“A man who works with his hands is a laborer; a man who works with his hands and his brain is a craftsman; but a man who works with his hands and his brain and his heart is an artist.”
Take a moment to reflect on your training programs. Are you training your officers to be:
- A Laborer
- A Craftsman
- An Artist
At the very least you need to be training your officers to be craftsman. Unfortunately however, too many programs are only training law enforcement professionals to be laborers. These programs focus on just the physical skills and tactics. Skills and tactics are critical, but officers also need to be able to think. They need to be able to problem solve. They need to be able to articulate the reasonableness of their actions. As Bill Westfall says law enforcement professionals need to be a, “Reader, Writer, Thinker, fighter”. It is not enough just to train officers to be fighters (laborers) they need to at least be craftsman.
Which of the three categories do you fall into?
A laborer trainer is one who goes through the motions. Who teaches what they have always taught, the way they have always taught it. A laborer trainer is in the position for selfish reasons. They are a trainer so they can work straight day shift or to pad their resume. Or worse, they are in the position because they see it as a power position and they want the power over their students. Laborer trainers do not invest in themselves by taking additional courses and reading to improve their skills and knowledge or seek to find new ways to enhance training.
A craftsman trainer is someone who is continually enhancing their physical skills as well as their knowledge. They see training as a career and they spend time preparing for the classes they will teach. Craftsmen seek to improve the lesson plans and the way in which training is delivered. At the very least you need to be a craftsman.
The artist trainer sees training as a calling. They are passionate about becoming the best trainer they can be for their officers. They are passionate about creating the best learning environment possible for their officers. They study, train, prepare, critique, revise, and continually seek to improve themselves as well as their programs. They embrace the philosophy that you have not taught, until they (the students) have learned. Artists understand that every officer is an individual and learns differently. As a result the artist is continually changing up their training to help every officer learn the material. Artists seek to master their platform skills, their use of audio visuals and develop the ability to weave relevant stories into training in a way that helps make training sticky. Artist trainers think of training as a privilege and are excited to have the opportunity to train others. Artists learn as much from their students as their students learn from them.
Strive to be an artist.
Excellence in Training is a philosophy. It is also a one day seminar and a four day professional development course designed specifically for law enforcement trainers. For a list of dates and locations for upcoming Excellence in Training Courses go to www.brianw260.sg-host.com and click on the Training Schedule Link.
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