"Any knowledge that doesn't lead to new questions quickly dies out: it fails to maintain the temperature required for sustaining life." Wisława Szymborska, recipient of the 1996 Nobel Prize in Literature It is easy to fall into the trap of acquiring knowledge for the sake of acquiring knowledge, believing that knowledge is power. As Wisława Szymborska points out in the above quote, however, “Any knowledge that doesn't lead to new questions quickly dies out.” I am a huge advocate of Embracing the Power of Questions, and this is something we explore in the Dare to Be Great … [Read more...]
If you don’t go, you won’t know what you don’t know.
“If you don’t go, you won’t know what you don’t know.” This is a phrase that popped into my head during an ILEETA Live event hosted by three great trainers and leaders Brian Hill, Todd Fletcher and Joe Willis with special guest host Graham Tinius, who is also a great trainer and leader. We were discussing why trainers should attend the annual ILEETA Conference in St. Louis. This conference should be on the list of “must attend” events for every law enforcement trainer at least once. Being part of the ILEETA community since the organization was founded 20 years ago and attending every … [Read more...]
Think pre-hire to post retire.
When it comes to training, we need to embrace the Infinite Game Mindset and think about training from pre-hire to post retire. This post will focus on the pre-hire component. I have talked with several frustrated trainers from agencies that rely on Regional Academies to train their new recruits. Their frustration comes from the way the academies are run and the fact that they have no options other than to send the recruits to those academies. Their concerns are ones I have written about on numerous occasions. The academies are run on the ‘boot camp, or ‘stress academy’ models with some of … [Read more...]
Some thoughts for trainers.
Stay curious. Be humble. Strive to help people prepare their mind for where their body may have to go. Learn to listen; really listen. Stay curious. Keep asking, “What’s Important Now?” Embrace the Struggle, Embrace the Suck, Look for the Learning, Look for the Good, Dare to Be Great. Focus on effort and process, not just outcomes. Stay curious Cultivate a Growth Mindset. Learn from every class you teach. Always do what is right, even when it is not popular, easy, or expedient. Stay curious. Worry not who knows of you, seek to … [Read more...]
When you as a trainer are in the student seat.
"We are not what we know, but what we are willing to learn." Mary Catherine Bateson If you are going to be an effective trainer you need to be a continual learner. As a continual learner you will spend time being a student in someone else’s training class. When you are in the student role you need to strive to be an ideal student. What behaviors are consistent with being a good student? Show up with the mindset of an open, active, and engaged learner. Bring a notebook and a pen for taking notes.Take notes. Be on time; at the start of the day, coming back from … [Read more...]
Cool. Does it work in the real world?
I see demonstration videos with law enforcement trainers showing techniques in a controlled setting, on a matted surface, with a compliant partner, while wearing a gi, or workout gear. That is fine, but the question on many people’s minds is, “Does it work in the real world?” Does it work for an officer wearing full duty gear including a pistol, knife, baton, OC, CEW, radio and external body armor with all the gear they carry on patrol including extra rifle mags, trauma kit and anything else they carry? Does it work while they are carrying a slung rifle? Does it work for a detective … [Read more...]
An important message for trainers and leaders on redefining “Toughness”.
Every law enforcement trainer needs to read the book Do Hard Things: Why We Get Resilience Wrong and the Surprising Science of REAL TOUGHNESS by Steve Magness. In fact, this book should be mandatory reading for every law enforcement academy trainer and every person in the chain of command at every law enforcement academy in North America, ideally before they assume those roles. If your reaction when you read the book is, “This is crap. He is suggesting we make our training soft and all touchy-feely.”, or the classic, “He doesn’t understand the realities of our profession.”, then it may be … [Read more...]
Your great work is on the other side of your early work.
I am a fan of James Clear’s book Atomic Habits and his weekly 3-2-1 Thursday Newsletter. The below is an excerpt from his August 11, 2022, newsletter. "In the beginning, your skills are raw, your knowledge is sparse, and you lack experience. At best, you will be able to produce work that is "just okay." And even then, you'll only manage to reach "just okay" by giving your best effort. Nobody wants to produce something that is "just okay." You'll feel like it's beneath your standards. You'll worry about what others think of you. You'll wonder whether you would be better off taking a … [Read more...]
A profession of humans.
Law enforcement is a profession of humans, who interact with other humans, both within their organizations and out on the street. Humans are imperfect. Humans memory is flawed. Humans are subject to biases. Humans are impacted by stress and trauma. All humans are impacted by sleep deprivation. Humans are affected by internal and external physiological, psychological and environmental factors. What is the point of all this? Too often in training we forget about the human and the factors that impact humans. We make it about the latest tool, gadget, or piece of equipment. We seem to be … [Read more...]
Not waiting for the answer is just telling.
Most trainers have likely heard about the importance of asking questions during training to engage the attendees and shift them from attendees to participants. If you are going to ask a question however, you need to wait and allow people the opportunity to answer. Their answer will likely open the door to additional questions to explore their thought process or to bring other people into the discussion. I have seen a couple of video clips recently of experienced and extremely knowledgeable instructors who were asking rapid fire questions to the class without waiting for anyone to answer. … [Read more...]
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