The Freakout Zone!

A clear articulation of value is an important element of any training class. If a learner is going to invest their time in your course, forgoing the 1,000 other things they could be doing, they deserve to be told exactly what’s in it for them. And it better be good…

A simple but effective diagram we once saw a client draw to describe the high-level value of our business acumen course is what we at PriSim now call “The Freakout Zone”. We use the technique during almost all of our classes.

Here’s how we play it out:

1. During the introduction on the first day of the class, we draw 3 nested circles on a flip chart representing learners’ Comfort Zone, Learning Zone, and Freakout Zone.

2. We start by drawing the Comfort Zone, the area of existing business knowledge in which the learners mainly operate, feel most comfortable in, and in which they consider themselves “fluent”.
Comfort Zone

3. Then we explain that during the class we will take them out of their Comfort Zone and into the Learning Zone where they will build on their existing skills and develop their business knowledge and expertise.
Learning Zone

4. Finally we let them know that they’ll probably also get pushed out into the Freakout Zone, but that they should bring that Freakout moment back into the Learning Zone.
Freakout Zone

5. We refer to the flip chart occasionally throughout the class.

6. At the very end of the class, we refer back to the flip chart once again and draw several arrows extending out from the Comfort Zone. We draw a new, larger circle – and tell them that they’ve just expanded their Comfort Zone by going through the class! (Drawing 2 below)

Freakout Zone

If you decide to try it out, let us know what you think and if you’ve made any improvements!