Adult diapers are called ‘Depends’. The answer to many questions about use of force and training is, “Adult Diapers – Depends”.
Very often use of force questions start with, “Is it reasonable for an officer to……” The answer is almost always “Adult Diapers – Depends”. The reason “Depends” is usually the most desirable answer is that there is little or no detail in the question. To answer the question regarding whether it was reasonable for that officer to do what he or she did in that moment in time depends on a number of factors including understanding the totality of the circumstances and an understanding of why it made sense to that officer to do what he or she did in that moment. This takes time to uncover all these elements and requires that the officer be given the ability to give his or her account of what happened.
If the use of force question is simply a hypothetical one, it still lacks sufficient content and detail to even have a worthwhile conversation about whether the actions could be construed as reasonable and lawful. The key at that point is to ask questions of the individual, or the class, to help uncover key pieces of information and then continue to ask questions to help guide them to a self-discovery of the answer.
In relation to training, the question people often ask is, “What is the best method, philosophy, or pedagogical model to deliver effective training?” The answer is, “Adult Diapers – Depends.” It depends on who you are teaching and where are they in their learning journey. It depends on what you are teaching and how much time you have to teach it.
This week’s interview in The Excellence in Training Academy (#445 in the member’s area) is with Dave Collins PhD. As an academic, Dave has over 450 peer review publications and 90 books/chapters. As a practitioner, he has worked with over 90 World or Olympic medallists plus professional teams and performers. Dave has coached to national level in three sports, is a 5th Dan in Karate, and a former Royal Marine. In the interview we discussed Professional Judgement and Decision Making (PJDM) in coaching. PJDM is often referred to as “It depends coaching”. While some use “It depends coaching” as a derogatory term and suggest you need to pick a model or theoretical framework, I think it is an important and completely appropriate concept for trainers to embrace.
Determining what might be the most effective method depends on a number of factors including, but not limited to:
- The experience and skill level of the learner(s). Are you teaching recruits on Week 1 of a 24 week academy, or on Week 24? Are you teaching new tactical officers on Day 1 of their SWAT training, or teaching highly experienced, full time tactical operators.
- The complexity of what you are teaching.
- How much exposure you have to the learners. Is this a 10-minute shift brief training, a one-day training session or do you have access to train them 3 times a week for months or years?
- The fatigue level of the learners for that training session.
- Where this training session fits into the larger training curriculum.
- The experience, skill, and knowledge level of the trainer.
- The purpose, or goal of the training session.
- The number of participants in the class you are teaching.
As with use of force, trainers need to understand the totality of the circumstances, the overall objective of the training session, and the needs of the learner. What I have learned over the last 34 years as a trainer is that there is no one way, one system, one style, one philosophy or one model for training. The key is to seek to understand the principles and concepts that underlie the theories and practices and the develop the professional judgement and decision-making skills to understand what might be most effective in that training session depending on a wide range of factors.
After 34 years of teaching, participating in countless courses as a student, engaging in thousands of hours reading and listening, and conducting 450 interviews for The Excellence in Training Academy and over 80 for the ILEETA learning Lab, I am still working to figure this out, and I am good with that. I think of this as a journey, a series of experiments, an infinite game, not a destination to arrive at and stop doing the work.
So, next time one of those questions come up, think about adult diapers, answer with “Depends” and then ask a bunch of good questions.
Winning Mind Training – Providing practical training to law enforcement professionals in the areas of instructor development, Performance Enhancement Imagery, leadership and mindset.