I have been reading marketing blogs talking about customer experience. It makes me think about the experience that our customers have as they make their way through our certification trainings. What is it like for the people who really love what we do? What is it like for the others?
I'll deal with the others in another post - there are reasons for people to benefit hugely and not particularly enjoy the experience, and for people to enjoy hugely and benefit. This is about the people who are the best possible fit for what we do.
First, the training is different from what they have ever experienced in a classroom and strangely familiar all at once. That's because we push hard for people to pay attention to what and how they are thinking (that push is not always obvious; it's always there). So our training is like meeting someone for the first time and realizing that after a half-hour you feel like old friends.
And. . . people who take our training get very, very curious. There are other heightened states (or so I have heard) where some of your senses become more acute and your curiosity about what you are perceiving grows and grows. We produce this effect without any chemical intervention. People in our trainings simply start becoming disproportionately aware of their sensory perception, so that they thoroughly enjoy sensory stimulation. Food tastes better; rest is deeper; light appeals in new ways.
Then, there is a sense of urgency that starts to develop. Like the state that makes people especially effective in emergencies, this sense of urgency is combined with a sense of clarity and calm. It's not a matter of getting too excited about what needs to happen next; it is a matter of being fully mindful of taking actions that will lead to the right result. It is a matter of feeling that you are moving towards your purpose, whether or not you have consciously or adequately defined that purpose.
And throughout, there is laughter. Spontaneous, joyous laughter. Laughter that means that connecting with other people feels good. Laughter that means, "I can do that." Laughter that means the world is worth exploring with creativity and confusion and caring. There's really a lot of laughter.
So that is who we serve best: people who love to laugh, who love to be curious and to explore, people who love to create and connect. Those people come to our trainings as if they were five years old and we were the theme park with the best rides in the world. And they come because they know that even as they play our games and pay attention to new things, they are working on old problems and developing mental muscle that they will apply out there - in their real lives. They can laugh a lot because they know that they have lots of real work to do - and that they will enjoy getting it done.