Recently, I was in Colombo conducting a Training of Trainer program for 40 odd trainers of UNDP HackaDev Social Innovation Camp; a 5 days intensive nationwide Social Innovation bootcamp. The bootcamp was designed with some elements of personal growth weaved into the technical subjects making it uniquely different that other such camps. This tweak was necessary to add the soul of innovation and entrepreneurship into the participants.
The 40 odd trainers were divided into two batches. In the second batch, I was posed a question on the effectiveness of training especially trainings on personal mastery and growth. Usually, what the trainer noticed was that at the end of such trainings, participants are euphoric and motivated with high-energy. Upon seeing this, we assume they got value and the training is a success. However, once they get back to the real world, the euphoria, motivation and high energy disintegrate and reality kicks-in. Upon seeing this, we now assume the training doesn’t actually work because all that “feel good – look good” factors have all died down.
This is actually a very common thing that happens with such training. The biggest reason is the fact that during the training, the space is safe and conducive for exploration. However, that kind of space diminishes quickly once we are out of the training i.e. real life.
However, if a training is well designed to take this into consideration, the outcome will be different. The impact can be designed. We need to have faith. But what is the secret sauce to designing this? Well, read on. The secret sauce will be revealed below.
To continue, it is important to first touch on the faith i mentioned above. My mentor, once reminded me to have faith because the work we do as personal growth practitioners is like planting time bombs. Some will “explode” fast, some takes time, some requires a specific condition/situation to explode.
I understood this because I truly believe that as human beings, we are a sum of all our experiences. It is in this quotation that lies the design secret to ensure impact for learners.
The key in the design of an impactful personal mastery initiative is EXPERIENCE. The more intense the experience, the bigger the time-bomb is. Experience is the fuse of the time-bombs we plant in our learners. If the element of experience is not designed into the training or workshop, chances is that we will have the same result as the training the trainer mentioned earlier in the article. This usually happens when the training is done impacting only the cognitive domain and not the affective domain of learning.
Once the affective domain is impacted, a human being can’t undo it. It becomes a part of them. Once an experience is embedded into a human being, it will affect their worldview and this is where the impact will start. Therefore, experience is the secret sauce to an impactful personal mastery trainings.
However, the appreciation of the experience might not be immediate. This is what we refer to as being time-bombs. For some, the appreciation comes almost instantly while other takes time and certain condition. Which ever way it is, the impact will happen. Have faith.
Note: Since as human beings we are a sum of all our experiences, we are all a new being every single moment. Our experience colours our worldview-glasses. We see the world through these glasses. So as the glasses tint differently, so do the world we see. The same world now looks different. For example, in the ‘same’ learning event we will see different things due to our ‘new’ glasses. (The tinted worldview are the glasses we wear to see the world around us)