According to Todd Kashdan, a psychology professor at George Mason University, anxiety and curiosity are two opposing systems. In order for learning facilitators to enhance the curiosity of their learners, we need to find ways to decrease the anxiety and fear that can be present. One strategy I created is called Fear Flipper.
I begin by modeling how I flipped a fear that I had when I moved to Florida. As an avid open water swimmer, I was anxious about swimming in Florida lakes that were sure to have alligators lurking nearby. I was concerned that I would be attacked, eaten, maimed…you get the picture.
To flip this fear, I generated a list of questions that related to my fears. This first step immediately gave me a feeling that I was taking control, rather than letting the anxiety control me. I then systematically gathered answers to my questions. When I had gathered the data, I found that I was comfortable enough to jump in the lake. I’ve been swimming with the gators now for four years.
After sharing my process, I ask my session participants to create their own Fear Flipper list of questions related to our topic. This example was generated during a session for a call center sales team whose data showed lower than average closure rates. Team members had also anonymously reported hesitance about asking for the sale.
After generating questions, the team divided responsibility for gathering answers, then shared information for a robust discussion. As they decreased their anxiety, curiosity about how to improve performance increased.
Fear Flipper is a simple strategy you can integrate into a wide range of training topics. What fear do you want to flip?
A shout out to Julie, the reader who left this Amazon review of my book, Caffeinated Training Design. Glad to hear you found it valuable!
For even more ideas...
Anne Beninghof is passionate about teaching and learning.
var switchTo5x=true; >