I have trained individuals for many years. I have observed and studied the way people learn. You cannot train a person who is an auditory person with only handouts to read, you must talk to them and connect with them verbally to get them interested in learning what you have to offer.
I also observe the structure that people need when they learn. Some people needs lots of structure, step by step instructions and they need to know I am available to help them anytime they need me for questions and help. Others like me to give them an overview of what we are to learn and where we want to be when we are done learning, and then they take off doing it on their own with minimal help from me.
I know that if you take a person out of their comfort zone not only will the end result be disrupted but you will put the person in a tizzy of fear of the unknown.
I was listening to NPR this weekend and I heard an autistic woman being interviewed. (Following is taken from what I remember, not verbatim). She talked about how autistic people think like animals, in pictures. She can visualize a situation all the way through to the end result, seeing it like a video with a successful ending. Like animals, if you put an object in her environment like a loud buzzing noise or an object out of place, it sets off a fear and inhibits learning or life for that matter. It puts her out of her comfort zone. One example is a school bell to break for classes. Once this is understood and modifications are made, she excels in learning. When asked “if you could be changed to not be autistic, would you do it?” she said “no, seeing the world in pictures is too wonderful, many people who only verbalize their thoughts, don’t think thru to the end result and speak in unfinished statements”.
My own comfort zone is disrupted when I don’t know where my next dollar is coming from; some say “faith” helps them know that things will be alright in situations like that. That may be but being a Taurus, I need evidence. My comfort zone is disrupted when papers get stacked too high and the filing is not done, when I take appointments and don’t get them on my calendar, when I don’t understand the new technological tools I need to use to make my life better. When I have company for too long or go somewhere that I don’t feel I “fit in”. But when I have a couple days set aside to clean my house, organize my office, do my bank reconciliations, review my accounts receivable to assure myself that things are moving forward and I have money coming in, I feel good. I need time to cook or bake once in awhile, workout, spend time outside, be with my family; those that accept me for who I am. When those things happen consistently I feel comfortable and am happy with my life.