Skip to main content

Why the need for offline learning may increase due to COVID


Hardly any industry was spared by COVID-19. Our business was affected too and back in March we saw all our leadership workshops, presentations and roleplay sessions being postponed or cancelled.

Each of these cancellations and postponements was right because health and human well-being always come first. Many training workshops and coaching’s continued online and suddenly in the industry, the buzz words were "live virtual training’ and "remote online learning".

But the question arises as to whether people as social beings want to and actually can learn new Leadership skills exclusively with digital experiences – without the so valuable touchpoint "real-life".

Only when we share experiences with other people do we come alive. Therefore, physical experiences will always be relevant. Even more: I think that after this crisis people will have an even greater need for offline learning experiences in the "real" world and the senses of all of us will become more sensitive.

But some things will need to change.

Training, yes please – but unique

It started even before Corona: Training workshops and Leadership Programs were, in my opinion often presented in much more outdated formats. Instead of lecture-based sessions, new formats are needed: Programs must engage the learners and push them out of their comfort zone to help them overcome their biggest communication and leadership challenges.

With so many online training possibilities at the moment, organizations will start to consider whether the training program is worth leaving home.

Therefore Training Programs must offer more in the future: It's no longer about compliance, but about experiencing real spectacle. A workshop with 20 PowerPoint slides and a workbook to take home? Uninteresting. But a powerful session that combines personal learning goals with confronting games and real-life roleplay experiences?  Exactly that is what we want to experience again after the initial restrictions – no mindless listening to boring content.

Training is most successful when it can be experienced through different senses

Online learning and virtual training offer great benefits, but for me, it is not a one size fits all solution. Practising a face to face difficult conversation with a roleplay actor is a completely different feeling than reading the 4 steps of dealing with difficult conversations online.

Imagine this: You sit across the actor. Your heart beats fast. You forget the first step of dealing with difficult conversations once the conversation starts. Luckily you get to ‘pause’ the roleplay and start again. This time it goes better. The actor points out you constantly sigh during the conversation and use a lot of 'uncertainty language'. You never realised this, and you get to practice the difficult conversation again to see how those new insights affect the outcome. Every one of your senses is stimulated and you practice new skills in a real-life, safe to fail environment.

Quite different, right?   

We would do well to take the Corona crisis as an opportunity to finally upgrade face-to-face training.

Trainers, coaches, presenters, be creative and try out! Learners do not want to just watch from the outside. They want to be in the front seat and experience the learning. And please also keep in mind, when working with roleplay actors, make sure you undertake this endeavour with a professional.  

I believe we will learn a lot from this pandemic, and there is one thing we should not forget: 

The real learning experience that appeals to all the senses will continue to be decisive in the future. 



Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Emotions at work? Yes please!

  "I was biting my tongue the whole time"  "Gosh, he makes my blood boil"  "I wish she would just get off my back"  “There is a knot in my stomach”   These are all common idioms which are related to where emotions can settle in our body. We especially notice it during those tricky conversations.  But weirdly enough, even though our body is telling us exactly what is going on, we hardly listen to it.  A missed opportunity because they are crucial signals that remind you to use your communication skills and our emotional intelligence.  What to do?    -        *  Do you notice tension in your body? Do you feel your heart beat faster? You may find it an exciting conversation. Ask yourself: What do I find exciting or difficult? -        *  State what you see or feel. Such as: "I notice my heart is beating fast and there is a knot in my stomach. I feel uncomfortable.”   -       *   Examine your own judgment of emotions. What do you th

3 Benefits of making role play part of training

Role-play long has been a common training method among military branches, emergency response groups, and companies where quick decision-making is highly valued. So why not in the world of business training?  Over the last few years, it seems role-play has been incorporated more often in business training curricula, and for good reason. For example, sales teams that continually engage in role-playing are more likely to outperform their non-role-playing competitors. And managers that get to experience authentic role play sessions turn out to be stronger and more confident leaders.  Benefits of Role-Play Here are just a few of the benefits of making role-play a part of your business training: 1. It builds confidence:  When your team role-plays, you can throw any number of situations at them. Role-playing provides a safe environment to encounter these scenarios for the first time, which builds confidence in team members that can help them in their day-to-day ro

How we help Leaders Learn more Deeply

Much research has been done into effective ways of learning. But we can cautiously say that learning is too complex an activity for conclusive theories. Which is not to say that we are in the dark. An educational thinker who has stood the test of time is David Kolb. In the 1970s and 1980s, this learning psychologist developed an influential and useful concept about learning that can also be found in all of our InterACT WA Communication & Leadership training courses. What is it?  Kolb divided the learning process into four phases. He saw them as cyclical, so he put them in a circle. Whoever wants to learn something, according to Kolb, must go through every phase of the circle. And not once, no, often you have to go through the circle a few times to get to what really matters: to learn more deeply. Learning more deeply means: you can remember what you have learned and apply it in practice. You don't have to be an educationalist to see that as a wonderful outcome of learni