How to Gallop Ahead

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Unique ways of learning can give workers superior skills

Unleashed-Unlimited director Andrew Dawson believes skills learned through experiences are likely to stay with workers far longer than tips gleaned through taking a course or listening to an oral presentation.

“Typically, in a keynote presentation … (the learning benefits) can be fleeting - (attendees) feel good at the time (about applying what they have heard) but it doesn’t last,” Dawson says. “To benefit, you need to participate and practise the skills yourself, rather than just hear about them.”

Dawson says through activities involving helicopters, abseiling and kayaking, workers in his programs are challenged to move outside their comfort zone and learn skills that can be immediately transferred to the workplace. “If we were looking at (how to) communicate effectively as leaders, we might use a paintball activity and give people a mission where they need to go into buildings and retrieve a certain object, for example,” he says. “The actual mission is kind of incidental. It’s the communication skills, the leadership skills and the co-ordinating of teams that they need to do to carry (the mission out) that are important.”