If you’ve been following Will and me for any length of time, you know that we love this idea of “Connection Before Content.”

But what about when you need to “Connect to Content?”

You might have a big meeting, an upcoming retreat, or a workshop that requires people to learn something. Where the purpose is not only to connect to each other, but to also get up to date or gain new knowledge on something important in your organization.

When this is the case, it is time to employ strategies to “Connect to Content.”

Will and I have a background in organizational development and experiential learning. Over the years, we’ve picked up a massive library of experiential group exercises to make learning 10x more engaging, connecting, and memorable.

And as many of you know, the moment your team or organization stops learning or “creating new” is the moment that your organization starts dying.

Tip #1: Use Space to Connect to Content

One of my favorite tips to make content come alive and engage a group is to use space to Connect to Content. Below is a video tutorial on one of the most simple, yet powerful ways I know to connect people deeply with the content you are teaching: use space. In the video, I describe an exercise I led recently during a training at the University of Wisconsin.

As you watch the video, imagine the same idea and principles applied to your content, or your visual model, company roadmap, strategic plan, research findings, quarterly review, etc.

Specifically, I used this exercise to create what I call “Context Before Connection.” As Matt Church often says, context takes up lots of space in our brains. Before any meaningful learning can take place, the context must be set.

Tip #2: Make Content Visual

Language and numbers tend to float around in our short term memory for roughly 13 seconds before leaving our brain altogether. In contract, visual and experiential data tends to get encoded into our long term memory. To make it visual, you can bring a physical object into the room, show a powerful image, invite group members to share a photo from their phone, etc. Additionally there are loads of ways to use We! Engage Cards to make your work gatherings more visual and engaging. You can check out 10+ group exercises and ways to use them for free right here.

This way of doing things certainly disrupts the “same old, same old” routine or status quo. But if you are looking for fresh ideas and more engagement, then “creating new” might be just the right remedy.

This is one out of dozens and dozens of creative methods to engage your teams. If you are interested in learning more of these methods, reply with a comment and let us know!

With gratitude,
Chad Littlefield


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