The ProEd division of Blackboard recently caught up with the Future Workplace founding partner and corporate learning consultant Jeanne C. Meister. She talked to us about the disconnect between learning experiences in the corporate setting and those in our personal world. Meister says that our behavior within and outside of company walls tends to differ greatly.

Why?  What is driving the difference in how we act in our personal lives and how we function in an office setting? As Meister puts it, to optimize the learning experience, the two approaches really should not be separate: social learning – the way we learn in our personal lives – translates extremely well into the professional setting, often providing unexpected rewards and benefits. The workplace learning expert offered up some thought-provoking questions on how we might contribute ourselves more fully in the workplace:

·        Would you book a hotel without looking at reviews on TripAdvisor?

·        Would you buy a book without reading the reviews on Amazon?

·        Would you make a restaurant reservation without looking at what others are saying on Yelp? “In today’s technology-driven world, accessing and researching the activities we want to do and the places we want to go is second nature,” said Meister. “If professionals transfer this mindset into workplace activity, they stand to learn a great deal more and unveil some new best practices along the way.” So what is Meister really calling for?  It’s professional social learning.  It’s the need to bring the type of meaningful, collaborative, highly engaging learning that we use in our day-to-day lives into the workplace.  Think about it – the decisions you make in the workplace can be informed by the greater collective knowledge of your entire team, right from your desk.   Today’s learning tools give you the power to work, make decisions, and build on the knowledge of your entire workplace. So are you embracing these social learning opportunities at work as much as you embrace them in your personal life?

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  • Shannon Forte

    I couldn’t agree more. For me and my personal circle, chat in Facebook and on Google comprises much of our “catching up”. I LEARN about my friends and family via instant messaging. Using Blackboard Collaborate’s instant messaging in my job every day has made me more valuable to my team and helped me in many pinches where I needed info NOW.

    BbIM is just one of many social learning tools I have at my disposal and I experience every day how I “can be informed by the greater collective knowledge of your entire team, right from your desk.”

    Thank you for the greater insight Jeanne and Kevin!