Experience based learning

We love a good analogy here at Mischief Makers. The one we often use when talking about becoming a brilliant facilitator, is learning to play the piano. 🎹 You wouldn’t go to a piano bootcamp and come out as Beethoven, you might not even come out being able to play chopsticks. To hone your musical craft you would need to spend hours and hours practicing. Making mistakes, correcting, working up your muscles, developing your style, nailing the technical skills.

There is no substitute for experience. Therefore ones of the most powerful modes of learning is experience based learning as outlined in the learning pyramid (see below).

This theory has been contested, however we still love what it represents and find its highly relatable in application. In order to explain something to someone else you need to have fully formed a concept of it in your mind, you’re therefore forced to make sense of it for yourself - in order to make sense of it for another. 

This process demands turning the concept around in your head, and questions from others allows you to look at it from different angles.

Bonus: This model of course also makes a great case for less sending and more doing. You can use this as a defense and reminder against an one way keynote in favour of an interactive session.

Take a moment to look at your workshops and/or trainings and see where you can let participants experience a certain topic or framework, instead of you sending information to them.

Instead of explaining how group dynamics work, throw your participants in a team-building challenge and see what emerges within the group. Use a reflective tool at the end to see what the participants have noticed within the group related to their group dynamics and interactions. 

  • Let your participants apply their learnings within workshops. Delegate your facilitative power to others by letting them lead a check-in, warm up or energiser. Don’t forget to give them feedback after. 

  • Instead of explaining new tools and features such as Mural or Miro to your group of participants. Introduce a blank board to them and let them explore the features themselves. It may seem chaotic upfront, but it will save you time in the long run and give participants the ability to play.


Collaboration, guide to working better anywhere, information techniques mindset methods dynamics

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