KB 27 Experiential Learning

a human resource newsletter KNOWLEDGEBEANS

issue no 27 | October 2010


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Yateen Gharat

Most of us as a result of our experiences coupled with an interesting interplay of our mind develop prejudices, mindsets and comfort zones around us and take solace in being with them, if possible, eternally. These play a critical role in teamwork where individual excellence is secondary. Since, it is the experience which creates the prejudices, mind sets and comfort zones triggering complexities in human behaviour detrimental to teamwork, it is only a new experience (learning) which can change them. This is precisely what an outbound program ensures where again people subconsciously exhibit their uninhibited behaviour which is consistent with the one demonstrated at their workplaces. The facilitator takes note of this and without naming individuals points these out during the debrief session. This makes the participants aware of the gross and subtle experiences gained during the outbound. While performing the activities in an outbound program the participants as a result of these prejudices and mindsets quickly tend to categorize tasks as trivial, difficult or impossible. However, when the actual experience in the activity is contrary to this, the learning happens. Very few participants openly express the change in their behavioural pattern as a result of the outbound. However, in most cases, a definite change is seen. Thus, the whole purpose of this entire effort through an ‘outbound’ is facilitating an ‘inbound’ change within self. This change is enduring since it is experiential.

THE OUTBOUND EXPERT’S PERSPECTIVE Yateen Gharat is the CEO of Outdoor Adventure Management,

which is dedicated to develop versatile and cohesive work teams to effectively compete in today’s business arena. He has experience of over 12 years in the corporate world and over 3 years in corporate consulting for productivity enhancement, internal training and process improvement. Our writer is also a proficient lecturer of experiential learning, leadership development, outbound training, and entrepreneur nurturing skills in various well known B- schools of Mumbai and Pune.

In my last 9 years experience of being an outbound trainer I have come across many corporate professionals who have found paradigm shift in their employees who underwent outbound training. The main reason according to me is that outbound helps participants develop their management skills as against just training them in new skills.

Outbound training is more action oriented than classroom oriented theory sessions. Hardcore problem solving is observed during the outbound sessions; participants understand the core meaning of leadership, decision making, time management and continuous process improvement and its implications.

HR professionals usually get best of the manpower on board. But to make them work together as a team, systematic team building initiatives are necessary. This is something that can be achieved best through outbound trainings. Today, the organisations in India are slowly realizing this and relevant efforts are made by HR departments to promote experiential trainings.

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