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In Business You Learn What You Experience

If you think about it, it is very logical.

We all learn through experiences.

Think about how children learn through their experiences when they are very young.

Yes, even sometimes you learn what not to do by doing things like touching a hot stove top.

Most human beings will learn from this experience and not put their palm on a stove top after doing it once.

The parents may have told the child 111 times, “Watch out, that is hot!”

This child had parents focused on their safety and as a result had never experienced the feeling of a burn.

This child obviously hadn’t read about hot stove tops, but had heard over and over from their parents not to touch it.

However, one time the mischievous child placed their palm on the burner and experienced what a burn felt like, I would say that is a deeper learning experience than the repetitive words of caution from the parents.

This is a rather extreme example of the difference between reading, listening and experiential learning.

If you take a minute and think about it, these same issues are playing out in businesses all over the world every minute of the day.

What I mean by that is we all want to create a safe work environment, we all want to increase productivity, and we all want more customers who buy more and bring others.

We all universally want a competent and committed workforce.

So, what we do all over the world is have our workforce read policies and procedures about what we want them to do, and in many cases what we want them not to do.

In addition, what we do in companies all over the world is have our workforce listen to seminars, trainers and managers about what they should and/or should not be doing to increase productivity and profits.

Organizations all over the world also use visual controls and things such as Power Points and graphics to reinforce what we want our workforce to do and in many cases not do, to increase safety, productivity, service and profits.

However, the best organizations with the most competent and passionate workforce are those who have figured out a very simple equation!

That universal truth is humans learn 10% of what we read, 20% of what we hear, 30% of what we see and 80% of what we experience.

The question is, how do you create experiences for your workforce so that they can create personalized, authentic and friendly interactions for your customers?

More importantly, if you are a leader, manager or organizational development professional who is developing human capital, stop and think about the ways you are developing learning inside of your organization.

Is your learning and development centered more around reading, hearing and seeing?

Or, are your creating learning experiences?

If the vast majority of your learning and development is not centered around experiences then you are at a huge competitive disadvantage.

If you are a leader or any member of an organization responsible for developing human capital, then I encourage you to print out the graphic below and tape it to your computer screen.

P.S. Better yet, think about your best learning experience and go out and create those types of learning experiences for your team.

Click here to view the graphic below:

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