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Section 4: Informal learning interpersonal strategies

These interpersonal strategies are intended to get the most out interacting with other. Some of the strategies are one-on-one interactions, others involve team work, and yet others involve working with a larger group. These techniques also vary across time, e.g., asking a colleague a question is short and uses little time whereas participating a professional group or community of practice can be a lifetime endeavor.

Questions to neighbors

You spend all that time searching for an answer to your problem with little luck, you could always walk down the hall or go to the next cubicle to ask your neighbor for guidance. Asking your neighbor for guidance is a great strategy, but with all things, it can be over done.

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Peer coaching

If you want to improve in your craft, you should enter into a relationship with a peer coach. [1] A peer coach can sit back and observe what you are doing and offer suggestions for improvement.

A peer coach can be a specific person for one aspect that you want to improve, or it can be a number of different people to help you in many different areas. A peer coach can be a friend, colleague, family member or some other individual your trust. [2]

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Observation or shadowing

While peer coaching is a strategy for watching someone with the purpose of providing them with feedback to help improve their performance, observation or shadowing is watching someone with the purpose of improving your performance. Observing others as they teach or carry out a task is an effective method for learning a new method as well as learning what not to do. With a focus on educators, watching someone teach a lesson will clue you in on what they consider important in the lesson as well as provide ideas for activities, transitions, openings, and closings.

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Workshops and conferences

Workshops and conferences are great places to advance knowledge and skills but they can be overwhelming if you do not have a plan. These guidelines and tips will help you get the most out of your next conference with recommendations to do before, during, and after the conference or workshop.

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Professional groups

Professional groups and communities of practice are excellent ways to stay abreast of new develops in your field of interest. They also are a place to explore ideas and concepts.

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Section 1 | Section 2 | Section 3 | Section 4 | Section 5 | Section 6

  1. Friedman, S. (2010). How to cultivate a peer coaching network. Harvard Business Review. Retrieved from
  2. McLean, R. (2008). AIESEC Peer Coaching Guide. Retrieved from