Do you have a path for growth? Are you leading employees in your workplace, and if so, how are you helping them develop? Experiential learning may be the missing link for the success you seek.
We’ve all heard it before. Heck, there is a good chance we have said it ourselves a few times.
I learn by doing it.
I’m a hands-on learner.
Experience matters more than textbook.
While there is some truth to the idea that we all learn differently much of our learning is based on the reflection of the task or action. Listening or seeing, engaging our senses is part of it, but our reflection makes the difference.
This is not necessarily the same as hands-on learning. Sometimes the words are used synonymously, however, differences exist. Experiential learning is based on learning by reflection.
Why This Matters
We can tell someone to wear safety equipment. They can even practice wearing it. If there is no reflective thought about why this matters it will have much less chance of becoming a positive habit.
This is exactly why job descriptions matter. Goals and objectives matter. Job descriptions connected to the department or organizational mission are the best. However, none of this will make a difference if the employee doesn’t make a psychological connection.
In simple terms, it is about why this task or duty matters.
“This is what I’m paid to do,” is not a connection with the task. It is a connection with the reward.
“I’ll get fired if I don’t,” is not a connection with the task. It is a connection with the punishment.
Many workplace leaders are in a leadership role because of their technical attributes. They have a proven track record of success in a specific business area. It may be technical skills or it may be intellectual contributions, or both.
One of the biggest challenges that organizations face is that they often focus too much on the technical aspects and not enough on the cognitive skills.
One question tells it all, “Are you interested in lifelong learning?”
If you believe you’ve mastered all that you need to know, you are likely right, you’re done.
Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.