A while back I wrote a post called Learning about learning with tuiles. It was about creating content and delivery methods that are inclusive and welcoming.
Bill Ursel commented on the post – ‘Hail the Tuiles! I am very jealous and recognize the learning that happened . . . magical when it works and student and teacher, and learners together, connect.’
It got me thinking. And thinking some more.
How much of learning and development is magic and how much of it is pure hard work combined with a passionate drive to open doors to learning?
What appears to be magical is in fact the result of years of:
- learning from past workshops
- learning on my feet
- learning from when things went well in a workshop
- learning from when things went sideways
- carefully observing how people learn
- paying attention to what makes people feel included and willing to risk learning
- paying attention to what makes people shut down or be a so-called ‘problem participant’
- learning how the brain works in order to design learning opportunities that are in tune with the brain not against it
- taking chances, shaking things up, trying out new ways of teaching
- watching Rock.Paper.Scissors improvisers at work, learning from their strategic use of humour and applying it to training
- being highly motivated to create the best, most inclusive, interesting, engaging, creative training workshops possible
Is it magic when a participants suddenly makes a connection that opens up a whole new perspective? Is it magic when you’re doing a workshop on conflict and conflict erupts and you carefully, respectfully move the group through it, helping them be aware of what you’re doing and piling up the learning in the meantime? Is it magic when disparate workshop participants engage each other for the first time?
You bet. It’s the ultimate reward as a trainer.
It also looks like magic to the participants. Like pulling a rabbit out of your hat. And. It’s the result of many many years of watching, crafting, experimenting and being brave.
Being brave enough, when you’re in a situation where you know learning could pop but it’s going to take some hard work to get the group there, to take a deep breath, gird your loins and say to your participants did you notice when ….
And then you’re off on another learning adventure. Together. Connected.