Collaborative learning involves the use of small groups whose members work together to maximize their own and each other’s learning. Peer learning groups used for management development are an excellent example of collaborative learning.
There are many benefits to collaborative learning as it occurs in peer learning groups.
- Knowledge and skills are developed as the members share their experience and perspectives and learn new best practices together.
- Social skills are developed as the members comply with their previously established operating guidelines to treat each other with respect, actively participate, and listen with an open mind.
- Acceptance and appreciation of diversity are developed, since the group brings together people with different beliefs, ages, education levels, and life experiences.
- Communication skills are developed, since group members need to speak clearly, share ideas, actively listen for understanding, and provide constructive feedback.
- Mutual trust is built as the group members openly share their challenges and support each other in their learning and practice of new skills on the job.
- Group members develop confidence as their ideas and input are encouraged and accepted.
- Engagement is improved because the group members are committed to improving their skills and the agenda requires each member to actively participate.
- Critical thinking skills are improved as the group members analyze and discuss new knowledge and techniques before deciding which will be most relevant and useful to them within their organizational culture.
- Relationships are built as group members who have never worked together before are now joined together to develop the skills to manage a shared current challenge.
- Group facilitation skills are developed as the group members take turns leading the session discussions.
- Leadership skills are developed as the group members select and practice new techniques to create and maintain employee engagement, productivity, and retention.
- The management team is strengthened as the group members recognize each other’s strengths and value to the team.
- More effective and consistent responses to management issues are promoted as a result of group discussion regarding the utility and appropriateness of different management decisions and techniques.
- New managers benefit from the wisdom and counsel of more seasoned managers who can share organizational history.
Collaborative learning in peer learning groups strengthens each manager’s ability to effectively lead, with the encouragement and support of their management peers.
Question: How would collaborative learning benefit your managers?
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