Readers, as I was browsing the interwebs doing research and keeping myself up to date on the latest trends and needs in the business world, I stumbled across an interesting article. The article first piqued my interest because it talked about business simulations and how to get participants engaged in the simulation and actively learning.
This is a great topic. If your organization is going to spend money on training, it should be the right kind of training that you will actively participate in, right? You don’t want to waste your time and your organization doesn’t want to waste their resources. But the big problem of this article was, how do you keep participants from being distracted? In this business environment people rarely step away from their computers or cell phone, if ever. There’s too much to do, people to talk to, emails to write, business deals to propose, etc. How do we make learner’s pay attention?
Well, not to be rude, but maybe make your simulation interesting and engaging? The goal is never to force participants to pay attention, the goal is to make the material so accessible, engaging and NECESARY to their role that they WANT to actively learn and participate. There doesn’t have to be threats of penalizing participants during gameplay or awkwardly staring at them until they are embarrassed and angered. Present the material as what they NEED, and they will listen.
If someone is having a hard time staying focused, don’t call them out, and don’t make their simulation difficult. Perhaps they think the training is unnecessary. It’s your job to convince them otherwise. SHOW them why it’s imperative to their business. Earn their attention, don’t just expect it.
We all understand how busy and hectic work can be. And sometimes it’s difficult to stop and take time for anything other than your daily routine or the work you know is sitting in your inbox. We’ve all been there, both teachers and learners. But if the training is engaging and gets me actively involved and learning the things I KNOW I need to learn, it will have my full attention.
Think of it this way, your participants have taken the first step. They are in the right kind of training. You’ve got them in the classroom experiencing a business simulation that will get discussions going and build their financial acumen. Make the next move. Engage them.