“One very important aspect of motivation is the willingness to stop and to look at things that no one else has bothered to look at. This simple process of focusing on things that are normally taken for granted is a powerful source of creativity…”
What are you looking at in relation to your training programs? What are you looking to improve? What elements are you innovating? Are you looking at all? Are you innovating at all?
It is too easy to keep doing what you have always done. It is too easy to over look the “little things”, after all how much difference can it make. It can make a huge difference.
If you are always looking for small ways to improve yourself and improve your programs you can take you, your programs and your officers to a whole new level.
Have you looked at your PowerPoint presentations lately? Are they the standard bullet point slides filled with tons of information? If so read the book Presentation Zen and change your PowerPoint. Use more good quality images that help make your point and use less text. Many slides will only need a few words of text, if any at all. This will force you to be a better instructor as you must know your material inside and out and you can no longer use powerpoint as a TelePrompter. It will also make a for a better learning experience for your officers.
Step back and look at the sequence of your material. This can include the sequence of slides in a powerpoint (I have enhanced the effectiveness of a presentation simply by improving the sequencing of the slides), or perhaps rearranging the syllabus. Now, I know some people will argue saying you cannot change the syllabus because POST or some other body regulates it. Do they regulate the sequence of material or the content of the program? In many cases what is regulated are the Learning Objectives and core material that must be taught. This leaves a lot of flexibility as to how the material is being delivered. Sometimes changing where in the syllabus material is being taught can dramatically enhance the learning.
For example, if you use a Use of Force Model teaching it after most of the physical skills training is often more effective than teaching it before. If you teach the model first the recruits have no frame of reference as so they will memorize definitions but it does not have much meaning. If you teach behaviors and options throughout your control tactics programs then explain near the end of training how behaviors and options fits into the model it makes more sense and the information is stickier.
I encourage you to stop and look at things that no one else has bothered to look at and focus on things that are normally taken for granted. When you take the time and effort to do this the benefits to you and your officers can be huge.
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.winningmindtraining.com and click on the Training Schedule Link.
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