In the 31 years I have been involved in training law enforcement professionals I have made a lot of mistakes. Last week I wrote about my greatest regret as a trainer. I also did some smart things as a trainer and this week I wanted to share 5 of the smart things I have done over my training career.
- I become a student of the mind and the mind-body connection.
In the early years of my involvement in delivering training with the Calgary Police Service I took an interest in the mental preparation and conditioning component of a 40 hour in-service Officer Safety course we had developed following the murder of Calgary Police Service officers in back to back years. That began what has become a life long journey to figure out how the mind works and how we can prepare the mind for where the body may have to go through training the mind and the body. I read books, attended a variety of training sessions, studied top performers and began to put what I was learning into practice. Getting deeply involved in understanding the mind and the mind-body connection, especially as it relates to training and performance was one of the smartest things I have done, and continue to do as a trainer.
2. I surrounded myself with great people who were willing to teach and challenge me.
The last 8½ years of my career with the Calgary Police Service I had the pleasure of serving as the Sergeant of the Skills and Procedures Unit. As a unit we were tasked with researching, developing, and delivering training in Subject Control Tactics, Officer Safety, and EVOC for recruits and in-service personnel. We were also responsible for the in-service Incident Command training program. One of the smartest things I did in that role was to surround myself with great people who loved coming to work, loved teaching, loved training, loved learning, were continually striving to improve both themselves and the training we were delivering and were willing to speak up if they thought there was something we could do better. This amazing group of trainers taught me, supported me and continually inspired and challenged me to be better as a leader and to continue to learn and grow as a trainer. They still inspire me today.
3. I got involved in trainer’s organizations to expand my worldview.
Early in my career as a trainer I joined the now defunct trainer’s organization ASLET. I attended a number of conferences, wrote articles for the magazine and was fortunate to be selected to present at a number of conferences. That opened a number of doors for me and allowed me to make connections and friendships with other trainers committed to improving the profession. When ILEETA started up I was asked by Ed Nowicki to be a member of the Advisory Board and have been actively involved in the organization since its inception. Through ILEETA I have met a number of dedicated trainers who have been willing to share their time, knowledge, experience and wisdom with me. The trainers who are part of the ILEETA community continue to inspire me, challenge me, mentor me and make me a better trainer, teacher and coach.
4. I started writing blogs.
Over 16 years ago I began two blogs. One is hosted on my main website www.brianw260.sg-host.com and every Tuesday I upload a training related post, one of which you are reading right now. The second blog started as a weekly W.I.N. Newsletter and is now the W.I.N. Wednesday post, which is uploaded every Wednesday morning at www.lifesmostpowerfulquestion.com. The commitment to post content every week has done two things for me. It causes me to be continually reading, listening and scanning to find content and make connections between what I am learning and the topics I teach. And, it forces me to sit down numerous times every week and write down my thoughts, ideas and insights hopefully in a manner that is of benefit to others. In the fall of 2020 I launched www.daretobegreatleadership.com as a platform for my online workshop Dare to Be Great: Strategies for Creating a Culture of Leadership. I made the decision to also include a weekly leadership blog so now I have the opportunity and commitment to write three blog posts every week. There is tremendous learning and growth in the research, reflection and writing process and that is one of the reasons blogging made this list.
5. I launched The Excellence in Training Academy.
In 2015 I made the decision to launch a membership site for law enforcement trainers called The Excellence in Training Academy. The goal was, and is, to provide professional development content to law enforcement trainers who are committed to continual improvement in their craft. Through the Excellence in Training Academy members get access to new content every week in the form of 60 minute interviews with researchers, authors, change agents, thought leaders, trainers and law enforcement professionals on a wide variety of topics. I also develop webinars on training related topics, which are posted in the Member’s Area of the EIT Academy. Currently there are over 300 hours of content in the Member’s Area that members can access from a smartphone, tablet or computer whenever and wherever it is convenient for them. For every interview I do I put in a number of hours of preparation. That preparation, and the information I have gleaned from doing over 280 interviews had dramatically improved my knowledge and understanding on a wide range of topics that are applicable to the law enforcement profession and helped me to become a better trainer. It has also helped the members of the Excellence in Training Academy community improve their knowledge and understanding and also become better trainers.
We need to acknowledge and learn from our mistakes. We also need to reflect on our successes and the decisions and people who played a critical role in those successes. I am fortunate to be standing on the shoulders of so many people who have helped me, and continue to help me on my journey in the pursuit of excellence in and through training.
Winning Mind Training – Dedicated to the heroic men and women of law enforcement.
Dare to Be Great Leadership – Committed to helping aspiring and frontline leaders on their leadership journey.
The Excellence in Training Academy – Where trainers come to grow. Join the Community of trainers committed to the pursuit of excellence in and through training.