Usman Ghani (October 27, 2021)
Creative thinking is one of the most important and sought after soft skills that you need to acquire in an increasingly digital landscape of 2021 and beyond. Creative thinking skills are required in many different job roles to come up with new ideas, innovate, analyze and come up with solutions to challenges and problems being faced. It requires observation and analytical skills. Creative thinking is an innate skill for many but it does not mean that it cannot be developed and improved. Experiential training is one of the ways to boost creative thinking.
The development of creative thinking not only helps entrepreneurs but is also a skill many businesses can benefit from to boost employee productivity and business efficiency. Here’s a brief look at different aspects of creative thinking and its development through experiential learning.
Simply put, experiential learning or training refers to acquiring knowledge or some skill through experiences. It involves various steps to develop a skill in a person. Once you learn something through an experience, it is hard to forget and is thus more effective than just listening or reading. This is why this mode of soft skills training has become popular and is getting more attention.
There are several factors that can limit creative thinking which is called a block. These blocks are divided into two categories; internal and external blocks. The internal blocks refer to the factors which stem from an individual’s own self. They can either be perceptual or emotional. Perceptual blocks are the inability of a person to perceive something in its true sense, distinguish between effect and the cause, using senses to observe the problem, etc. The emotional block is born from a person’s own insecurities such as staying in their comfort zone, fear of trying something new, rigid thinking, and not having a strong will to implement a new idea. The cultural block is the external factor that can hinder creative thinking in an individual. The cultural block has its roots in what a person has learned from the environment and society he lives in. These are marked by characteristics such as accepting something as good and bad, the will to learn and gain knowledge, being competitive, and believing in facts, logic, or fantasy to create something new. Experiential training workshops are equipped with different strategies that one can employ to help people overcome these barriers by experiencing the events. It allows a better way to modify a person’s cognitive thinking, overwrite their previous learning and integrate creative thinking skills into them.
There are various experiential learning methods for corporate training that have different levels, methodologies and processes involved. Each of these methods engages the target audience in different ways that can impact the final result. We are going to list down some of the most influential ways of boosting creative thinking through experiential learning.
With the highest engagement among professionals belonging to different industries and a high success rate, this method of experiential training relies on games for soft skills training. This mode of experiential learning is highly suitable for corporate training as well as coaching students to help them develop different skills they will need to excel in their careers. Most of the employees usually think of training as an added burden to their routine tasks. Game-based experiential training workshops involve the audience by turning learning into fun games of any sort. It’s not like these are your regular snake and ladder board games. They are well thought out to focus on creative thinking, problem-solving, teamwork, and other cognitive and social skills with measurable learning outcomes. The fun factor in the games allows the trainees to stay focused and learn relevant skills without getting bored.
This experiential learning method uses software to generate real-world scenarios to help participants learn relevant skills. Simulation based training offers an immersive and realistic experience to learners. It usually involves interacting with technology and the gamification process to learn a skill. This method of training is also really good for new recruits and students who are about to begin their career in some time. This is also a very engaging soft skills training method.
Another highly effective way of training employees by experiencing the situation is to put them through sensitivity training which aims to improve an individual’s self-awareness and helps them become more sensitive to individuals around them. The strategy used by this mode of experiential training is to conduct activities through which a person connects with their peers and coworkers to identify the problems and then works on them. This experiential training also teaches trainees about how to interact with others, understand team dynamics thus improving their intra and interpersonal skills along with boosting creative thinking in a group.
The development of skills is a complex task. Creation and enhancement of creative thinking skills in a person requires a meticulous approach. This requires inducting skills through different methodologies and stages. This involves the development of thinking skills by understanding the multidimensional construct of a person’s thinking abilities. For a more successful result, game-based experiential training utilizes all the necessary processes required to boost creative thinking such as creating a concrete experience, reflecting on it and identifying inconsistencies, modification of the concepts and finally developing the skill by active experimentation.
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