Take Small Steps, Towards, Lifelong Learning In 2013

“The most powerful drive in the ascent of man is his pleasure in his own skill. He loves to do what he does well and, having done it well, he loves to do it better. You see it in his science. You see it in the magnificence with which he carves and builds, the loving care, the gaiety, the effrontery. The monuments are supposed to commemorate kings and religions, heroes, dogmas, but in the end the man they commemorate is the builder.” ~Jacob Bronowski

Professional trainers/developers will tell you they are sometimes a teacher, but always a student. This is a very important attribute we cops must make an effort to continuously “build” and improve upon. There is a constant ebb and flow of conflict in our world and we need to be able to cope with the diverse conditions and adapt sound tactical options towards them in a way that makes sense. What we must develop is a way to respond to these diverse situations without taking a dogmatic closed-minded approach. Our responses need to be executed with strategic and tactical mindsets versus the all too prevalent emotional responses basked in a false sense of urgency or the, this is the only way we do it mentality.

The key to mastering our craft is learning. Learning is something I consider to be a lifelong building process of continuous improvement. If we are to succeed in continuous improvement and become, better than good, we must, take an interest in our own learning and in how, what we learn applies to, what we do. This does not come from a sole training class or even a full academy. It does come from making every effort to better ourselves throughout our lives. Continue reading

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In Mastering Tactics Shouldn’t We Be Blending Policy and Procedures with People and Ideas?

“In complex settings in which we have to take the context into account, we can’t codify all the work in a set of procedures. No matter how comprehensive the procedures, people probably will run into something unexpected and will have to use their judgment.” ~Gary Klein

Much of this post comes from an outstanding book, Streetlights and Shadows: Searching for the Keys to Adaptive Decision Making, written by Gary Klein. Klein is a leading researcher on recognized primed decision making and experiential learning that has culminated in two other books, “Sources of Power” and “Intuition at Work,” as well, as, countless research papers. The information in this topic of decision making and how to create and nurture it, is beneficial to every cop in their quest to mastering tactics and tactical decision making and are a must read for every cop wanting to be more effective and safe on the street. My purpose is to get cops thinking about this Critical question: In mastering tactics shouldn’t we be blending policy and procedure with people and ideas?

It should be understandable that teaching people, procedures helps them perform tasks more skillfully doesn’t always apply. Procedures are most useful in well-ordered situations when they can substitute for skill, not augment it. In complex situations, in the shadows of the unknown, uncertain and unpredictable and complex world of law enforcement conflict, procedures are less likely to substitute for expertise and may even stifle its development. Continue reading