What if something as simple as fun could be the easiest way to change people’s behavior for the better? I just watched this video from http://www.thefuntheory.com/.
What if we applied the fun principle to our teaching and training? What if we used fun to change organizational culture?
What making training fun is NOT: Fun is not the same as funny; it is not having the trainer tell jokes. It is not saying: “OK, now we are going to have fun and play a game.” I am usually looking for the nearest escape when I hear someone say that!
What making training fun IS. It is making training relevant, desirable and interesting rather than boring. Here are a few practical ideas:
Listen for what motivates and drives people. Engage them. My professor and friend, Ray Wheeler, engaged me in class. He spent a half hour of his class time facilitating our cohort in solving my personal question. Ray clued into the emotion behind my question. Too often we hear a comment and begin to judge, formulate a response, or think of our own related story. I was ready to learn anything from him after that.
Teaching is not about the teacher; it is about the learner. Individuals may be auditory, visual, or kinesthetic learners. They may process information internally (by thinking and reflecting) or externally (by verbally processing with others). Does our training take that into consideration?
Wrap your training in a metaphor. I ate grilled dove at a friend’s house this summer. It was OK. It was even more appetizing when it was wrapped in bacon. Just about anything wrapped in bacon is more desirable. The same is true with our training. When you wrap teaching with a story, metaphor or meta-narrative, it is much more interesting. Listeners will remember it much longer. Perhaps that is why Craig Chappelow, a leadership author and contributor on Fast Company says it is better to read good fiction for lasting lessons.
Employ a variety of methods. Are you stuck in the lecture mode? I know we all have information to convey, but minds begin to wander after seven minutes. If you want to convey info, go right ahead. But people will tune out and retain little. Remember these percentages:
- Post ideas and learning on wall to refer to as training takes place
- Invite participants to share from their experiences
- Turn to the person next to them and share or answer a question
- Use purposeful activities that help to illustrate the content
- Allow time for discussion at tables or in small groups
- Facilitate share out loud or in small groups one “take away”
- Add video clips
- Use role plays
- Allow for questions
- Use problem solving activities like case studies
- Have participants stand up and/or move around the room to record ideas on poster pages or do some other activity
- Let them teach you. Give groups a learning task that they present to the rest of the participants
- Change pace every 30 minutes
- Team teach
- Change seating arrangements
- Use interview style to present information
- Allow for some silent/reflective time
Use open ended questions that help people discover answers for themselves, rather than being told what to do.
Better PowerPoints. Maybe I’ll write more on this later, but if you have a PowerPoint with all your lecture information crammed into bullet points on slides, you might as well just stay home and send people the presentation to read. That could save everyone’s time!
Well, that is enough rant for one day. But, I constantly need the reminders to just add fun. Perhaps you do too. Just one question:
What have you done to add fun to training?
Related posts you may enjoy:
- 5 Important Reminder for Teaching Adults
- Back to School: 6 Breakthrough Disciplines of Unstoppable Learning
- Asking Questions vs. Telling Answers