5 reasons for brain-friendly work in workshops and training courses

Anyone who knows BusinessMind training courses and workshops knows that we like it colorfulcolorful cards, a little movement here, a lot of laughter there. Whether virtual or on-site, we have team tasks, group speakers, we breathe deeply and stretch, and sometimes do a headstand or swim in a fishbowl.

Does reading that first paragraph make the hairs on the back of your neck stand up? Or are you thinking “Tell me more!!!”?

Either way, it’s worth reading on! Because today we are going to present 5 reasons for brain-friendly work in workshops and training courses.

We don’t do all the above just for the fun of it (although we certainly HAVE a lot of fun doing it! 🙂 ), but because it actually makes sense.

Still sceptical? Take 5 minutes to read the following article. We promise you will see things differently afterwards.

First of all, some of the reasons given are more related to learning processes (training courses) and others to discussion and design processes (workshops). If this is the case, we have noted it accordingly.

Reason number 1: Learning is a physiological process.

What does this mean in concrete terms?

Learning (training!) requires the formation of new synapses. The formation of new synapses, in turn, requires above all time and conditions conducive to growth. This includes sufficient sleep, exercise, and adequate activation.

That’s why it’s so important to break up input sessions with movement and relaxation exercises every now and then. Especially during virtual events, during which we often remain in the same position in front of the screen for hours.

Eine asiatische Frau vor einem Laptop. Sie trägt einen gelben Pullover. Sie streckt ihre Arme nach oben und lächelt. Im Hintergrund ein Regal und eine Pflanze.

Encourage your participants to move a little every now and then. This doesn’t have to be a yoga exercise in front of the screen, it is enough if they stretch a little, or simply look away from the screen, or take a few deep breaths.

It’s also better to spend more time on ONE topic with different approaches than on too many different topics. As long as new neuronal connections are not yet consolidated, they are susceptible to interference – so too many learning experiences sometimes cancel each other out and should therefore be avoided.

Reason number 2: The brain is a social organ

Learning processes (training) are more effective when they are integrated into social processes. You also benefit from a good team culture in workshops – it is the basis for productive work.

Therefore, ALWAYS take the time to get to know each other and to build a basis of trust between you and your participants and among them. Even if your participants already know each other: take time for a few minutes of warm-up. Let your participants arrive and strengthen the group feeling.

Suitable methods for this are, for example, socio-metrics/constellation or the “joint poster”. In small groups, commonalities are written in the middle of a flipchart, which your participants discover among themselves. Individual concerns, expectations, hobbies, etc. are written down in individual fields around the “community circle”. You can vary this exercise – like most others – depending on your goal: do you only want your participants to get to know each other better, or do you also want to find out about their expectations, expertise, areas of responsibility, etc.

Also include regular group work during your event, during which your participants work together. Depending on the size of the group and the objectives, methods such as the World Café or the Fishbowl for larger groups, the Disney Creativity Method, Brainwalking, to name just a few, can be used.

Fünf Menschen sitzen an einem Tisch und stapeln ihre Hände übereinander in der Mitte des Tisches. Sie lächeln. Im Hintergrund ein Flipchart und ein leerer Stuhl. Notizblöcke, Stifte und eine Pflanze am Tisch.

Reason number 3: Use of existing neuronal patterns

New knowledge and experiences are linked to existing ones.

Therefore, dare to appreciate the competence of your participants and benefit from it! In training courses, this can mean, for example, temporarily letting a participant take on the role of trainer. This requires some sovereignty and courage, but usually pays off.

However, make sure that you add to the inputs of your co-trainers as needed, adapt them or make suggestions for improvement where necessary. They will thank you for the learning experience they gain through this “learning by doing” for a long time!

Reason number 4: Emotions are important for pattern formation

Linking what is learned (in training sessions) and developed (in workshops) with emotions contributes massively to long-term anchoring in the brain or to increasing commitment. Emotional states of excitement promote the release of neuromodulators, which in turn promote neuroplasticity and thus long-term retention.

For your event, this means creating experiential spaces where your participants can get in touch with their emotions. Examples would be walks to develop a vision, guided meditations or fantasy journeys, creative activities, handicrafts, building something, etc.

And last but not least..

Reason number 5: The search for meaning is innate in us

We all prefer to do tasks when we know WHY we are supposed to do them.

The more meaning a task makes for my real life and the more it relates to my needs, the more motivated I usually am.

However, in our events we too often talk about WHAT we do and HOW we do it, but we often forget about the WHY.

For your event this means: already in the order clarification phase, but at the latest at the beginning of the event, clarify: where do we want to go at all, what are the short-term goals (and: non-goals!), what are the long-term strategies?

If you have the time during your event to work on expectation management with your participants, the Dreams & Nightmares method is suitable for this.

And – are you now convinced that it makes sense to learn a little about how our brain works when preparing an event? We hope we could convince you to follow a few basic principles!

And if you want to know more, you can find 6 more reasons in some of our older blog articles!

Neurodidactics – Part 2

Neurodidactics – Part 3

Do you have questions about brain-friendly work? Or would you like to share your experiences with us? Feel free to leave us a comment!

All the best,
Your BusinessMind Team