“Your actions speak so loudly, I cannot hear what you are saying.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson
As a trainer and leader in your organization you need to model the behaviours you wish you see in your people.
When you are a student in someone else’s class, be the best student in the room. Put away your cell phone, pay attention, be engaged in the discussions, be early at the start of the day, be back on time from breaks and lunch, sit near the front and do not have side conversations. Basically, follow all the rules you have for students in your class. Too often trainers have strict rules when they are in the front of the class teaching and for some reason those rules do not apply when they are sitting in the back of the room auditing a class, or are a student in someone else’s class.
As a person in a senior leadership position in your organization attend and participate in training with your people. Too often senior leadership does not attend training, or only attends training with other senior leaders. If you want people to take training seriously, then show them that you take it seriously by training with them.
If you say that fitness is important, be fit. Be in the workout room early every day and model what you preach.
If you want people to embrace the pillars of Procedural Justice:
- Treat people with dignity and respect.
- Give people a voice.
- Neutrality in decision making.
- Create a sense of trustworthiness.
Then make sure this is the culture and how you treat people in your piece of the organization and in your training sessions.
If you want people in your agency to wear body armour then every trainer and every person in a senior leadership position should be wearing body armour every day. If recruits have to wear body armour and full duty belts, then all the academy staff should be doing the same. Think of the message it sends when recruits have to wear body armour and full duty belts (as they should) but none of the staff are wearing armour and if they are armed they are wearing a stripped down duty belt with a pistol, one magazine and maybe their handcuffs.
Ghandi said, “Be the change you want to see in the world.” You need to be the change you want to see in your people, your organization and our profession.
I know all the arguments and excuses. I have used them all. I have been a hypocrite as a trainer during those times when I was fat and did not wear body armour and did not wear a full duty belt. If I could roll back the clock, which I cannot, I would stop making excuses, correct those behaviours and be a positive role model. The best I can do as a recovering hypocrite is share the mistakes I have made, and lessons I have learned in the hopes of helping you be a better trainer, a better leader and a better role model.
You get to choose your role models. You never get to choose who sees you as a role model. Ask yourself, “Are the footprints I am leaving in the sand worth following?”
What’s Important Now? Set the standard. Live the standard. Be the change.
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