10 Team Benefits of a Book Study

I love to read.

I love to do a book study with team members. In fact, I am currently leading my team through content by Daniel Goleman and the book, Emotional Intelligence 2.0. Reading a book can be a great way to grow and develop your team as leaders. After all, the influencing leader is always learning. What if one team decided to always learn? Would their influence find greater reach?

Harvey Mackay reveals a number of alarming statistics:

  • Only 14 percent of adults with a grade-school education read literature in 2002.
  • 51 percent of the American population never reads a book more than 400 pages after they complete their formal education.
  • 73 percent of all books in libraries are never checked out.
  • The average American watches 32 hours of TV every week.
  • The average American reads only eight hours (books, newspapers, magazines, Yellow Pages, etc.) every week.
  • The average American annually spends 10 times more on what he puts on his head than what he puts into his head.
  • If you read just one book per month for 12 straight months, you will be in the top 25 percentile of all intellectuals in the world!
  • If you read five books on one subject, you are one of the world’s foremost leading authorities on that subject!
  • If you read just 15 minutes a day — every day, for one year — you can complete 20 books!
Researchers have discovered that students learn best when they are actively involved in the process. Researchers report that, regardless of the subject matter, students working in small groups tend to learn more of what is taught and retain it longer than when the same content is presented in other instructional formats. Students who work in collaborative groups also appear more satisfied with their classes.

There is a cross-application to the workplace from the above research. Therefore, if learning together is so helpful, what are specific benefits of studying and discussing a book together as a team? Here are ten perks I have found to be true:

  1. A chance to experience an intentional disruption in order to come together and learn.
  2. A way to improve your interpersonal skills.
  3. A conversation that reveals how other team members think.
  4. A way to be introduced to new ideas.
  5. A way to improve your job performance.
  6. A way to build on your strengths and skills.
  7. A way for the team to embrace a shared vocabulary to make application easier.
  8. A way you contribute to an organization's culture of continuous learning.
  9. A way you can gain tools to enhance your life outside of the workplace.
  10. A way that allows us to make better decisions.
The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.
— Dr. Seuss