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  • Writer's pictureKevin Lopez

Conversational Learning: Unlocking Cognition and Driving Change in the Workplace

Updated: Mar 15

Greetings, Knowledge Explorers! 🗣️💡

Today, I'm thrilled to dive into a topic that's been buzzing in my mind since a recent eye-opening experience at the Transform HR conference in Las Vegas! Picture this: amidst the bustling crowd, I had the pleasure of meeting Dr. Bobbi Wegner, the CEO of Groops (—a company revolutionizing team dynamics through the power of conversation and psychology. Inspired by our dialogue and Groops' innovative approach, let's explore the realm of conversational learning and its impact on cognition and organizational change.

The Art of Conversational Learning

Conversational learning isn't just about exchanging words; it's about igniting minds, fostering connections, and driving meaningful change. It's a dynamic process where dialogue becomes the catalyst for growth, opening doors to new perspectives, insights, and possibilities. But how does it work, and why is it so potent?

Surprisingly, many of us in the learning space apply conversational learning based on the modalities we choose to apply to learning design. In its simplest form, conversational learning happens most often in debrief conversations which aim at pulling a collective understanding from our learners. For those new to this space, you may know it as Socratic thinking or as we used to refer to it during my time at Apple, we called it leading learning out. What this all means is that we aim to facilitate a conversation and allow those conversations to evolve organically to land on a collective understanding of the message we are trying to convey.

Inspiration Strikes: A Meeting with Groops CEO, Dr. Bobbi Wegner

At the Transform conference, I had the privilege of engaging in a thought-provoking conversation with Dr. Bobbi Wegner, whose passion for transforming team dynamics left an indelible mark on me. Groops, with its unique blend of organizational psychology and AI-driven insights, is reshaping how teams collaborate, communicate, and thrive. What struck me most was Groops' emphasis on creating safe spaces for dialogue—a cornerstone of conversational learning.

During my conversation with Dr. Wegner, it was clear to me the overlap her world had on mine which showcased a commitment to understanding human cognition as an opportunity to drive organizational connectivity. Interestingly enough, often in learning design we are tasked with finding the solution to problems organizations are faced with, yet we can loose sight of the power of involving all stakeholders and giving them a space to collaborate and foster change as a collective.

The Power of Dialogue: Unleashing Vulnerability and Understanding

Conversational learning isn't just about sharing knowledge; it's about exposing vulnerabilities, fostering empathy, and building trust. In my discussions with Dr. Wegner, I learned how Groops' approach helps teams unlock a deeper understanding of each other and the challenges they face. By creating a safe environment for dialogue, Groops facilitates authentic connections, paving the way for genuine growth and change.

Let me be transparent in saying that these conversations are not easy! Dr. Wegner shared how the conversations require a baseline of trust and vulnerability. At times, teams will share things that may not be what everyone wants to hear. Creating a culture of dialogue, transparency and vulnerability is not that different from building learning programming that aims at getting your participants to share the things that aren't so great! Why it matters? Well baseline understanding helps foster a new normal and way forward to the challenges we face.

It became apparent to me that Dr.Wegner and her team are aiming to create a future culture of companies that understand that what we do wrong can be the same things that help us evolve into getting things right as collective teams and organizations. The added layer Groops provides is the integration of educated professionals that help teams drive conversations forward. By adding this layer of credibility, I felt that it may serve to release a layer of pressure from teams as it can help communicate messaging that may be hard for some people to fully verbalize. What excited me even more was how Dr. Wegner fosters a space for this community of educated professionals to come together and establish dialogue on best practices on how to lead these conversations across a diverse set of industries.

Driving Change: The Transformative Impact of Conversational Learning

In today's fast-paced world, organizational change isn't just inevitable; it's imperative for survival. Conversational learning emerges as a powerful tool for driving this change, as it encourages critical thinking, collaboration, and adaptability. By fostering a culture of open dialogue, companies can harness the collective intelligence of their teams, identify areas for improvement, and chart a course toward success.

The Path Forward: Embracing Conversational Learning

As we reflect on the transformative potential of conversational learning, let's consider how we can integrate this approach into our own organizations:

1. Cultivate Safe Spaces: Create environments where employees feel comfortable sharing ideas, asking questions, and expressing concerns without fear of judgment.

2. Encourage Dialogue: Foster a culture of open communication where dialogue is not just encouraged but celebrated as a catalyst for innovation and growth.

3. Embrace Diversity: Recognize the value of diverse perspectives and experiences, as they enrich dialogue and drive creativity and problem-solving.

4. Lead by Example: As leaders, model the behavior you wish to see in your teams by actively engaging in dialogue, listening attentively, and valuing the contributions of others. Most importantly, don't always aim to be right. If you ask your teams to show up and put vulnerability on the table-practice what you preach!

Conclusion: Conversational Learning as the Catalyst for Change

As we navigate the ever-evolving landscape of the workplace, let's remember the power of conversation as a catalyst for learning, growth, and transformation. Inspired by my encounter with Dr. Bobbi Wegner and Groops, let's embrace conversational learning as a pathway to unlocking cognition, fostering empathy, and driving meaningful change in our organizations.

Join me in this journey of discovery, where every conversation becomes an opportunity for learning and every dialogue a step toward a brighter future. 🌟🗨️

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