Choose Accelerated Learning

Starting-Blocks21 400x265Accelerated Learning and how we’ve applied it.

If you’re reading this because you’re a HR or L&D professional – you’ve probably heard the term “accelerated learning.”  It’s one that is not new but I think is rarely fully understood.

This week I have had the privilege of really letting loose with it and seeing that the outcome was outstanding.

So in case you’ve not come across Accelerated Learning, let me do the intro bit.  At its core, this is about delivering practical behavioural change and performance improvements through better learning practices.

It is not good enough to find a training course interesting or reflect on some models and tools you have remembered.  Effective learning means we are changing the way we do things and seeing better results.

To accelerate this, we need to engage mind and body.  When have you ever gone on a training course or event and thought, “ooh I really look forward to sitting on my backside and listening to someone drone on for hours….”


Totem Lollipops

Getting up, feeling energised, getting involved in debate, moving around – these things contribute to our learning.  I won’t bore you with the science here to back this up but there’s tonnes of it – just google Accelerated Learning.

So this week, rather than inject the odd little bit of this into a workshop – I went full steam ahead with a complete buffet of AL tools and techniques.  We had fun, we opened our minds, we learned new things and man did we walk away fired up.

I can’t wait to take what I learned from other delegates in the room and the experiences we shared into next week’s management development workshops.   It’s going to be an Accelerated Learning November!

What has been your experience?  What are your favourite activities and tools?

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How The Giver Gains

hand-holding-400x265Positive Psychology and how the giver gains.

Traditionally we have been brought up to believe that if we work hard, we achieve more and then we might get the things we want and be happy.  But research over the past 12 years into the life habits and thinking of people who are successful, happy and fulfilled in all aspects of their lives reveals that we have this the wrong way round.

This research shows very clearly that the happiest people – or those that live fulfilled lives and have achieved consistently – they worked on being happy first.  It is only when we take time to be grateful for what we already have, appreciate the strengths we have and look for the good around us that we start to spot opportunities.  We start to be more pro-active and find that better things come our way.

We go into crisis situations (because life still happens!) with a calm knowledge that no matter how bad it gets, we will survive and we will be ok.

You may not be surprised, after all there have been motivational speakers and Far East philosophies producing the same recommendations for decades and centuries.  The difference is, some people actually do something with that knowledge and understanding.

What can I get?  Or what can I give?

Givers’ Gain has become the motto for many small business groups because they find that people in business who are helpful and bring new customers to me – tend to in return gain even more.  By giving, they end up gaining.  This is again not a new way of thinking.  Far East philosophies, karma – these messages have been around for a long time.

Perhaps what’s new is that we now understand a bit better why this works.  For a start, giving feels good – so we actually gain at the time of giving, not just when someone does something nice for us in return.  The same part of the brain that lights up when we receive a treasured gift is activated when we do things for other people.  So that’s a great start – it feels good to give.

Then add on top of that how good the other person feels when they return the favour – or give something to us.  This is why it is great to start with giving – we feel good, other people feel good and ultimately we’re likely to gain in the long run too.

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improve-hero1 400x265Noticing the traffic without getting stuck in it!

Mindfulness and meditation are becoming more common in our conversations and buzz words for developing effective relationships in work.  I’ve loved the concepts for some time and could see loads of benefits but I wasn’t actually doing it.

To be honest, I didn’t know how.  That was until I found a handy app – Headspace – which provides guided meditation.  All of a sudden I started to realise the benefits and found myself much more mindful in my interactions.

How has it helped me – well the YouTube clip above is probably the best way to explain it!  Up until I started Headspace and training my mind, I was allowing my emotions to drive me.  That can be quite powerful sometimes but when you don’t have control over when the emotions take charge, it can sometimes mean others get a bit of a shock by your reaction.

Having just completed the Headspace trial I was recently in a meeting and I think my colleagues had a bit of a shock by my calm reaction!  Something was said that would usually ignite a strident debate but instead I just noticed the emotion.  Noticing it and not letting it drive me meant that I could ask more questions and really get to the bottom of the matter without a heated debate.

Give it a go yourself.  I wouldn’t recommend it without a completely free trial option… to help you experience it for yourself before you make any commitment.  How it works is in the clip below.

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