This is going to sound worse than it’s meant to, but when I started thinking about this post, I wanted to think of an example of something that I couldn’t do…and I couldn’t think of anything.
I’m just not a person who says “I can’t do that.” But I know people who are. A colleague, for instance, who says he can’t iron…and when pressed (pun not intentional, but I can’t help but leave it here), admits that he’s just never even really tried. There’s something to be said here for the difference between ‘can’t’ and ‘don’t want to’.
Aristotle told us, “For the things we have to learn before we can do them, we learn by doing them.” I totally agree. My statement above does not say I do everything well, and I don’t, but I can’t think of anything I can’t actually do…because I’ll always try and figure it out. Even if my attempts are pathetic, the practice of doing makes me somewhat able.
And, the ‘getting it down’ is always tied to the doing. It’s almost like I need more than my brain to figure it out. Or that my hands activate a part of my brain necessary to get it and remember it going forward. It’s like riding a bike because not only our minds, but our whole selves can recall the experience and the how.
Doing causes muscle memory.
When we listen to information or watch a new skill done by someone else, we only get it kind of. It’s not until we put our minds, bodies and hands through the paces, that the knowing settles in.
What does this mean for a corporate meeting or conference?
It means that if the meeting-goers are there to learn a new skill, internalize new information or change a current behavior or way of thinking, they need to get their hands ‘in it’.
Let them build, play, brainstorm, create, move. Give them a brain and body memory to refer to after their short time with you. So that when they’re back at their desks, and an opportunity arises for them to put the meeting content into action, they don’t say, “I can’t do that, I don’t know how.” Instead, they instinctively move forward, with confidence and muscle memory of both the brain and of the willingness…to do.