A couple weeks ago, I attended an intensive workshop.
Or…shall I say, I attended *part* of it. I left late in the afternoon of the first day.
It was not for “lack of information/content.”
Because this seminar is packed full of content. Good content. Useful content. Potentially life changing content.
A virtual fire hose of content spewed all over us from the stage.
All for the low, low price of FREE.
Only problem is…
This “Fire Hose” routine is not effective for learning
I attend a LOT of events, seminars and workshops.
If I walk away with one good, life changing idea – I figure I’ve gotten my money’s worth.
And the vast majority of the time, I’ve gotten that one good idea by the first break.
Which is exactly what happened at this event.
By about 10:30 in the morning, I had my Bing! moment.
I had just received some information that radically altered my perspective of the world. I wanted to sit with it for a while. I wanted some time to think it through and to talk about it. I found myself trying to hold onto that one revelation while I was being bombarded with more and more.
The new stuff wasn’t sticking.
I was full.
I know that already
They provided part of the answer a bit later in the seminar, when the trainer told us:
The biggest lie you can tell yourself is: “I know that already” when all you’ve done is *heard* it before.
If you’re not actually doing it, you don’t really know it.
And yet, the format they are using contributes to the problem.
This isn’t working
Because 30 seconds after I’ve been shocked and stunned by a new, life-changing idea – they’ve moved on and presented *another* idea. And another. And another. Non-stop for 3 days. From early in the morning until late at night.
No chance to think about it. No chance to talk about it. No chance to integrate it.
And at the end of the 3 days, I leave – exhausted and burned out – and utterly confused as to where to start.
So I do nothing. (Partly because I’m arriving home to the stack of work that piled up while I was away.)
In that moment, I realized two things:
1. That “life changing nugget of information” I was trying so desperately to hold on to wasn’t NEW. I had *heard* it the last time.
2. If I stayed for the whole event, I’d actually walk away with *less learning* than if I left early and really worked with this one concept.
So I decided to leave.
Something is wrong here.
More information = more value?
We all complain about “information overload.”
Yet, we’re told:
More information = more value.
More speakers = more value.
More pages, more words, more minutes of audio = more value.
Is anyone actually “eating the whole thing”?
Faster = better?
We all complain about “not having enough time.”
So we speed things up.
Workshops that should be half or full days are compressed into 45 minutes.
We have “bootcamps” and “intensives” with brutal schedules designed to “maximize” our time.
Is providing more information in increasingly shorter periods of time really the answer?
Why do we attend live events in the first place?
We take time out of our busy schedules.
We physically bring our bodies to a specific location to learn something.
We pay to attend (sometimes a considerable whack of money – especially if we incur travel expenses.)
1. To learn without distraction.
2. To network.
And then we get the Fire Hose.
What if we slowed down a bit?
What if we were given:
- Time to complete worksheets/exercises or journal to apply what we’ve learned to our own situations
- Down time to reflect on what we’ve learned (and give us introverts a break from the non-stop people and noise)
- An opportunity to discuss the new concepts in small groups (where we could get to know each other)
Instead of being deluged with a flood of new information, we could use the time away from our regular schedules to begin the task of integrating the one or two most important concepts. In the company of like-minded others who are also working on the same things.
Which is kind of like *networking* – only more effective.
What do you think?
Do you like the fire hose? Or would you like a little less information and a little more time to digest it??