As the sun shines brighter and the days get longer, it’s the perfect time to infuse some summer vibes into our continuous learning routines. While the longer days call for relaxation and fun, it doesn’t mean we can’t sneak in some valuable growth opportunities.
In fact, summer is the perfect season to infuse some fun and sunshine into your learning journey and keep the habit of continuous learning rolling. Look, as L&D professionals, we know the importance of “sharpening the saw.” And as I have said before, we are REALLY good – shockingly good – at being the cobbler’s children. Which is confounding to say the least. Why would anyone in our organizations follow our advice for continuous growth and development when we don’t do it ourselves?
So let’s embrace these longer summer days! Have fun, and bring the team or your network along for the ride. It’s always more fun to learn with a group, sharing knowledge and skills, plus group learning can be your turbocharged accelerator for building knowledge faster.
Benefits of Group Learning
Consider the benefits of turning your solo summer into a group learning extravaganza:
- You get to hear and experience more diverse perspectives. Bringing together people with different backgrounds and insights helps you see a new book in a different light or help you pick up the nuances of your favorite podcast.
- You get to participate in more dynamic collaborations. Groups naturally present themselves with dynamic debate, which can help you tackle project barriers and challenges. You get to learn through the different ideas presented together.
- Summertime is the perfect time for an accountability group. Face it, when the sunshine beckons, it’s tough to focus on learning – or keeping the habit of learning intact. Shared commitments not only motivate you to complete the tasks in front of you but gives you a solid boost of energy, knowing that you are completing something important.
- Pooling resources. Now is the time to share resources. I shared my last book post on Linkedin – what started with five books has grown to 30. Do I have the time and space to read 30 books – nope. But I can buy the audio and listen to it while gardening. But the point is, I wouldn’t have those books unless I asked my network to work together to build a list. Your community can be your learning lifeline.
Continuous Learning Can be Fun
But how can we have some fun and turn our continuous learning efforts into actions that go hand in hand with summer?
- Outdoor skill-swapping. Take the team and go outside. Have everyone prepare a Give/Ask list. The “give” is a list with 5 of their favorite tips for a specific topic, and the “ask” is a list of questions or help-needed tips. This could be conducted virtually as well. Have everyone go outside and “Zoom” or group “Facetime” on their phones.
- Picnic and Podcast. Grab your favorite snacks, find a comfy sitting area, and tune in to educational podcasts. Whether it’s learning about leadership, innovation, or the latest trends, podcasts offer a fantastic way to soak up knowledge while basking in the summer sunshine. Get inspired, share insights, and let the podcast drive group discussions to fuel your brain. This can also be conducted virtually by having a Zoom listening party.
- Fun and Future Skills: Find a cozy spot in a park or other outdoor area, and dive into online courses or webinars. By blending learning with leisure, you’ll upgrade your skills. Join a Learning Rebels Coffee Chat together while enjoying the sunshine.
- Ice Cream Social: Organize an “Ice Cream Social Learning” event where colleagues gather to discuss a recent article, research, or book and enjoy some delicious frozen treats. This could be a regular event built around a book club meeting each week with a frosty treat to share discoveries.
- Summer Field Trip: Field Trips aren’t just for kids! Take the group on guided tours, engage in interactive exhibits, museums, botanical gardens, or historical sites and discuss the knowledge gained along the way. I’ve never known any L&D professional to miss out on making any experience a learning experience.
- Summer Book Club: I know, book clubs mean well. We buy the book but never read it. This is where book clubs can be our friends. It’s like an accountability group within a group of friends. Book clubs don’t have to suck – here are some tips to make yours more successful. Here are some books to get the ideas flowing.
So don’t let your continuous learning journey subside. These group learning activities can infuse your summer season with thoughtful moments and create a vibrant and enjoyable atmosphere for collaborative learning. So, gather your learning buddies, find sun (or shade), and embark on bringing people together to expand your knowledge while new summer memories.
Ready to level-up your summer activities? Join the Learning Rebels Community!