Three fundamentals of adult learning

One can surmise adults are busier, more stressed, and saturated with more information than ever before.

So, when tasked with creating adult learning initiatives, here are 3 fundamental concepts to keep in mind:

1. Make it matter to them – if you want people to change their behavior, they have to understand what’s in it for them. Make the learning relevant, specific, and directly applicable.

2. Build time for self-learning and self-reflection – Adults don’t like to be told to change their behavior – it is a threat to their status (and one of David Rock’s social triggers). If you want people to change, build interactive learning experiences that lead adults to discover for themselves that change is important, and how they can achieve it personally.

3. I do, we do, you do – If adults have to teach others, they are more likely to do it themselves. Create active (not passive) learning environments and help the learning stick by giving participants responsibility for communicating the learnings to others. Provide adult learners with opportunities to be in charge of their own learnings to build accountability, self-reflection and the new insights and connections that follow.

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