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collective efficacy, collective learning, communication, huddle, teams



  1. Little, Johanna EdD, MBA, SPHR


The health care industry embraces the concept that collective learning occurs through group social interactions and has been initiating huddles as an avenue for collaborative learning. During change of shift or prior to beginning daily tasks, a huddle is initiated and facilitated by the manager or frontline supervisor. Given that "shared knowledge is obtained through group-based learning," why are some teams learning and others are not? The phenomenon is perplexing, given that the same resources are provided to all teams. Based on the findings in the literature review on learning in groups, teams learn from huddles and others do not because of the following: communication style and dialogue among the group members, communication style and dialogue facilitated by the leader, team and member perceptions, and team membership. Teams that learn from huddles do so because of the elements within the dialogue between team members (reflexive questioning, redundancy of information, metaphors, analogies, dramatic dialogue, strategic meaning) and because the huddle team exhibits higher levels of collegiality, tenure, heterogeneity, team identification, and collective efficacy. Facilitators must encourage a conversation in order to encourage reframing of cognitive maps that encourage learning by huddle members.