“At the heart of science is an essential balance between two seemingly contradictory attitudes — an openness to new ideas, no matter how bizarre or counterintuitive they may be, and the most ruthless sceptical scrutiny of all ideas, old and new. This is how deep truths are winnowed from deep nonsense.”
As a trainer you need to be open to new information, new ideas and new ways of designing and delivering training and engaging learners. At the same time, you need to follow Carl Sagan’s advice and apply “ruthless sceptical scrutiny of all ideas, old and new.” Just because someone posts something on social media, does not it true, accurate or appropriate for your training. Just because a trainer, any trainer (including me), advocates for something in their training, understand that it is their way, a way, not “The Way”. Be sceptical. Ask questions. Challenge ideas professionally. Do you own research.
“You may accumulate a vast amount of knowledge, but it will be of far less value to you than a much smaller amount if you have not thought it over for yourself; because only through ordering what you know by comparing every truth with every other truth can you take complete possession of your knowledge and get it into your power.”
It is critical for you to spend time reflecting on what you are learning. Reading and studying to simply gain more knowledge has some use. However, if you are not taking time to reflect on what you are learning, how it connects to other knowledge you already have and how you can apply or implement that knowledge, it may be of limited use. Knowledge answers the question ‘What?’. Reflection helps you answer the questions ‘So what?’ and ‘Now what?’. Self-reflection is one way to do this. Discussing, debating, and reflecting with fellow trainers is another valuable way to engage in reflection. This is why it is important to seek opportunities to have these peer discussions and is one of the many benefits of attending the ILEETA annual conference or similar events.
“Any fool can know. The point is to understand.”
Go beyond just knowing the ‘What’ and the ‘How’ and seek to understand the “Why?”. Knowing what to teach and how to teach it are a solid place to start, but they should not be the end point of your learning journey. You need to know why you are teaching the content, why you are teaching it in the manner you are, and why you are teaching it in that sequence or order. Understanding the ‘Why?’ is about understanding the principles and concepts of teaching, coaching and learning that underpin the ‘what’ and the ‘how’. This is not about memorizing the formal names of the all the pedagogical models and theories of learning, rather it is about understanding the principles and concepts of effective teaching and learning. Many of those principles cut across multiple theories and models. Understanding the why will allow you to flex, adapt, and innovate based on the needs of the learners.
Be curious. Stay curious. Be open. Be sceptical. Seek understanding.
Winning Mind Training – Providing practical training to law enforcement professionals in the areas of instructor development, Performance Enhancement Imagery, leadership and mindset.