What I learnt from 1 year of “learning meetings”

Source: Freepik

How has it started?

First thing first, I Googled this concept to see if it’s a well spread idea and if other teams around the globe are doing it. With no surprises, it was a type of meeting that is held in a lot of teams/companies. Thus, we scheduled a 30-minute biweekly and we kicked-it off.

How it went?

As any other atomic habit, it needs consistency. Therefore, we kept on meeting every other Friday. What changed over time? Instead of sharing what came to mind. The team and I took few minutes before the meeting to structure our “learning ” and list few bullet points. We were more prepared, and we made sure to mention relevant topics. It was also an opportunity for me to share some thoughts on the personal and human level. What have I learnt from a stressful situation that other day? How am I managing my calendar? What are the best tools to weaken procrastination and boost productivity?

What have I learnt?

Sharing “learning” is not obvious for everyone

As the team members come from different backgrounds and have different personalities. It was not obvious for all of us to start sharing what we learnt. It was something new and we are not used to dedicate a chunk of our working time to these “atypical” meetings. But as the French saying says, l’appétit vient en mangeant, the appetite comes with the eating. Meeting by meeting, everyone became very comfortable and open to sharing.

Learning without knowing

I remember in some of the meeting where one of us would say that she/he didn’t learn that much from the past two weeks. I personally believe that this can’t happen especially when you work in a vibrant ecosystem, in the digital transformation space, helping companies around the globe implement digital solutions to solve operational problems. In such situations, I usually ask one or two questions to push my colleague to think a bit deeper. They usually figure out that they learnt more than they thought without even noticing that.

People who learnt more than you are no better than you

One of the traps of these kind of meetings is that people might start comparing themselves with each other. Learning is not a competition. Especially when you don’t have the same job description. The Growth Marketing Manager is implementing a new marketing automation tool and discovering a lot of new concepts like Account-based marketing, lead nurturing and lead scoring while the Graphic Design Manager found a website that lists hundreds of animated icons. Comparing apples and oranges.

Source: Freepik

Keep asking yourself even outside the learning meetings

One of the patterns I observed after +20 meetings was that the team only reflects on the “learning” before or during the meetings. I think that the learning meeting is just one slot of time to share what we learnt but we should embrace the idea of taking a very short break and congratulate ourselves after learning something new. Again, it could be anything. The capital city of Latvia for instance (Riga) or the typical conversion rate from Marketing Qualified Leads (MQLs) to Sales Qualified Leads (SQLs) in the software B2B field.

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Khalil Tarhouni

Khalil Tarhouni

Sometimes I think, sometimes I don't