Getting the Creativity Flowing: “Outside Your Comfort Zone”

This month I am reaching out to all the trainers out there. Training adult learners can be difficult. As a trainer teaching adults you must overcome, in some cases, years of behavioral habits, good or poor. Adult learners are frequently stuck on the “I’ve been doing it this way for years“ wave  which can hinder your attempts at introducing new concepts and practices.


  • Take students out of their comfort zone and enable them to think outside the box and accept different methods of delivery.


  • Nylon bag big enough to conceal training props

  • White board or flip chart

  • Timing device

  • A few markers

  • Various items to be used as training props (be creative)

  • Deck of cards

  • Flashlight

  • Tire pressure gauge

  • Quarter

  • Other training props as you see fit


  • Place all training props in nylon bag

  • Form small separate groups of 4 to 6 participants

  • Have each group select both a scribe and spokesperson

  • Depending on the number of items, have each group select one or two items from the nylon bag. The person selecting should not be the person selected for scribe or spokesperson

  • Set a timer for 5 minutes

  • Direct the groups to talk amongst themselves and derive three ways each training aide can be used in presenting a topic of their choice and have the scribe write the group’s ideas on the white board or flip chart

  • Start the timer

  • A variation to this would be to assign a topic of discussion to each group and have the students adapt the training aide three ways to the topic of discussion and have the scribe write the group’s ideas on the white board or flip chart


After five minutes have passed, let the groups finish any last minute additions. The spokesperson of each group is to present the ideas their group’s white board or flip chart to the class as a whole. The goal is to facilitate openness to new ideas. The great thing is there are really no wrong answers only “I didn’t think about that” learning opportunities.