Have you ever been belittled, embarrassed or demeaned by an instructor during training? When I ask that question to large groups of trainers and officers I am disturbed by the fact the majority of officers in the room respond in the affirmative.
The next question is how eager were you to go back to training the next time? The answer; not very.
There are many goals for training including:
- Developing confidence and competence in new skill and tactics.
- Enhancing current skills and tactics.
- Developing new knowledge
- Discovering ways to apply existing knowledge in new ways.
Turning people off of training is not one of them.
I believe one of the goals of every training session should be to instill a positive attitude towards and a commitment to future training.There is a responsibility for trainers to conduct training in a manner that inspires and motivates people to understand the importance of training and the need to make a commitment to train on their own as well as to be excited about future training opportunities.
This is accomplished in a number of ways including:
- Demonstrating respect for participant’s experiences and knowledge.
- Treating all participants with respect.
- Making training challenging so participants have to push themselves to succeed.
- Rewarding participants when they do succeed.
- Conducting proper debriefings so when participants do not succeed right away they understand why they failed and what they learned.
- Providing the opportunity for participants to then apply these new insights in order to succeed.
- Make training fresh with new drills, exercises and scenarios.
- Having all instructors set their ego aside and embrace the concept they are there for the participants and not for themselves.
It is not accomplished by:
- Intimidating, belittling or demeaning learners.
- Doing the same drills in the same order year after year.
- Setting people up to fail through poorly designed and poorly run scenarios.
- Letting instructors egos get in the way.
- Trying to stress participants out under the guise of ‘stress inoculation training’.
What are you doing in your training sessions to inspire a commitment to training?