“The mutual learning approach is a set of values and assumptions that guide how we act and leads to improved team performance, better working relationships, and more positive individual well-being.”

Roger Schwarz

I host a weekly radio show on SiriusXM 111, Business Radio Powered by Wharton, called Work and Life. We publish edited versions of my conversations as free podcasts. I invite you to listen to the episode (embedded below) that is my conversation with Roger Schwarz is an organizational psychologist, speaker, leadership team consultant, and CEO of Roger Schwarz & Associates. His clients include technology, manufacturing, and medical organizations as well as federal government agencies. Underlying Roger’s work is the premise that to create fundamental and sustainable change, people need to change not only their behavior, but their mindset. Roger is the author of Smart Leaders, Smarter Teams: How You and Your Team Get Unstuck to Get Results and The Skilled Facilitator: A Comprehensive Resource for Consultants, Facilitators, Coaches and Trainers. He writes also appears for Harvard Business Review. A former tenured professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Roger holds a Ph.D. in Organizational Psychology from the University of Michigan and a Master of Education degree from Harvard University.

We discuss how our assumptions and values often go unexamined and we explore how this can negatively affect team performance, working relationships and personal well-being. Roger describes the mutual learning approach — a way to think about how we communicate driven by the values of transparency, curiosity, informed choice, accountability and compassion — and its power to affect real change in the here and now. Then he demonstrates the method with a listener who called the radio show asking for help on a very common problem with her boss and her team.