“Whatever you do in life, surround yourself with smart people who’ll argue with you.”
Coach John Wooden
It is easy to surround yourself with, and hang out with people who think like you and who agree with you. They help to reinforce your thought processes and we can all convince each other how smart we are. It is good for our collective egos.
The problem however, is this environment will not lead to new ways of thinking, new ideas, or new ways to connect the dots. It will not allow you to grow. It will not force you to be able to articulate why you believe what you do and what evidence or research supports those beliefs. It does not force you to have to consider other ideas, principles, concepts, tactics, strategies, ways of thinking, and new ways of teaching, new ways of engaging participants in training or potential solutions to problems you are facing.
I was extremely fortunate in my last 8 ½ years with the Calgary Police Service as I was surrounded every day with members of the Skills and Procedures Unit; really smart people, who loved to teach, loved to learn and were willing to argue with me and each other. These were not heated arguments filled with accusations and name-calling. They were discussions, dialogues, debates about what we were teaching, why we were teaching it, why we were teaching it the way we were and what we could do to make the training better for the recruits and in-service members we had the privilege to train. We were all very clear on the mission, “To provide high quality, engaging training designed to enhance the competence and confidence of the people we were training in order to allow them to perform at the highest levels in the field.”
If you do not have that environment in your training cadre then you are missing a great opportunity for growth. Make it your mission to change the culture. Make it your mission to get people to continually discuss and debate what you are doing and why you are doing it with the clear goal of making the training better. Not better for the trainers, but better for the participants in your training.
If you need topics to regularly discuss and debate get a Training Unit Membership at The Excellence in Training Academy then listen to, discuss and debate one interview or webinar every week. It will be a great investment in your development and will pay huge dividends in your training. Go to www.excellenceintrainingacademy.com and use the code eitblog to get the first month’s membership free.
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The Excellence in Training Academy – Where trainers come to grow. Join the Community of trainers committed to the pursuit of excellence in and through training. Use the code eitblog to get the first month’s membership (individual or training unit) free.
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