How HTBABFT helped me develop a MASTER-ful session

We’re always pleased when a client becomes a fan, especially if they take the time to tell us about their journey.  Lindsey Byrne joined us at a How to be a Brain Friendly Trainer programme in March 2018 and this is a blog from her about her experience. If you don’t already know Colin Rose’s MASTER model see if you can work it out from Lindsey’s blog.  We’ll put a summary at the end. Thanks for your thoughts Lindsey.

If you have a blog you’d like to share with our readers let us know – it’s always great to have diverse input.  Here’s Lindsey’s story…

“How HTBABFT helped me develop a MASTER-ful session and to justify multisensory input to a sceptical participant.

After our recent HTBABFT workshop I used the session I developed as part of our practice day, for real, with a global food / personal care / home care client.

The session was about some new Standards of Leadership (SOL) being rolled out.  These SOLs were like any other values, behaviours or competencies, in that intellectually they seem rational, sensible and easy to understand.  After all, no-one comes to work with the intention of behaving badly!  But it is in high pressured situations that we sometimes slip and revert to habitual behaviours that we don’t really want.

What was really important was to emotionally connect with the SOLs, to identify what gets in the way of these good behaviours in pressured situations and to find ways of slowing down in difficult times, to reconnect with our desired behaviours, to break our habits and to consciously decide how to behave;  ie skip our habitual behaviour and bring some conscious decision making from our pre-frontal cortex!

There were 2 HR/L&D ladies observing & they really loved this session. They asked for the session plans and I think they’re going to steal it & run the same on their other progs!

At the beginning of the session we looked at the SOLs, watched a short video, discovered what the audience already knew about the SOLs, asked how being able to really use the SOLs in their roles would help (M), and did some “categorising” of given examples against the headline SOLs(A).

Then we moved onto trying to really emotionally connect with the SOLs (S), by moving around the SOLs (on the floor) finding the ones we’re most curious about, developing a gesture that embodies the SOL, brainstorming some words about what the SOL really meant to us, then shared examples of good use of each SOL vs examples of a situation where the SOL was missing and what went wrong.   A separate team came up with a “cautionary tale”; a story about what would go wrong if we over-do the SOLs.  We used the gestures to (T) trigger a memory of each SOL in the future, to try to keep the SOLs alive.

Teams were asked to add the SOLs to their team learning contracts and to review after each session how they were holding up the contracts & SOLs (E).

At the very end of the day, we reviewed how they’d been able to keep the SOLs in mind (R) and then I asked them to travel into the future, to look back on their leadership career & write a headline & 3 bullet points about their career & particularly how they’d used the SOLs and how it had helped them. They have to finish the article 24 hours later – for (R) review.

There was a pretty direct (blunt) guy in the room, who after we’d finished challenged what it was for. It wasn’t so much the challenge, but his manner, if you know what I mean?

Whilst I do always take a breath & bring a bit of detachment in such situations, I felt so confident responding. I explained that some research shows that if we learn something in a place other than where we’d apply it, the learning is less effective. But we can use visualisation to try to overcome some of that and explained moving into the future was visualisation. I’d have said this anyway, but I went a bit further and gave the example of sports psychologists using visualisation, which I think helped.

But then, with it fresh in my mind still from HTBABFT I talked about how multi-sensory approaches help the learning & I referenced all the movement, colour, music, props, etc that we’d used all day & said the headline was a fun way of getting our creative bits of the brain working at the same time as our planning bits were writing the bullet points of actions, making more links and making the whole thing more memorable. It really felt good to be able to back up all the multi-sensory activities well!

Thank you Stella for helping me make this session such a success.”

Lindsey Byrne

If you haven’t come across Colin Rose’s MASTER model before this is a very brief summary and is just a part of the brain friendly learning approach:

M – motivate minds

A – absorb information

S –  search for meaning

T – trigger memories

E – exhibit information/ skills/ knowledge

R – review to retain

To learn more about how to use this model and apply brain friendly learning to whatever you do join us at the next How to be a Brain Friendly Trainer programme.