Facilitate Team Learning Competency Domain

Domain Summary

Building resilient teams sets the conditions for team learning. Leaders facilitate team learning by analyzing team learning capacity, orienting on team goals, encouraging constructive dialogue, and building new mental models. Facilitating team learning is essential for solving problems and overcoming challenges. The Facilitate Team Learning competency domain is assessed for RBLP-C and RBLP-T certification.

Facilitate Team Learning Articles

Professional reading about Facilitating Team Learning.

Facilitate Team Learning Leader Tasks:

Task 1: Analyze team learning capacity.

  • Team learning is the foundation of organizational learning. Team learning enables decision-making and action.  
  • Learning is a key component of team development. Team effectiveness is improved when teams focus on learning.
  • Solving problems and overcoming challenges is a learning process. Creativity can manifest as superior problem-solving skills. Creative problem-solvers are not afraid of ambiguity.
  • Teams learn from their experience. Experiential learning is the creation of knowledge through the transformation of experience.
  • Teams reflect on their past and present experience to develop new ideas for solving problems and overcoming challenges.
  • Teams implement and experiment with new ideas. Some will work; some will not. Either way, learning occurs. 

Task 2: Orient on team goals.

  • Team goals, both short-term and long-term, should be well-defined, understood, and agreed on by the team.
  • Challenging goals inspire better performance. Achieving goals contributes to well-being.
  • Most people are naturally goal-directed. Accomplishing team goals requires team members to identify and harness the abilities of others.
  • Motivation and commitment enable people to sustain progress toward team goals. Accomplishing team goals improves collective efficacy.  
  • As teams gain confidence and competence, they tend to set higher goals. Teams that are higher in efficacy are more optimistic, hopeful, and better able to cope with adversity and stress.
  • When teams orient on collective goals, they can accomplish tasks based solely on the leader’s intent. Goals that are specific provide more incentive.

Task 3: Encourage constructive dialogue.

  • Through constructive dialogue, teams collaborate to confront problems and challenges from multiple viewpoints.
  • Constructive dialogue uncovers tacit knowledge and enables shared decision-making. Collaboration between diverse perspectives fuels creativity.
  • Psychological safety makes constructive dialogue possible by allowing team members to be creative, take risks, and propose new ideas without fear.
  • Psychological safety allows team members to seek information, ask questions, admit their mistakes, call attention to others’ mistakes, and reflect critically on current and past performance.

Task 4: Build new mental models.

  • Shared mental models enable better team coordination, cooperation, and communication. However, change challenges the status quo and forces people to discard old mental models and build new ones.
  • Shared mental models that are “entrenched” are often resistant to change and can make learning difficult.
  • Change increases stress and anxiety. In a dynamic environment where change is constant, people must adapt to new plans, policies, processes, and procedures.
  • Double-loop learning is about surfacing, challenging, and ultimately changing existing mental models. Building new mental models solves problems by questioning and reevaluating underlying causes, assumptions, and beliefs.

Supporting Knowledge:

Know the relationship between team learning and solving problems.

Know the relationship between team learning and overcoming challenges.

Know the experiential learning cycle for teams.

Know why orienting on team goals facilitates team learning.

Know how to orient on team goals.

Know the relationship between orienting on team goals and collective efficacy.

Know the relationship between orienting on team goals and leader’s intent.

Know why encouraging constructive dialogue facilitates team learning.

Know how to encourage constructive dialogue.

Know the relationship between psychological safety and constructive dialogue.

Know the relationship between tacit knowledge and constructive dialogue.

Know why building new mental models facilitates team learning.

Know how to build new mental models.

Know the relationship between single-loop and double-loop learning.

Updated 8/17/2020