We’ve been sharing ideas you can rapidly and easily apply to make your training sessions more brain friendly without having to substantially redesign everything you already do.
Here’s one of my favourites.
Do you have some kind of model on a slide – it could be the Johari Window, Situational Leadership, Emotional Intelligence… ? Or perhaps you don’t like PowerPoint and instead draw the model on a flipchart? And then typically you probably explain the model, get people to discuss it, maybe do some exercises to reinforce it.
Instead of using a slide or a flipchart get out the masking tape and map out your model on the floor before your session starts. Then when you come to that part of your workshop invite people to come and stand over by the model and explain it from the floor.
As an example let’s take the Transactional Analysis OK Corrale Model (I’m OK/ you’r OK). It’s a quadrant model so really easy to mask out.
Ask people to think of examples of behaviour that describe a particular quadrant and invite them to stand in the quadrant as they tell you. You might then get people in ‘I’m not OK/ You’re OK’ explaining to ‘I’m OK/ You’re not OK’ explaining to each other what its like when they interact. You can ask people what they’d need to change to move from one quadrant to another and they can get a real sense of movement to add to their thinking.
What’s the difference between doing it this way and showing a Powerpoint or flipchart?
- the masking tape is on the floor as people arrive – increases the sense of curiosity – a great state for learning
- acts as an immediate but relevant energiser if people have been sitting down for any time
- our experience is people ask more and better questions when they are standing up (so long as it’s not for too long)
- people have more multisensory memories of the information – they can see it, hear it and have a memory of movement to help recall those ideas later
- you can leave your masking tape there all day as a visual reminder of the model
What other reasons could you find for doing it like this?
And you don’t have to just choose quadrant models – you can create any shape you like with masking tape.
We don’t recommend that you simply drop an exercise like this into the middle of a day of ‘Death by Bullet point’ (not that you’ll be doing that anyway) because once you’ve created a state of passive absorption it’s harder to ask people to move and you can create scepticism by not being congruent with the rest of what you do. You need to know why you’re introducing this sort of exercise and it’s helpful to practise the exercise first so that you know the logistics.
But if you already understand the brain friendly approach it’s a really easy way to take a current exercise and tweak it to be more engaging, memorable and enjoyable for your learners.