During the first day of an Excellence in Training course last year one of the participants was asking some very good questions in class regarding application of some of the content. Before his second or third question he said, “I don’t want to take up too much of your time.” My response was, “It’s not my time. It is your time. I am here for you, not the other way around.”
His comment struck me as interesting and caused me to reflect and wonder if, as trainers, we have conditioned people to believe that is our time and that it is about us. Have we led them to believe that we are simply there to deliver a specific amount of content in a defined time block and that we don’t like people to interrupt our flow and take up our time with questions? I remembered a time a few years ago where a very well-known trainer started his four-hour presentation by saying, “Don’t interrupt me and ask questions during the presentation.”
Guiding Principle #3 in the Excellence in Training program is ‘It’s Not About You’, or the first-person version ‘It’s Not About Me’. We also address this from a leadership perspective in the Dare to Be Great workshop. It must be about the participants in our training. It must be about creating an environment that is conducive to learning. It must be about seeking to help them understand, learn, and retain the material that is being taught. They must also be able to recall and apply it in the real world they work in. Guiding Principle #2 in the Excellence in Training program is ‘You Have Not Taught Until They Have Learned’.
I understand the realities of the world trainers live in and that you must get through specific content in a limited amount of time. You also have Learning Objectives that you must meet. The key word in the phrase “Learning Objectives” is learning. If actual learning has not taken place, then have you met the objectives? Having attended training, is not the same as being trained in a subject. Too often we hear agencies make the misleading statement, “All our officers have been trained in ___________ (fill in the blank)”. The reality is that people attended the mandatory training that may have been designed and delivered to tick a box and appease the politicians or special interest groups. Since little or no learning likely place, a more accurate statement would be, “All our officers have attended training in ______________.” “Trained In” implies that learning has taken place.
I also understand that sometimes those conversations are best continued during a break, at lunch or after class instead of during the class. It still has to be about the learner and spending the time necessary to make sure you answer his or her questions and ensure he or she understand the material and the application of the material.
Take time to reflect on your training. Is it clear to the learners that it is about them and that you are there to serve them? Are you focused on their learning, understanding, and the ability to recall and apply the material or are you focused on teaching to the test or ticking the box that they have attended the training so that if they screw up on the street it is on them?
Winning Mind Training – Providing practical training to law enforcement professionals in the areas of instructor development, Performance Enhancement Imagery, leadership and mindset.
Dare to Be Great Leadership – Providing practical leadership training.