Someone challenged me a while ago to boil the Excellence in Training course I teach down to One Big Idea. After much reflection I decided The One Big Idea was, “To help the men and women we train, prepare their mind for where their body may have to go.” This was built on retired LAPD Sergeant Stacy Lim’s philosophy, “You need to prepare the mind for where the body may go.”
As I continued to read, study, teach, and reflect, and continued thinking about that challenge, I amended The One Big Idea to, “To help the men and women we train to prepare their mind and body for where they may have to go.” For over three decades I have taught that the mind and body are connected, and we need to look at mental preparation as part of total preparation, not some separate entity. It struck me that I needed to reflect that in The One Big Idea.
As a result of listening to several sports psychology podcasts, reading about the evolution of Challenge and Threat States, a recent interview for The Excellence in Training Academy, and continuing my exploration of the importance of culture and its impact on performance, I realized The One Big Idea was missing a critical component covered during the Excellence in Training course – culture / environment. I also began to reflect on what I believe the goal of trainers and training is, which is, “To help the men and women we train become dextrous, adaptive problem solvers.” As a result of all that, my thinking on The One Big Idea has once again evolved. I now articulate The One Big Idea as, “Helping trainers understand the Biopsychosocial elements of performance so they can help the men and women they train become dextrous, adaptive problem solvers.” I know that sounds like a mouthful, so let’s break it down.
I first heard the term Biopsychosocial used by Dan Abrahams, a sport and performance psychologist and host of The Sports Psych Show podcast. Bio refers to the body, Psycho refers to the mind, and Social refers to the environment and culture. All three need to be aligned to allow people to perform at their best and to be mentally, physically, and emotionally healthy and resilient. Once the term was on my radar, I noticed it come up in in several podcast interviews, as in addition to it being referenced in several research papers. It struck me that while I talk a lot about creating a positive training environment, and a culture of leading, learning and excellence in the Excellence in Training and Dare to Be Great workshops, I had neglected to include the social element in The One Big Idea. Owen Eastwood, the author of Belonging: The Ancient Code of Togetherness explained to me that you cannot separate performance from the culture of the organization. He explains that a non-supportive culture of fear and aggression will have a profound negative impact on performance.
For a breakdown of The Goal of Trainers and Training – To help the men and women we train become dextrous, adaptive problem solvers – you can go back and read last week’s blog post: The goal of trainers and training.
As my understanding of teaching, learning, training, and coaching evolves so does the content of the Excellence in Training and the Performance Enhancement Imagery courses, and the Dare to Be Great leadership workshops. It is only appropriate then that The One Big Idea continues to evolve as well.
If you fail to evolve as a trainer, you will become irrelevant, which is sad. If your training fails to evolve you will potentially set the men and women you train up for failure, which is unacceptable.
What is your One Big Idea?
Winning Mind Training – Providing practical training to law enforcement professionals in the areas of instructor development, Performance Enhancement Imagery, leadership and mindset.