Throughout my 20 plus years as a trainer I have had the privilege of being able to develop and assist in developing a number of presentations and training programs for law enforcement professionals. For many of these I was tasked with the initial delivery of the material. As the training unit grew I had the privilege of exposing new trainers to these programs, which they began to teach.
It was difficult for me at times to realize that other people could teach material I developed every bit as good as me, and often better than me. There were times where I got caught up in thinking that people had to teach it my way in order for it to be effective. At some point I came to the realization of how wrong I was.
Over the course of my career I have had the honor and privilege of working with some great trainers. They were able to take concepts, programs and presentations I was teaching and take them to a new level. They were able to add their own personalities, their own experiences and their own flare to those presentations to create a powerful learning experience for the participants in those programs. When I learned to let go and let them be themselves (as opposed to trying to make them into a version of me) they truly flourished and the beneficiaries were the programs and the participants.
In my presentation Your Life IS Your Legacy I read a poem by Dennis Waitley called Roots and Wings. It talks about giving our children the roots on which to grow and the wings to set them free. In reflection I realize this is what I needed to to do. I needed to give those young trainers roots to grow on then give them the wings to set them free. The roots were the concepts, principles, history, learning objectives, rationale and philosophies behind the training. The wings to set them free was permission to modify, enhance, influence and present the information in new and better ways. I had to accept that Brian’s way was not necessarily the best way and was certainly not the only way; it was simply Brian’s way. It was this realization that helped make me a better supervisor, better mentor and a better trainer.
As a senior instructor, instructor trainer, master instructor, training supervisor, or training manager the challenge to each and every one of you is to give your fellow trainers Roots and Wings. You might just be surprised at how high they fly.