(If you missed part one, check it out here.)
So, at this point your team and yourself have created a policy around finding time in the week to learn.
What might happen at this point is that some of them might feel a little bit of pressure about how and were to start.
If you see that this kind of anxiety or nervousness sets in, I have an idea for you…
One hack you can use to get your team off on the right foot is to recommend that everyone read the same article during their designated learning time and make notes. When they make their notes encourage them to write down their observations, the questions they may have come out of it, some rebuttals, if they disagree with what they’re reading in the article, what might those things be and so on.
Once you get to the point, during your week where you start to knowledge share, encourage every member to go through their notes one at a time and just start to stimulate conversation among the group.
This little hack may seem very simplistic and obvious but starting with something so unintimidating is a great way to create this important habit forming activity across your team.
Because remember, the ultimate goal here is to get your team comfortable learning and doing it consistently so it becomes part of their routine. We also want them to feel comfortable and confident sharing and discussing what they’ve learned and their perspectives.
Now remember, as the leader, here’s one thing I really need you to do: As they’re sharing out, I really want you to speak last. This is important. I do not want your team to inherit your ideas or hang their opinions on what you think, as the leader.
Once your team starts to get a little comfy in the routine then try progressing into a book. You want to pick a book that is generic enough for all of the team members roles and that’s applicable to the work that you’re doing and something that your team can apply that will be benign and safe.
Two final thoughts on this whole topic of learning:
First: If 5% of time dedicated to learning and exploring is difficult to find, that begs a bigger question. Their “WIP” (or “work in progress”) may be too high. In other words, they may have too much work on their plate. If this is the case, you’ll notice that it takes your team a long time to complete any one task, since they are splitting their time across too many tasks. As well, their focus will be too divided across the abundance of work and tasks. If you are interested in learning more about what to do in this situation, please comment below. We will send you a link to a new article on managing down WIP.
Second: I’d like you to make it very clear to your team that this dedicated time to learning and exploring, is something that they own. This is not something as a leader that you should police. As a leader your role is to create the space they need to create a “learning habit”. But the actual progression of their learning and the interest in learning, it lies with them.
As always, as your coach, I believe in you, I’m here for you, now go show them what you’re made of.
If you are a new or emerging leader, check out how The Masterclass can help you supercharge your career and positively impact your organization and those around you.