Hira Sarfaraz (August 20, 2019)
Learning is so much more than just memorizing facts and figures; it is the continuous process of converting information into actionable skills and a solid knowledge base. There are many different forms of knowledge and learning methodologies. Experiential knowledge is what we acquire by experiencing something on our own and then reflecting on it.
The experiential learning or ‘learning by doing’ method relies on the learner applying that knowledge to develop a new skill or approach. An unconventional educational experience requires an equally unorthodox facilitator to make a lasting impact. This is where an experiential learning instructor comes into the equation. They must engage adult learners with training games, hands-on activities, and role-playing activities. However, this must all take place outside of a traditional classroom-like setting. Their challenge is communicating the desired concepts to the trainees by demonstration rather than an outright lecture or presentation. An effective trainer will devise training activities that lead the participants to the desired conclusion through innovative learning experiences. They must also be able to execute the training in a way that encourages self-assessment by all of the participants.
Experiential learning requires a trainer that possesses the following attributes:
Being open to learning helps trainers to not only hone their skills but also empathize with other adult learners. By experiencing the same activities as their trainees, a corporate trainer can make the learning process even more engaging and entertaining.
For most jobs, good communication skills are a prerequisite but in the case of the trainer, the delivery style can make or break the experience for their trainees. Trainers have to engage people with different personalities, answer challenging questions on-the-spot and deal with a possible difference of opinions. A successful outcome depends on the trainer possessing effective communication skills. An experienced trainer will strike the right balance between instruction and empathy.
In experiential learning, the trainer is in the background and it is the trainees that are the real show-stoppers. The trainer’s role is that of an observer. The traditional “top-down” lecture style hinders the two-way exchange of ideas. It is the corporate trainer’s responsibility to fully engage the trainees.
From the business owner to the line manager, it is safe to assume that no one enjoys a monotonous training session. To make it worthwhile, the trainer needs to mix fun with education via games. An experienced corporate trainer will strive to make the training session a memorable interaction. A trainer with the above mentioned skills can help the organization reach its goals by cultivating the desired skills within the participants.
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