We have often heard the expression ‘walk a mile in my shoes’ when someone wants to relay how a certain experience has affected them. Usually, the experience was unpleasant, challenging, or just very difficult and we want to have someone else understand how we felt. Why? Sometimes, when we experience a difficult situation we want to talk about it just to complain, but we also talk about our negative experiences because we don’t want to go through that experience the same way, again. Having a negative experience, especially one that causes us discomfort, is certainly a key factor in changing our behaviour in order to avoid repeating the same experience in the future. One hopes that what we learn for ourselves, we might help others with as well.
Listening to someone’s negative experience is very different from living through the actual experience itself. A very effective training design technique which implements experiential learning, is being used at the Michener Institute for Applied Health Sciences. An “aging simulation suit’ is being used to train future healthcare practitioners. The suit is designed in such a way that it literally allows someone to walk in the shoes of an aging person and to learn, through personal experience, what it physically feels like to be a patient or a client in a healthcare setting.
- Besides healthcare, what types of industries would benefit from having this type of sensory aging & mobility training provided to their employees?
- Have you changed something in your own work style because of how you felt someone treated you? What did you change and why did you make that change?
- From a customer service perspective, what other types of training tools could be used to relay the experience of aging?
- Why is this type of experiential training effective?