“I’ve often said that experience alone isn’t a good teacher. But evaluated experience is.”
John C. Maxwell
Evaluated experience is not someone else saying, “You screwed this up and did this wrong. Don’t do it again.”
Evaluated experience is also not you beating yourself up after an event and berating yourself with negative self talk.
The key to evaluated experience is to ask questions.
Evaluated experience is where you, or someone, else asks:
- How do I / you feel about my / your performance?
- What worked well?
- What did I / you learn?
- When I / you find myself / yourself in a similar position in the future how would I / you most like to respond? (answer this question in positive language)
- Can I / you imagine myself / yourself doing that? (If the answer is yes, take time to imagine it. If the answer is no, go back to the previous question and ask why not?)
As a trainer you need to conduct debriefings that are based on the philosophy: Ask More – Tell Less. Guided discovery is a more effective way for all of us to learn.
You also need to teach your officers the importance of them developing the practice of evaluating their own experiences. That starts with modelling effective debriefings and explaining the power of questions.
As a trainer you also need to ensure you are learning from evaluated experience by asking those same questions of yourself after each class or program you teach.
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