team members be more fully engaged? 

Team Leadership Skills

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Why Communities of Practice Are Essential to Equity Work

“Diversity is being invited to the dance. Inclusion is being asked to Dance. Equity is allowing you to choose the Music.”― Cynthia Olmedo

Equity — just how important is it to you, to your team, to your organization? In previous posts, I’ve been sharing the deep, introspective work that is required for leaders who want to be guardians of equity. However, it can be frustrating when not everyone shares your sense of urgency on equity.

I had the opportunity to consult with an equity team recently who felt challenged by their sense of urgency. This group of volunteers agreed to take a look at equity issues within their organization and, from this bird’s eye view, make some recommendations. One of their first tasks was to help guide the hiring process of an equity officer. But then they found themselves doing a delicate dance. They needed to balance their own growing passionate perspective for equity while still supporting the new equity director, who would be taking a slower, more corporate approach to change. 

This group didn’t want their passion for equity to burn out so they asked me to come in and consult about how they might continue their work. I shared with them the concept of a Community of Practice and showed them what it could accomplish. They loved the idea, as it gave them permission to continue supporting one another as they worked on their passion while maintaining their distinct role and lens advancing the larger work of the organization.

There is also something incredibly powerful to be gained by doing equity work within a Community of Practice. In Communities of Practice, there are three essential elements: community, domain, and practice. Let’s examine how an intentional adherence to each of these three elements is essential to making lasting change in our equity work.

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Women Are Ready — But how can we support each other as we move forward?

“Do not follow where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.” — Muriel Strode 

Despite the pandemic, I recently had the fantastic opportunity to attend a virtual event sponsored by Conferences for Women and provide the attendees with pro bono coaching. If you know me at all, you know I love talking to women who are passionate about leadership. I got my wish as I met some amazing women dedicated to their companies, their careers, and their growth. 

My big takeaway from this conference: WOMEN ARE READY.

 

Women are ready to create a new model in the workplace. The traditional hierarchical model of work doesn’t appeal to many women today. Thankfully, more and more workplace systems acknowledge and support the growth of women in the organization. Some women are even fortunate enough to have women’s networks within their company where they can brainstorm and openly discuss the pros and cons of different workplace systems. If that’s not the case for you, keep reading to discover how you can find or create that kind of support.

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Louise J Santiago, PhD
Executive Coach and Organizational Consultant

Where Leadership is Intentional Work

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