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Replace lectures with learning projects

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in Leaders & Managers,Team Building

To urge your team to work well together, do you sit them in a room and preach the value of collaboration? Although there’s nothing wrong with lecturing, it’s probably not going to leave a lasting impact.

If you really want to foster teamwork, apply a tool that effective teachers use: project-based learning. Give your employees a collective task to do. Examples include analyzing competitive threats and studying market demographics.

In high schools, project-based learning might consist of asking students to draft blueprints of a house that meets both environmentally friendly standards and insurance underwriting guidelines. Success depends on mastering interdisciplinary activities (math, engineering, risk analysis) as well as working well in groups.

When you employ project-based learning principles at work, you give people a chance to share ideas and extract the best work from each other. Your employees will develop their speaking and listening skills by discovering how to maximize the group dynamic to accomplish team goals.

“Project-based learning teaches civility and emotional intelligence,” filmmaker George Lucas told reporters recently. He set up an educational foundation to support new ways to spur innovation in the classroom.

“People don’t get fired for being stupid,” he added. “They get fired for not being able to work with other people.”

After you assign a project to your team, stay involved. Encourage all parties to test their ideas and venture outside their comfort zone. Assure everyone that you’re measuring success by the group’s collaboration as much as by the actual results.

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