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Management: Pinteresting Professional Development - Executive Leadership Articles

Management: Pinteresting Professional Development

Executive Leadership Articles

Management: Pinteresting Professional Development

If it seems we speak often about Pinterest, it’s because the social link-collecting system is extremely user-friendly and flexible beyond its obvious uses. While it is not unique in its functionality, it does seem to be uniquely easy to adopt and rewarding for its users.

We’ve discussed Pinterest’s use in group projects, but it has interesting potential for collaborative professional development. Perhaps it lacks the formality of a workshop or training, and it certainly won’t come with a certificate of completion, but not every professional development effort requires this kind of formality.

For instance, take the topic of learning styles. Some of our coworkers are visual learners, while others are verbal learners, tactile learners, and social learners. Understanding each other’s learning styles goes a long way toward better team development, no to mention better training and policy implementation. If your team seems a bit weak in understanding learning styles, let them work in small groups over a set period of time, say one month.

Give your team time every day to seek interesting information about learning styles. Resist the urge to limit team members in what kind of information to share or where to get it. Hopefully, an engaged team will self-filter for reputable sources, deciding for itself which resources are valuable to them. Set a goal for each participant to share one link to something about learning styles on a group Pinterest board. Annie might share an article called “Adapting Your Management Approach for Different Learning Styles.” Brenda might find an interesting chart with learning styles explained as work-related tasks. Charlie might find quote by leader in your field about how the meeting agendas she sets don’t even make sense to him until he shares them aloud with his assistant, when she makes a lot of the major changes.

Your team is accomplishing a few meaningful things here. First, it is discovering for itself how to define learning styles, and the team is deciding what’s interesting or useful. Sure, you may get a few who open the group board, hurriedly scan one or two pins, then do a quick Google search just to find some link that might make sense, but more often, the collaborators will encourage each other with commentary, ask each other questions brought up by the shared link, and inspire each other to find answers to their own questions.

This only works when the teams are invested, so sometimes it’s best not to give them the monthly topic. Instead, let them discuss issues related to life in the workplace. They can be social, professional, topical, technical, or anything else that relates to their work. Giving them the choice on their topics increases the likelihood of buy-in, which increases the potential for personal and professional growth. Whether you join in as active participant or simply observe while the team explores is up to you -- good cases can be made for either approach. Perhaps leave it up to the team to decide how involved it wants its management. In any case, it’s important to stress that continual learning is part of the culture, and sometimes it’s even fun.

 

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Management: Pinteresting Professional Development - Executive Leadership Articles

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