Be Sure You’re Reaching Your Audience

Be Sure You’re Reaching Your Audience

Government budgets are taking a hit – correction, a big hit. One of the byproducts of this economic fallout, created in large part by the Covid pandemic, is the reduction of police training budgets. Of course, it seems that training budgets always take a hit when money is taken away from law enforcement agencies. But these latest financial issues seem to be cutting much deeper than we have previously seen.

Police training coordinators across this great country are scrambling to meet departmental and state training requirements. Budgetary restraints coupled with months where training could not be conducted have necessitated that creativity be employed to continue to provide training.

One of the tools that is increasing in use is e-learning – aka computer learning, video training, remote teaching. This allows for training to be conducted when it is convenient for the officer and the agency.

We are all for utilizing technology in training. But in order for training to be effective, there are certain components that must be implemented – whether the training is instructor-led or done remotely. Failure to properly construct the training may allow an agency to check the training “box” but it likely will not produce any change in behavior.

One of the most valuable components of effective training is also one of the most difficult to inject into training that is not instructor-led. Emotion is the ingredient that we are talking about here. That’s right – you must find a way to infuse emotion into all of your training.

In “The Influences of Emotion on Learning and Memory”, the authors wrote that emotion has a “substantial influence” on human learning. But the researchers also found that emotion “has a particularly strong influence on attention.” Pretty strong words on the importance of emotion – we probably should be more intentional about it. We can work emotion into our training – even e-learning – through the use of videos, stories, and group activities. It requires work, but it can be done.

And, if we have learned anything over the past few weeks, it is that people reached on an emotional level are driven to action. And not just your run-of-the-mill type of action, but action that garners global attention – both good and bad.

There is plenty of emotion out there right now. Your folks are exposed to it on a daily basis. Be sure you’re reaching your audience – because if you’re not, someone else likely is

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