How often have you attended a conference or a course and while you are there you get excited about the endless possibilities for improving your training. You have ideas on new drills and exercises, ways to improve your PowerPoint presentations, and methods for getting participants more involved in their own learning.
Then, you get back to your agency and ‘reality strikes’. Your peers don’t share your excitement. Someone tells you that you cannot change things without modifying the lessons plans and course training standards. Someone else tells you that you need approval from POST or executive approval before you can change anything in the program. You have a number of competing demands for your time and find yourself with new projects with tight timelines for completion.
Your enthusiasm soon wanes and you slid back into your old habits using the same tired PowerPoint’s, doing the same drills and teaching exactly the same way. Months later you ask yourself what happened? The next year you go back to the same conference again ‘to recharge your batteries’ and the cycle continues.
How do you avoid this trap? How do you break the cycle?
- Start small. Start with small things you can do easily and quickly. Nothing builds enthusiasm like success.
- Start with the low hanging fruit. Identify the thinks you can change right away without a fight or without having to fight your way through a lot of bureaucracy.
- Set long-term goals for improvement. Trying to change everything overnight can cause pushback and can become frustrating and overwhelming. Look to make small improvements each week and build both momentum and support.
- Do your research. People will tell you all the reasons you cannot change things (ie: you need POST approval, or executive approval). Find out if that is the case. You can usually change the delivery of the material and not deviate from the course training standards in any way. It may require tweaking the lessons plans and that is good.
- Build in accountability. Keep in touch with people from the conference who will serve as your accountability partners.
- Be the change. Be the change you wish to see in your agencies programs. Model the new behavior to other trainers rather than preach to them about what they should be doing differently.
Thought Leader, Catalyst for Change, Speaker, Author and a Man With Many Questions
Winning Mind Training – Leading the fight against mediocrity through Life’s Most Powerful Question – What’s Important Now?
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