Last week during an Excellence in Training Course in Madison, Wisconsin, Bob Veatch (a great trainer from Madison PD) shared a an important definition from one of his professors: “A lecture is the passing of information from the instructor’s notes to the student’s notes, without it passing through the mind of either.”
Take a moment and ponder that definition.
Now, ask yourself if it applies to any of the training you deliver.
Are there any presentations or topics where you simply go through the motions and mindlessly deliver information that the officers in your class mindlessly record so they can get the test question right and move on?
One of our jobs as trainers is to make the abstract concrete. Our overall mission is to help our officers understand what they can do, when they can do it and to have the confidence to do it immediately. Lecture, as defined by Bob’s professor, will not accomplish these missions.
You need to think about how to deliver material in a manner that engages the mind of the students and helps facilitate understanding and learning so they can apply that knowledge in the field. You need to think about what stories could help bring this to life? What activities would engage the learners? How can you make this topic fun and interesting? You need to find a way to put the information into context for them.
You also need to challenge the learners in your class to think. To think about how the information applies to them and think about how they can utilize the information to do their jobs better. You need to engage their subconscious mind by helping them train with imagination and emotion.
Lecture, as defined by Bob’s professor, fills in a time block in the syllabus. We can convince ourselves that we taught them the material because we gave them the information. Remember however, the challenge from John Wooden that is one of the three guiding principles of Excellence in Training, “You have not taught until they have learned.”
Take care and always remember Life’s Most Powerful Question – What’s Important Now?
Winning Mind Training – Inspiring Change through Excellence in Training.
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