Helping others grow in knowledge

In addition to understanding each other’s vocabulary and working style, it turns out the individuals have needs for various kinds of information and also know information that could be useful to others, both sources of information and connections to others who might be helpful.  There is an exercise that helps people ask for what they need and also, in the same session, offer things they could help others with. The session is now called “Give and Take,” after the book by the same name.

The core of the exercise is to sit in a circle, earlier called a “Reciprocity Circle” by Wayne Baker, a Professor of Organizational Behavior at the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan. Each person first says something about what they need, something they want to learn about or a place they want to go.  This need can be either work related or not (depending on the style of the group).  Once everyone has their turn saying what they need, they then give what they know or have to those who need it.  Interestingly, most people get something related to what they need and have the satisfaction of giving something they know of to others.

This is potentially very effective for having people in different disciplines ask for and give solutions to problems generated by people in the other discipline.

There is software to support this process.

Written by J. S. Olson.  2019.