One of my favorite training blogs is Garr Reynold’s Presentation Zen. Reynolds is the author of the book Presentation Zen, which has been on my recommended reading list since I first read it a few years ago. In a recent post on Education and the 21st Century Presentation Reynolds referenced Sir Ken Robinson, an advocate for educational reforms. I am a fan of Robinson’s ideas on how the educational systems in our countries can be improved and believe a lot of his ideas apply to law enforcement training.
Sir Ken Robinson speaks of good schools and good teaching as being those that provide the right conditions for students to reach their potential. He calls this more of an organic approach that stresses not an industrial metaphor of mechanization, compliance, and standardization, but rather the creation of the optimal conditions for learning. Robinson says a more modern metaphor would be one of a teacher as gardener or farmer. A farmer depends on plants growing healthy and strong, and yet gardeners do not make plants grow, of course, they provide the conditions for growth to occur. “Great farmers know what the conditions of growth are and bad ones don’t,” says Robinson. “Great teachers know what the conditions of growth are and bad ones don’t.”
As a trainer you cannot make your officers learn. You can however, create the best learning environment possible for them. This is an environment where you value their life experiences and education, have high standards and where you encourage and challenge them. You encourage them to think, challenge them to grow, encourage them to ask questions and guide them to self discovery of the the answers, challenge them make decisions and solve problems, and then encourage them to articulate the decisions they made. You also challenge them to examine past beliefs and to push through some of their perceived limitations. When they accept the challenge you celebrate their successes. This is an environment where you treat them with respect, and seek their input and ideas.
As discussed in a previous post this is an environment where they are the hero and you are the mentor.
So, what about you. Are you trying to make your officers grow by making them learn, or are you providing the best conditions for growth?
Right now I am at the 10th Anniversary ILEETA Conference. The most fertile of environments for growth as student, a life long learner and a trainer. If you are interested in being the best ‘gardner and farmer’ of learning, the annual ILEETA Conference is the place to be. If you are here, please come and say hello during the week. If you are not here, please start planning so you can attend the 2014 conference.
Thought Leader, Speaker, Trainer, Author
President of Winning Mind Training – Leading the fight against mediocrity through Life’s Most Powerful Question – What’s Important Now?
To book Brian to speak at your event contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Make sure you go to www.winningmindtraining.com and check out the dates and locations for upcoming seminars and courses such as Heroes, Warriors and The Pursuit of Excellence, Verbal Trauma Control, Performance Enhancement Imagery and Excellence in Training.