Frequently Asked Questions
Why Experiential Learning
Experiential training and development is designed to deliver learning activities to adults in the way that adults learn best. The following characteristics separate it apart from conventional forms of organizational development, management education or leadership training. When employees learn effectively, they apply it effectively. As a result, your company will reap the benefits, both immediately and over the long haul.
While working under hands-on conditions, people often learn best by doing. Teams make decisions in real-time, based on the information presented by the facilitators. Most importantly, they act on their decisions and get immediate feedback on their decisions.
The exciting and emotional nature of these activities focus attention and sharpen minds. Because experiential activities often utilize perceived risks (although the activities are very safe), the activities heighten the participant’s attention and anchor the learning. People in these situations are more likely to remember what they learn. Because of the unique context and uncertainty of outcomes for these activities, no one in the group is considered to be an expert. Team building adventures tend to equalize people and break down the hierarchical barriers and apprehensions, which often exist in teams with a “chain of command”. Contributions to the team flow from the least expected places.
Errors have potential ramifications in adventures (the team will have difficulties if they do not work well together), unlike in a classroom simulation (where play money is lost). Furthermore, success and failure is supported by those who really matter (colleagues and oneself).
Adventures are a microcosm of the requirements needed and changes taking place in every organization. The behaviors demonstrated by individuals and groups during these activities are parallel representations of the way they act and what happens in the professional situations. Skilled experiential training providers use specific techniques to enhance the metaphors and build the bridges between adventure and the workplace.
Research studies substantiate that experiential learning does indeed show up when the team is working on “real time” projects or issues. People refer back to their experiences and utilize the individual and team skills they learn in the experiential training. Skilled experiential service providers focus debriefs in part on how participants will transfer the key learning of an experience to a workplace setting.