When we want employees to learn something, we send them to a class.

It’s not the worst thing to do, but that’s not the way adults learn new things. It’s a paradigm that’s copied from the system we developed in the 1800s to teach millions of children to become factory workers.

Do YOU have your best growth by sitting in a class? Probably not.

We now know that most adults learn by doing and experiencing. Some workshops do that, but most don’t. They tend to blast lots of information at you, with the hopes that remembering it will give you new skills.

People learn much more by doing than by hearing.

I’ve seen this myself first hand, and in fact it’s changed the way organizations can bring value to their members. The essential elements are:

  • Explain the concept
  • Give real-life examples
  • Demonstrate the new skill in practice
  • Immediately give each participant the opportunity to practice
  • Provide feedback on what they did
  • Give each person the chance to reflect and internalize what they’ve learned

It’s not hard, but it takes thought to design experiences like this. But the results can be amazing, as attendees often find immediate opportunities to put their new skill into action.

Isn’t that the way we all learn best?