Category Archives: Team Learning

Team Learning

Team learning is really the learning individual team members experience and share. By thinking, and by communicating openly, team members can learn together.

Learning can be caused by, or take place in a variety of situations. Teams can learn through decision making, problem solving, conflict resolution, brain storming, even making mistakes.

Perhaps we should ask what is learning? We learn from experiences that provide us with the opportunity to acquire new skills, knowledge or attitudes. Often what we learn is in conflict with previous thoughts. If we adopt the view that learning often is a result of conflict, we should welcome conflict as a chance to learn, not avoid it because it disturbs harmony. However learning only happens when conflict is confronted and the source of the conflict is understood.

The Experiential Learning Model

The experiential learning model is a good description of how teams can learn, and of the learning theory behind the Team Development Program.

We begin with a concrete experience. The participants become interested in an activity: doing things, noting, observing, commenting. This is the start of the process. Later, when you review what has happened, the participants share their reactions with other members of the group who perhaps reacted in a different why.

Reviewing the process reinforces or modifies the experience. You can now begin to generalise and examine how you can make use of your new experience the next time you meet with a similar situation. You form, or are prepared to accept, a theory – a picture of the reality you have experienced. The reflections and discussions may, in turn, encourage you to try to apply the theory, in other words – to develop a new pattern of behaviour. Finally, you put the new behaviour into practice and experience a new experience, which leads to a concrete experience. The model the repeats itself.

Team Learning

Guidelines for reflection

Your team will benefit most if you take the time to reflect on your experiences. This should not be a difficult process. Answering the following questions may be helpful:

  • what happened?
  • how do I feel about this?
  • why do I feel this way?
  • was I successful?
  • why was I successful or unsuccessful?
  • what did I do well?
  • what do I need to improve?
  • what can I learn from this?
  • how does this compare with previous experiences or ideas?