7 More Reasons to Consider Using Blindfolds in Your Learning Programmes
1. Slow the Pace –in my experience blindfolded participants tend to slow down, listen more attentively, and allow opportunities for others to speak. If it is important to slow the pace down, reduce people talking over each other, and generally calm down then consider introducing a blindfold activity.
2. Attitude to Change –completing the same activity blindfolded is a very different challenge to that which you can see / have seen. Consider introducing blindfolds to allow people to understand change, and their reactions to it.
3. Bias – we all have many kinds of conscious and unconscious biases. Consider using blindfolds to uncover some of these effects. For example how many times do we form an (inaccurate) visual impression of someone based on a telephone call, or an email message? What extra information do we absorb when watching a video compared to listening to the audio?
4. Increasing Complexity/Reducing Capability– adults need a degree of challenge in order to engage fully with experiential learning activities. Consider whether adding or removing blindfolds would help increase or reduce the challenge to an appropriate level for the group.
5. Emotional Trigger – we know that learning that has a strong emotional aspect will more likely enter long-term memory. Our experience is that ‘the activity with the blindfolds and the plastic shapes’ is long remembered many years later by participants who have used Colourblind®. Consider using blindfolds in order to make a strong emotional memory for some or all of the participants, and trigger better learning.
6. Resilience - we know that learning is difficult (see my colleague Geoffs post on Where are the Antifragile Learners). Using blindfolds can make many tasks more difficult and can be used to develop resilience skills - the ability to stick with difficult tasks and see them through, but also to recognise when an alternative approach may be needed.
7. Developing non-directive coaching skills - One of the main difficulties in learning non-directive coaching skills is the inclination to provide answers and solutions based on prior knowledge and experience. Using a blindfold causes the coach (Person B) to focus on the skill of asking facilitative, coaching questions...Heres how.. Person A is asked to complete a construction task within a tight time constraint... eg. Build a lego structure that exactly matches the one in front of you. You have 5 minutes planning time and just 1 minute to complete the task. To assist your planning, you will be coached by Person B. Person B is asked to support Person A during their 5 minute planning time by asking non-directive coaching questions. To ensure they are not tempted to offer solutions and instead, focus on the technique of non-directive questioning, Person B has no prior knowledge of the task and is required to wear a blindfold.
Do you have more reasons to blindfold your participants? If so please let me know! If you want to buy some blindfolds from us then CLICK HERE ;)