Are you part of a small team, or maybe even a one-person team?

As instructional designers and eLearning Developers, we often are a “one-person shop.” We are a department of one, one lonely trainer, one solitary instructional designer, one remote developer. It can feel like you are on a deserted island with little support.


Our team, while more than one person, isn’t a huge team by any means, and we are all scattered in different geographical locations. We typically are all working on different projects in different industries with different requirements. Therefore, it is easy to feel isolated. We have recently implmented in our own way, Jane Bozarth’s idea of Show Your Work. We have crossed this concept with that of Learning Circles, or Lean In Circles.

Lean In Circles “are small groups who meet regularly to learn and grow together. Circles are as unique as the individuals who start them, but they all share a common bond: the power of peer support,” (

Every week our team has a Show Your Work meeting. It is 30 minutes in length and led by a different team member each week. Each week, the team member who leads the meeting shares something with the team. Here are some examples of what he/she might show/share:

  • Something he/she is really proud of that he/she wants to share and teach everyone how to do (ie: “Here’s what I did. Ask me about it.”)
  • Something that he/she didn’t know how to do, figured out and wants to show everyone else how to do (ie: “Why I did it this way.”)
  • Something he/she wants our help and ideas on. (ie: “I am struggling to figure out what to do with or how to treat this content.”)
  • A new way to use a tool our team uses.
  • A great new website he/she discovered.

We have found that each session is uniquely different, but the result is always the same…the conversation is lively, ideas are plentiful, collaboration is high, and learning is tremendous.

I would highly recommend this concept for all teams, whether big or small, whether in learning and development or not. The bottom line is that this approach can help stimulate a well-connected, sharing-focused, and more innovative team.

Give it a try and then let us know how it works for your team.