You have to be willing to make mistakes.
We only learn when we are willing to experiment and make mistakes. It is quite a big step for many participants to enter the learning zone. Especially when we ask them to do a role-play in a group and be vulnerable.
Search for the mistake.
You only need to turn on the TV to experience that we are always looking for the mistake in order to hold someone accountable for it. This often leads to people feeling like they are not allowed to fail. They stay within the lines and avoid challenges that would be beneficial for them.
Living in the performance zone is not always easy.
In our society, we attach high importance to many situations, at work or during social activities because we are so focused on performance. This creates risks for each other that weigh heavier than they often should.
It starts at a young age.
Achieving results is seen as so important that you no longer dare to make mistakes. This creates a helpless reaction or stress in many people, including students. They no longer dare to make mistakes because they are afraid of what the other person might think.
It is deeply embedded in our society.
We greatly value good answers at home and school. Mistakes are often unwelcome and usually rejected (“Wow, great job, you made no mistakes”). Of course, the performance zone is important. If we have to set a certain performance, it is important to do our best and avoid making mistakes as much as possible.
Only performing does not lead to transforming
Often missing is the time to reflect on the process we have gone through in the performance zone. What can we learn from what we have done? Can we adjust our approach and experiment with a different approach? Making mistakes without it having far-reaching consequences. Taking new paths and practicing them.
Welcome to the learning zone!
Our big blind spot as trainers of interpersonal skills was discovered when we took the time to reflect ourselves. The classic roleplay in a group does not invite participants to step into the learning zone. Participants who have no trouble playing a roleplay stay in the performance zone and try to make as few mistakes as possible during the roleplay and get the best result in their eyes.
The other participants are very worried when it is their turn. They ask themselves questions like: “Am I going to be vulnerable in front of my colleagues? How am I going to get through this without looking like a fool?” It’s time to organize the learning zone in companies in a different way.
The concept of the learning room
Wandering through many organizations, you come across different spaces. Office gardens with quiet rooms, concentration rooms, meeting rooms, prayer rooms, creative spaces etc. Time to add a new space to that list: the learning space. Why not make room to give your employees the opportunity to step away from their performance zone and into the learning zone? The space where they can fully experiment and make mistakes. The concept of the learningroom gives employees the opportunity to work on their own knowledge and skills at a time that is important for them. In a space that is specially designed for this purpose, where employees can meet colleagues, learn together, and reflect together.
A inspiring space designed to encourage learning. It is visually apparent that employees leave the performance zone and enter the learning zone. Choose a book to read, watch videos for inspiration, go through an e-learning or pick up a VR headset and practice a roleplay. Share experiences with each other in conversations or through the Wall of Growth, a place to share mistakes that have contributed to the development of employees. On the Wall of Inspiration, employees can share ideas with their colleagues.
Dare to let go as an organization. Employees want to learn if it is important to them and they will make time for it. Welcome to the learning zone.