Be it from selling scuba diving on a beach in the Philippines as a 22-year-old-baby-face to pitching ideas at an entrepreneurship community, relating past experiences, be it mine or someone else’s, to my current context has helped me to see other perspectives. This has helped me to understand more and see a bigger picture. And ultimately, I’ve been able to make better decisions.
But, how do you, in practice, connect these experiences to your current context? Do you just have that apple drop on your head and puff you’ve had the insight?
You are right. There’s better ways. For one, mentoring, for another, serious games. There’s a reason for this. Mentoring and serious games allow us to connect the dots because they are both mindfully engaging.
This means that we embrace a learning mindset where mistakes and successes are opportunities – experiences – to learn from. Being mindfully engaged means to be pondering ifs and whys; about if this would have been the case, then what would have happened, and why it happened. As an example, a mentor presents tough questions that allow reflection. Mentors also share their point of view and insights from their experience. This allows the mentee to reflect on his context from a different perspective, which then improves the mentee’s ability to connect the dots, the experiences together. Similarly, our serious games bring forth dozens of difficult questions and reflection and insights from all the experiences of the players. This discussion and collaboration allows the players to connect those dots and makes reflection exponential.
Life teaches, goes an old proverb, however what life really does is give us something to learn from: experience. And, when you share an experience, the listeners gain new perspectives. By reason, sharing and gaining perspectives allows us to reflect on how other people see the world. Just like I’ve reflected on my experiences and gained new insights, when a question is presented during a serious game the players share their experiences and elaborate how they perceive the matter and build on top of each other. This way, the players create an exponential amount of new perspectives. And this is where the value lies. During a serious game, you create new knowledge by sharing perspectives. For this reason, serious games bring acquiring new perspectives and reflection to a new level. And ultimately, improves the player’s decision making.