The Ladies of Product group at my company Hearsay Systems held a great experience sharing and learning workshop today.
Two guidelines for this workshop: 1. Share personal experiences rather than giving advice. 2. Share experiences openly and honestly.
Joyce, our host, guided the workshop using a structured framework that made this kind of sharing more productive.
- We broke into small teams. Each has a presenter and timer.
- We started with sharing best and worst experiences in the past month, so that we got into an “experience sharing” mood.
- The presenter, the main experience sharer, talked about a problem/issue she experienced with more details: background (context), current situation, actions that have been considered (taken), results and next steps etc.
- Team members ask questions to get more details from this topic
- The presenter shares her takeaways and team members share as well
- The team evaluates this experience sharing session
- Each team shares their takeaways in front of people
This is a really interesting framework. As a team member talked about himself, I can relate my experience to his experience, and that made it easier to see things from his perspective. Therefore, I took what he learned to be part of my knowledge base. It’s much better that someone tells you “I’m teaching you a lesson, here’s some advice”. The latter may actually get some resentment.
I’m thinking where I can apply this framework to, maybe it will be a good discussion topic for my Toastmasters club :)