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Establishing Behaviors of a Learning Community

Reflect on your last team meeting, and ask yourself these two important questions:

1. What overarching guidelines were established that set the tone and climate for productive communication and team work?

2. How did we build and maintain a positive community environment that facilitated learning and encouraged candor?

When individuals and teams come together to learn, discuss, debate, and/or decide issues and initiatives, it is important to have an established, agreed upon, and visible Operational Guide – one that reflects how we behave as a team and learning community.

Consider including the following items on your Operational Guide:

  • Appreciate, value and respect differences

  • Maintain confidentiality

  • Everyone participates, yet no one dominates

  • Be on time, stay engaged, and keep on track

  • Give freely of your experiences

  • Maintain a positive and appreciative mindset

  • One speaker at a time; do not interrupt

  • Be an active and objective listener

This sample Operational Guide is a good starting place, but it is important to ask your team for feedback to create buy-in. What guidelines are acceptable for your team? Should an item be omitted, and/or something added?

To explore this topic further, enroll in one of our leadership development academies found on our website,

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