Adventure-Based Learning: Experience, Reflect, Learn

Gaurav Mann
19 July 2022
5 min read
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Adventure Based Learning is one of the most popular intervention for the corporate world, leveraging experiential learning, typically in an unknown outdoor environment, to develop the skill, connect and talent of their workforce.

The focus of such an intervention is on skills ranging from leadership and collaboration to communication; it’s essential to keep the element of creativity at the core as well, to keep the teams motivated and so they learn to take creative freedom with limited resources at the workplace.

Studies suggest that people learn by experiencing over reading or listening. Adventure-based intervention, when facilitated effectively, extends and expands the learning environment.

As the participants are nudged out of their normal working environment into an unfamiliar setting to overcome certain challenges by splitting into various groups, they are able to take initiative, ownership and build something new with limited resources.

Based on the business needs, the entire intervention is designed in such a way that there are hidden possibilities, the way they often are on projects. Teams will need to find that solution by trusting themselves as well as each other, taking everyone along and being open to feedback – there’s much to learn from such trainings beyond coming up with a prototype or solution.

The facilitator empowers groups to achieve a desired outcome. Participants must think through the solution individually and together as a team, too. When employees find themselves in such a situation to accomplish a challenge, they have to welcome new ideas and come to a unanimous decision or approach. As the team successfully passes one level, they are ready for their next move with more confidence and focus on bypassing the obstacles innovatively.

With each planned intervention, the team members shed their own preconceived notions and only see the strength of the team as a whole. Each challenge would push them to look for an alternative approach and sometimes there may be too many approaches to test whether they are able to identify the most-suitable one.

Trust, flexibility, eye for detail and collaboration are the outcomes of such an adventure intervention, with high engagement of every participant.

Elements at the core of adventure-based learning:

  • Confidence in oneself
  • Collaborative approach
  • Trust within the team
  • Dealing with limitations and obstacles
  • Healthy competition
  • Receptiveness to learning
  • Flexibility
  • EQ versus IQ
  • Realistic goal-setting
  • Time management

When taken an account of, individual observations enable the managers to assign projects and decide on the ideal work scenarios for their team. A lot of employees see experiential learning as a break from work, bringing their strengths to the surface, which the team or maybe even they may not have been aware of otherwise in a work setting.

Also, a hierarchy-agnostic setting is ideal for assessing interpersonal relationships of the group and for tapping into the developmental nature of individuals in a natural environment that encourages healthy competition.

Such interventions create a platform for the key stakeholders to gauge the team dynamics better by observing the manager–team relationship and can help identify high-potential employees.

The most important aspect of working in a team is communication and trust.

That’s what is emphasised on by the facilitators during outbound intervention; once the teams are able to achieve that or at least once they start making efforts and seeing the positive outcome, they are able to take back this learning to the workplace, hence resulting in collaboration and enhancing productivity at individual-, team- and organisation-level.

So let’s join hands to build 3-c teams, which are collaborative, high on coordination and cohesive in nature.

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