How to Better Share Experiences & Life Lessons (A Framework)

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.

  1. We broke into small teams. Each has a presenter and timer.
  2. We started with sharing best and worst experiences in the past month, so that we got into an “experience sharing” mood.
  3. 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.
  4. Team members ask questions to get more details from this topic
  5. The presenter shares her takeaways and team members share as well
  6. The team evaluates this experience sharing session
  7. 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 :)

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