Training is an investment in your staff. Maximizing the benefits of this investment is of utmost importance. LifeLine Corporate offers a range of experiential training programmes based on 45 years of training experience.
So what is experiential training all about?
Experiential training can take many forms but all have the same essence. All the training consists of an activity outside of usual work activities. Some are done on an individual basis, but most are designed to assist in the development and maintenance of individuals and teams. Using experiential learning in a work team is ideal, as they share a common goal – to bring to the surface problematic issues, to develop communication among team members, to develop habits of individual and group reflection, and to develop a positive social environment.
One could very safely make the statement that all work teams have problems. Of course, the problems are of varying degrees and varieties. The most common causes of problems within work teams are human nature and the organizational set-up. Human nature will always throw a monkey wrench into the most carefully laid plans, because it is quite simply unpredictable. Experiential training focuses on bringing those human problems to the surface. By taking individuals out of the work situation, it is often easier to assess which personalities are interacting and how they are affecting the work. When individuals are outside the work environment the safety net of “work” disappears and they are forced to see what results form their interactions. They can no longer blame the work situation, because it is not there; they must look at where the problem truly lies – within themselves. When teams can begin to understand how they impact on each other, it is easier for them to see how the organizational set-up affects them.
It would seem like common sense to say that effective communication is essential for work teams to be successful. However, team communication is often overlooked or viewed as non-essential. With experiential training, communication is key if the teams are to have any success performing their activities. Different people in a division or team are on equal ground facing a task or obstacle, which they must overcome. Individuals will approach the obstacle in various manners. Some will jump right in, others will devise a plan, and still others will just throw up their hands and claim the task is impossible. While each person will take a different approach, the end lesson is always the same – if they do not communicate with one another then they will fail. This lesson often takes the team by surprise and it always makes an impact. The importance of communication is made clear by performing the task and overcoming the obstacle, the individual members begin to learn how to communicate with one another.
Developing individual and group reflection:
During experiential training, debriefing is constant and thorough. After each exercise the facilitator will lead a debriefing in which team members will discuss what just happened. Participants discuss what they did well, what they did poorly, what they could have done differently, how they feel about the outcome, and what they have learned. Debriefing is a tool to help team members understand what they experienced and consequently learned. It is also a time to voice concerns and insights. It teaches people to assess what they are doing so that they can learn from their past activities in order as to be able to constantly improve themselves as individuals and as a team. By understanding the importance of individual and group reflection in an experiential training session, work teams will be able to carry this over into their work environment.