Sharing information, running trainings and studying are all waste of time, if one thing is missing! That one thing is emotion. Just think back, even as we were learning how to multiply, it really started to mean something, when we got the joy of completing a task. Let me share a personal experience; the core of engineering, mechanics, became interesting and valuable to me on a windsurf board, not in the classroom.
When emotions are in place, we can learn very fast. You might remember a lesson of life, where just on single event taught you something. Perhaps it was “don’t ever do this again”. A lesson anyhow. The other element of the power of that lesson is that it was hands on. It combined emotions and doing something. When you are leading other people you should utilize that experience. Give your employees / students the opportunity to connect the subject content with hands on experience. Furthermore, don’t be afraid of them doing something in other ways than you would. If they don’t reach the goal, that is much more powerful lesson than they ever will get from doing things as you tell them to. If they do it right without your too strict guidance, they will get the joy of finding the path = learning boosting emotions.
Naturally you need to make sure, that the learners solution is not causing severe risks. Even there you should not go for “don’t”. Get the person to think about the potential outcomes using open questions (if you’d like to learn more about using open questions, check out our training solutions). In the following I’ll give you some examples for work and for educational context.
Making learning fun at work may sound a bit strange. You might think, that it is not appropriate. Or perhaps you think, that it can involve too high risks. If done wrong, those are true. But for every business, every operation, there is a solution. Simulations and gamification allow all kinds of solutions. Let me give you two examples. The first one was a customer, who wanted to re-organize the entire operational structure. There was resistance and fears. The solution was to create a virtual new organization where people played different roles and faced (on fast forward) different situation. In one day the entire organization learnt, having laughed on the mistakes and enjoyed the new findings making their life easier, how to be in the new world. The feedback (about 6 moths later) was “the play we had really made the change easier and faster”. An other case is about safety. High risk organization, where lethal accidents happen every year. Taking the people in to a classroom and gamifying the outcomes of not following the safety instructions got the tough men emotional. The corporate records tell, that the volume of sever accidents has been going down by 50%.
“Learning is always more fun if it’s hands-on. In schools, where the focus often is on abstract academic content, this has special value. At every opportunity, you should give students a chance to apply what they’ve learned in practical ways. In science lessons, this is easy—just give students some safe but enjoyable experiments they can do, such as mixing two chemicals to see how they react. But you can also apply other kinds of knowledge in practical ways.
For example, if you’re teaching a history lesson, have students come up with plays where they act like the historical figures. These activities will help students feel more connected to what they’re learning. Acting also makes the content easier to remember. After all, it’s far easier to recall something you did than something you were told.”
So there you have it—4 different engaging solutions you can help people to learn faster and to remember the learnt longer. You also build passion for lifelong learning. The will to learn exists in all of us, and all it takes is finding our own way to channel into what brings it alive. With plays you create a model which supports every student. All you have to do is allow enthusiasm and joyful curiosity.
One thing, that we often confuse, is that teaching would be the same as learning. We need to appreciate the fact, that of learning, only about 10 % takes place through formal education. 20 % is the outcome of non-formal, often more hands on, training. And the most, 70 %, is in-formal, mostly hands on based learning, which is often coincidental. Arising from the events from daily life.
Connecting and utilizing the different ways of learning (as most of learning takes place outside of teaching) is the way of learning organization, learning individual. The road to success! Making learning fun is serious business, in schools and in businesses.
There are solutions and processes, that speed up getting the results and ease out your development and creation of the learning utilizing positive emotions! Get in touch, we can help you to do it faster and with better outcomes! Like we have helped a huge number of people and organizations. What they say can be said in one CEO comment “I didn’t believe that this would happen, but now I see, that we reached all the goals we had for this process!”.
Your partner in making success happen, Kari I. Mattila, emotional intelligence advisor