Social Learning: Process & Skills
We are continually placed in social learning situations. Whether we are continuing education, learning new skills at work, or participating in a club, learning often takes place in social settings. By fully understanding the process of social learning, it is possible to enhance both social and learning skills to reap the full benefits of any social learning situation.
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There are always pros and cons to social learning. The diversity and differences that make a group strong will also cause friction in social settings. Effective groups will address these issues as they develop and manage to keep the communication civil. Knowing how to create a diverse and respectful social learning group will make the experience more efficient.
When creating social groups, it is important to make sure that they are diverse. Compiling a diverse group takes time. It is necessary to choose people with diverse cultures, skills, backgrounds, and strengths. These differences will make the team stronger. Only choosing like-minded people will weaken the group and stifle creativity. Diversity builds knowledge and challenges the group to grow. When choosing a diverse group, you need to focus on the skills that will benefit the group. For example, a group could benefit from mixing people with academic understanding of a subject and others who have real world application. It is also beneficial to blend people from different levels within the same organization.
Social settings and interactions require basic social skills. This may seem like common knowledge, but you will have to remind people to behave and assess their social skills. There are basic social skills that people need to master in order to make sure that the social interactions in the group go smoothly. Basic social skills include:
· Listen to other people.
· Express positive thoughts or feelings in a civil manner.
· Express negative thoughts or feelings in a civil manner.
· Make requests.
· Appreciate people and thank them.
If anyone lacks these basic social skills, social interactions in the group will suffer. Social skills training can improve social interactions for people who need to improve their social skills.