We are taught that learning comes from the act of being taught. We are trained to learn to sit in a chair that is in a row of chairs, writing down what the teacher tells us.
Be dyslexic; I was not good at that. Were you?
We don’t only learn facts; we learn a way of thinking. Part of that thinking method infers some authorities tell us what to do. For technical skills, this form of teaching works. Developing soft skills, it may not be the best method.
A top-down approach where we lead with our minds is great for solving a math problem; it may not be the best way to establish connection. Analyzing variables to create a solution for when you are attempting connection with your partner rarely fosters connection. I know, I tried.
Traditionally, we learned through experience starting by watching others, often as emotional voyeurs studying how the adults interact. We also learned through the stories the adults told. These vicarious experiences laid down unconscious patterns in our minds. In ancient times we were told stories about the gods. Today we watch movies about superheroes.
The most powerful way we learn is through the live experience. We take all we were taught directly and indirectly, then go out and have our own experience. Through trial and error – and if you are lucky, feedback from others, you improve.
As you begin to embody this new behavior and way of being, you develop new mental models that integrate all you knew with your new learning. You create a new model that works better.
EVRYMAN is a bottom-up, experiential learning process. We give you a few key principles, such as slowing down to relax. We tell you to try them out. If they work for you, use them. You join a training or a group with other men learning from experience. Together you teach each other what you probably didn’t see or were taught as a kid.
How is it possible you can teach each other when we aren’t there ‘teaching you?’
It is possible because, instinctually, you know what you are doing. It comes out when you get to practice in an emotionally safe space with other men. It’s not the teaching that has you learn. It’s your instincts and collective experience that is your teacher.
As your body and mind learn this way of learning, it will generalize to other areas of your life. Men report how the see the world differently. They also interact much more from their guts rather than their heads.
When does your mind take you out of experiencing? What or who triggers it?
When you don’t know what to do, do you check in with your feelings as well as your brain?
Allow yourself to screw up as you develop a new skill set of experiencing beyond your mind. Allow your somatic and emotional experience (feelings) to be felt and expressed. By taking a risk to be authentic you are proving to others it’s safe for them to do the same. You are being an emotional leader.