One of my mantras in ‘make it meaningful‘ is that there’re three things to do. And one of those was kind of a toss away, until a comment in a conversation with a colleague brought it home. So here’s a first take at addressing fear in learning.
The mantra, to be clear, is that you have 3 major hurdles to overcome in getting someone to ‘buy in’ to learning:
- I do need this
- I don’t know it already
- and I trust this experience will address that
I’ve focused mostly on the first, to date. The second is for the case where someone’s overconfident in their own abilities. However, the latter one was a toss-away, until…
My colleague mentioned how in trying to train data analysis, you could be coming up against decades of a belief such as ‘I don’t do well at math’. And I saw how you could have anxiety or a lack of confidence that this learning could address it.
Which makes it clear that you need to know the audience, and anticipate barriers. How can you address such a situation? I think you have to make sure that you make it steady and slow enough, or that it’s misperceived. So here, I could see either suggesting “we’ll take it slow enough and make it simple enough that you’ll find it easy” or “you may think data analytics is about math, but that’s the least part of it, it’s really about asking and answering questions”.
The point being, you need that trust, and that means addressing any barriers. It’s addressable, but you need to be aware. I also wonder if the typical elearning experience might have undermined trust such that there would have to be a series of successes to reestablish the trust that a learning unit should have. However, if we start regularly addressing all three, we have a start. That includes establishing the need, removing false conceptions, and addressing fear in learning. Those are my thoughts, what are yours?