Teamwork is a topic for loads of workshops, books, and coaching. It’s common knowledge that when teams come together to collaborate and synergize, more positive outcomes result.
However, I think more opportunities exist when it comes to leveraging team members’ knowledge. It’s in sharing that knowledge with one another in the spirit of development.
I feel so fortunate to belong to the PeopleResults team! I am surrounded by a group who has deep expertise in many aspects of leading and supporting the people-side of businesses, (aka, Human Capital). While we operate across multiple projects in different industries, we make it a priority to come together each month for a 1.5-hour session. In those monthly meetings, we talk about the latest business happenings with existing clients, potential opportunities and a learning topic to share knowledge with one another.
We explore a variety of learning topics. It could be:
- New tools or technology that can help in managing a project or facilitate a client workshop.
- Ideas about new ways to tackle communication challenges.
- Findings from research on various topics, like the Future of Work.
Really anything we have learned from a new experience with a client or ideas about how to better serve our clients. This applies to internal clients as well!
It took us a while to find the secret sauce for making this knowledge sharing exercise work well, but I think we’ve nailed it and want to share what has proven successful for us.
- Schedule the monthly calls at the beginning of the year and get them on everyone’s calendar. We’ve found Friday mornings work best for us, given other client commitments.
- Rotate the “call facilitator” role among team members. That way, the burden doesn’t always fall on one person, plus it offers the opportunity to build facilitation skills or a safe environment for testing out a new facilitation approach.
- Maintain an abundance mentality. A mindset of, “there is plenty for everyone.” No, “this is my idea, so you can’t use it,” thought process.
- Recognize and appreciate the various skills and contributions each team member brings. Support one another and give feedback to one another in the spirit of development. That way, you make it a safe environment and people feel more comfortable about experimenting, which is where the break-through thinking occurs.
While it’s essential to bring the team together to resolve business issues and complete the required job functions, make time to pause the work and learn from one another. This exercise also incents people to look to external sources of information, stay current on the latest trends and creates a learning culture. Learning truly is an extraordinary experience.
Sharing knowledge is a benefit from working with colleagues we don’t fully appreciate. Tap into the collective brains and remember how much fun it is to learn something new!
Martha Duesterhoft if a Partner with PeopleResults. Follow her on Twitter @mduesterhoft or connect via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.