We can learn more from our mistakes than our successes. That’s especially likely if a small, supportive group of peers probes to understand us better before they offer advice. In part, that’s what Learning Circles can offer. Mutual mentorship.
While most are created for people to learn from each other at work (especially schools and other non-profits), you could start an LC with people from different workplaces or within a larger organization to which you belong. These groups can be safe, supportive and specific in helping you grow in some part of your life. While some experts recommend a group size of 15 to 20 people, five to nine feels like the most comfortable and efficient size to me. Learning Circles don’t have leaders which felt odd to me at first. You learn at your own pace. Yet there are suggested rules and formats. One of my favorites is that the group ask at least twenty questions before offering advice or problem-solving.
We learn so much from each other in what we ask about and how. Hear how to start your own from WorkPlay blogger and coach Chris Bailey. Much of his work life has been dedicated to creating Learning Circles for non-profits. Now he is helping people in companies learn more from each other, using this approach.