Help Learners to Maintain Their Attention – comes from the: Free Guide – ‘Are you frustrated by training that creates short term interest but not long term change?‘.
Scientific research differs with regards to exactly how long we can maintain concentration. We all know that concentrating for too long is difficult because the mind wanders. Sometimes because we have a lot on our minds and often because we just need a break. Alternatively, it can be because we are reflecting & processing what we have just learned. This is the type of reflection that trainers want to see and to help learners to maintain their attention.
We all have experienced that feeling when you are in a long meeting and your mind wonders. The same can happen when you are in a ‘classroom’ being trained. Rather than ‘fight it’, we help our learners use this to their advantage. In our ‘Learning To Learn‘ training course, which is the first part of Sticky Learning ®, we help them use the ‘Distraction tool’.
Albert Einstein sat in a comfortable chair in the evenings before he went to bed, holding a steel ball in his hand. He knew the power of ‘daydreaming’ and had figured out how to replicate it, because he knew that this was where he could find the solution to many of the mathematical problems that he’d encountered during the day. What he didn’t know then, but we know now, is that he was accessing alpha brain waves. Where the right and left side of the brain come together in a daydream-like state. By holding the steel ball and not letting it drop to the floor, he kept himself from falling asleep and maintaining the daydream state.
Staying 100% engaged all day long is just not possible for anyone.
We help learners to maintain their attention and to accept that they will go into a daydream at some points through the day. To harness the power of this state they are taught to use the ‘Distraction tool’. A page headed-up ‘Distractions’ and kept on the desk in front of them. When a learner experiences a daydream moment, they let it happen, embrace it, write it down and then return to be present again with the other learners.
The Distraction Tool transparently deals with this challenge, by providing Learners with a solution that almost encourages them to take a moment to daydream.
To avoid ‘distracted learning’ and to help learners to maintain their attention. Ask the Learners, at the start of the learning event, to take a sheet of paper and title it ‘Distractions List’. Ask them to make a note of what they are thinking about, as their mind wanders throughout the day. This will help them to regain focus much quicker, get back to the training event and not forget what they were thinking.