“Wisdom lies in recognizing our own ignorance.” Stuart McMillan We discover our own ignorance through reading books, blogs, and research papers, listening to audio books and podcasts, asking questions, attending conferences, courses and workshops, and getting honest feedback from participants in our training. We discover our own ignorance by following the lead of Yo-Yo Ma who said, “Each day I move toward that which I do not understand. The result is a continuous accidental learning which constantly shapes my life…”. What I have discovered on this journey is that the more I … [Read more...]
Do what, when, with, within.
Do what you can, when you can, with what you have, within your circles and the boxes you must function in. If you have attended my Excellence in Training Course you know that I am not a fan of the philosophy of “Thinking Outside the Box.” I think we live in a box world, especially as trainers. Policy is a box. The laws are a box. Budgets are a box. A syllabus is a box. There are boxes created by governing and regulatory bodies such as state POST Boards. Other boxes are created by command staff and curriculum designers. You are given a set amount of time, to teach a certain amount of … [Read more...]
What are you leaving out of your training?
Are you leaving context and realism out of your training? Are you leaving critical thinking, problem solving and decision making out of your training? Are you leaving officer autonomy in solving problems out of your training? Are you leaving desirable difficulties out of your training? Are you using training handcuffs and leaving out the important skills of double locking handcuffs and then unlocking them when you take them off? Are you leaving interleaving (think interweaving) out of your training? Are you leaving the power of effective questions to guide people to the … [Read more...]
Where are you looking?
Whenever an event occurs that involves a law enforcement officer doing something inappropriate or excessive, or failing to do what they were expected to do, it seems that the default for many in the profession is to look to point the finger of blame, look to condemn, look to put it all on the officer(s) involved and look to be critical of his or her agency. If that is you, then you are looking in the wrong direction. You need to look in the mirror, look at your own agency and look at your own training. You need to look for understanding and learning. It is easy to talk badly … [Read more...]
Are you intentional and deliberate about this?
Law enforcement is one of the most complex and demanding professions in society. Trainers play a critical role in preparing the minds and bodies of the heroic men and women they train to perform at the highest levels while dealing with complex and challenging tasks in dynamic and often chaotic environments. So, what are you doing to continually develop the skills and knowledge of your training cadre so they can accomplish their mission? A 40-hour instructor development course and a 40-hour instructor course in some system of control tactics, firearms, or EVOC should be just a piece of the … [Read more...]
Working through the dissonance; uncomfortable, but necessary.
“Sometimes people hold a core belief that is very strong. When they are presented with evidence that works against that belief, the new evidence cannot be accepted. It would create a feeling that is extremely uncomfortable, called cognitive dissonance. And because it is so important to protect that core belief, they will rationalise, ignore, and even deny anything that doesn’t fit in with the core belief.” Frantz Fanon As a trainer you have likely experienced the cognitive dissonance Frantz Fanon describes above. It usually occurs when you discover new evidence, or evidence that is new … [Read more...]
Do you think of yourself as a coach?
In a presentation I was watching recently by Danny Newcome he defined coaching as “The Ongoing Search for Solutions”. If you think about sports coaches they are continually engaged in the ongoing search for solutions, and the great coaches are engaged in this search with their athletes. They are searching together to discover functional solutions to problems that are continually emerging in the environment in which the athletes must perform. By functional solutions I mean solutions that are practical, purposeful, useful, and relevant related to how it matches a specific context dependent … [Read more...]
Are you reaching up, down and across?
While watching Stuart Armstrong’s presentation from the 2021 Sport Movement Skills conference on the weekend there was a quote he shared from Christina Katz that jumped out at me: "Reach down and pull someone up. Then reach up and ask someone to pull you up. We are all in various stages of being the puller and the pulled. Nobody is at the top. We are all climbing together." The last three lines are important to reflect on and embrace. We are all on a journey. None of us are at the top. We are each in various stages of being the puller and the pulled. If we are going to enhance our … [Read more...]
The third element of evidence based – research informed.
Let me be clear about a few things up front: I am in complete agreement that our training, and our training methodologies need to be evidence based and research informed. I do, however, feel there is a third element that is often missing and that is Practically Applied. There are numerous questions we need to ask, and seek to answer regarding research and I will put them into three buckets: What? So what? Now what? The research findings begin to answer the “What?” questions. The next group of questions are “So What?” questions because data without insight is of limited … [Read more...]
Do you have a culture of learning or blaming?
Recently friend and Mentor Chris Butler recommended I check out The Human Diver blog by Gareth Lock. Reading Lock’s post on The Importance of Psychological Safety in Debriefs led me to click on the link to a document on the DEBrIEF model: How to improve learning after diving. Below are some excerpts from that document that would be very helpful to conducting debriefings in law enforcement, both in training and in the field. “A debrief is a simplified investigation and is an essential tool to understand what didn’t work, why and how to improve. What is … [Read more...]
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