7 things you might not know about being a brain friendly trainer: #2 It’s not all fun and games!

It’s not all fun and games!

We are often asked for fun exercises or games to illustrate a point, but it may not be what your learners want and your idea of fun may not be theirs.

man running

For learning we need to experience many states, including quiet reflection, which is enjoyable but probably not what most people classify as fun. Sometimes people think mistakenly think brain friendly learning is about making it all fun but that’s just not enough for really good ‘sticky’ learning. We need to be energised but we need quiet time too – your brain doesn’t function well going at the same rate all the time.  Imagine your brain operating at the same speed all the time like this little man running.

Our brains need to rest too and recuperate in order to learn well.  There’s some good evidence that learning a physical skill is easier if you’ve had time to dream about it.

And think of all the times you’ve not had a fun whilst doing something; you’ve been lost or cold or frustrated but you’ve learned something important about yourself or the world.  Those are usually the stories you tell later rather than vaguely comfortable and not very stretching occasions.

Humans thrive on challenge and overcoming adversity so making an exercise just a bit harder may be what your learners need.  But you do need to ensure they succeed and that the memory of the successful ‘route’ is stronger emotionally than the unsuccessful route or that’s what they’ll remember.

Set people up to succeed, make it challenging enough to remember, make some of it ‘fun’ but introduce quiet reflection too.

Find out more about how to achieve a balance of brain states to achieve maximum effect on 20th June and 17/18th July at www.howtobeabrainfriendlytrainer.com