The Team Building Experience
By Larry Lipman
Getting participants to do something will have far more impact than a lecture.
The object of most facilitation is to make something "easier" for a person or more typically, a group, to accomplish something.
This is particularly true with learning facilitators, who are all too often referred to as "teachers." Many teachers have the bad habit of lecturing their audience. They feel that they must appear to know a lot and their egos very often depend on this perception being conveyed to their students. This is not to say that there is never a time for lecture, it's just that lecture is best limited to something like 20% of the time you spend with your audience.
So what's the point? The point is that not everybody is auditory. People will better learn, engage, shift, and change by actually participating in some behavior that engages their multiple senses. Providing your audience with an experience that engages multiple senses is far more powerful than anything a mere lecture can provide.
I was asked to present a 20-minute keynote at a luncheon for 80 members of a brand new local association. Few people knew each other. I was asked to help them get to know each other better and talk about better communication --- in those 20 minutes. I told them I didn’t do miracles.
Now I could have talked about communication processes and bored them to death.
Besides, when people are eating, they are minutes from napping. My work was cut out for me.
I broke them into pairs and asked them to answer one question: What was the most outrageous thing each pair had in common? Partners left for a quiet place and returned 5 minutes later.
When they shared their answers with the room, people were falling off their chairs laughing! I even turned red a few times. They learned more about each other in 5 minutes than they would in a lifetime.