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Join / Form Peer Learning Group

One of the most powerful and low-cost (even free) sources of help is a peer learning group. You might join a current group or form your own group -- often, it's much easier than you think.

Members in a group are considered to be peers because each is equal in helping themselves and others to share ongoing support, feedback, materials and accountability to get things done --and learn at the same time.

Group members can meet face-to-face or by means of telecommunications (via phone, email, Web, etc.). Also, members often can schedule their own meetings and where those meetings will be held.

The format and process used by the peer group depends on the purpose of the group, whether it be for goal attainment, problem solving, training, support or networking. For example, peer groups might be discussion groups, study groups or peer coaching groups.

Often, the best groups are small in size (6-10 members), keep has the same members in each meeting, use a standard agenda, and meet for a few hours at least once a month. Someone from outside the group can be assigned to facilitate or all groups members can take responsibility for facilitating. Some groups might decide to have a different group member facilitate each meeting.

The following links are to additional resources about peer learning, including about the many benefits, where you can learn more, how to choose the best program, some organizations that provide peer learning programs, and materials from which you could form your own peer learning group.

Sections in This Topic Include the Following

Benefits of Peer Learning
Learn More About Peer Learning
Peer Learning Groups and Programs
Form Your Own Peer Learning Group
General Resources About Groups

Also consider
Related Library Topics

Learn More in the Library's Blog Related to This Topic

In addition to the articles on this current page, also see the following blog that has posts related to this topic. Scan down the blog's page to see various posts. Also see the section “Recent Blog Posts” in the sidebar of the blog or click on “next” near the bottom of a post in the blog. The blog also links to numerous free related resources.

Library's Team Performance Blog

Benefits of Peer Learning

What is Peer Learning? Why is Peer Learning So Popular Today? (read the top sections on this page)
Joining Forces -- Entrepreneurial Peer Groups
Peer Business Advisor Groups Ease the Pressure of Ownership
Peer Learning

Learn More About Peer Learning

Various Forms of Peer Learning (one-page depiction)
Action Learning and Peer Learning Programs (some theory, principles, etc.)
Peer Learning

Peer Learning Groups and Programs

Authenticity Circles (peer coaching groups)
Create a Personal Board of Directors
Creating Your Own Personal Board of Directors

Form Your Own Peer Group

To form your own group, first think about the purpose or application of the group. Usually, there are two major different kinds of groups:
1) Those where all members learn about the same topic or skill (training groups), for example, around a common topic in the Free Management Library.
2) Those where members address the same problem/goal or each addresses their own (coaching groups). For example, Tom works on strategic planning, Susan works on time management, Jack works on career development, etc.

In a training group, you would gather any 6-8 people who are interested in the same topic or skill. In a coaching group, you would gather 6-8 people, ideally who have similar roles or positions in their life and/or work.

To Find People in Your Locale (for Face-to-Face Meetings)

The following link is to a free online service that helps you locate people with similar interests in your geographic area. First, you join the service (they don't share your information and use it for marketing). Then you can use the service to join or form a group of people in your area.

Meet Up
Craigs List About Sites

To Join or Form Internet/Web-Based Groups

One of the most popular online forums is the Yahoo groups. The groups are free and the Yahoo group software provides a wide range of functionality for members. There's already a vast range of established groups you can consider joining, or you can use the software to start your own group.

Yahoo groups

General Resources About Groups

The following link is to a wide variety of types of groups and includes information about facilitation, as well.
Group Skills

For the Category of Peer Learning (Facilitation and Teams):

To round out your knowledge of this Library topic, you may want to review some related topics, available from the link below. Each of the related topics includes free, online resources.

Also, scan the Recommended Books listed below. They have been selected for their relevance and highly practical nature.

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