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How do you kick off a learning event? There are many methodologies. The one I prefer is to remind people that in dealing with adults, you really can’t teach anyone anything. However, you certainly can create an environment in which people are motivated to explore and learn on their own steam. In this context, “ReGaShEn” is an expression I coined to use at the start of learning events. It is made up of the first two letters of 4 words- which to me are the essence of a learning event.

Here are the 4 words – Reflect, Gain, Share & Enjoy and why I believe they are so important:

  1. Reflect: The first step towards learning is self-awareness. You can’t become aware unless you make the time and effort to reflect on your current capabilities, future requirements and the critical for success factors of your current job. Reflection allows you to explore your current way of working and identify areas where you need to smarten up and develop new skills. Ultimately, you are solely responsible for your development plan and this cannot be formulated unless you- reflect.
  2. Gain: The beauty about learning events is the enormous amount of experience under one roof. You have participants from a wide range of backgrounds each of whom bring to the table unique experiences and perspectives. If you are willing to learn from others, this can be a great take away. So go ahead and gain as much as you can.
  3. Share: Just as you gain from listening to others and interacting with them, you can enhance the quality of the event by sharing your experiences. You can share your successes and failures so that others gain valuable insight. You can’t act on their developmental actions- this is something they can only do for themselves- but you can encourage them to be agents of change- to seek professional advancement through higher levels of competence. Thomas Lodge summed it up so well by saying” Men, in teaching others, learn themselves.”
  4. Enjoy : Learning can- and should be- fun. Without a sense of enjoyment, it becomes a drudgery. The use of humor makes examples and events more memorable. A high degree of participation makes people enjoy the event more than they perhaprs imagined they would. Learning is serious business but it can take place in an enjoyable way in a conducive, non-threatening atmosphere.

So the next time you plan a learning event, do keep “ReGaShEn” in mind. Get your participants to Reflect, Gain, Share & Enjoy.

I would be interested to know how this worked for you.

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This is Post No: 317 of the “A Step A Day” series : To provide perspective and provoke thought to facilitate self-development across a wide spectrum of issues- big and small- crucial for executive success.