Just when you think there's nowhere to turn, there's another corner.
One good scratch deserves another.
You don't have to be funny to have fun.
Being funny isn't natural. Having fun is. But we often lose the child's spontaneity to have fun. Ask a group of recruits or officers you're training
How many of you can draw a picture?
Chances are you'll get less than 5%, if that many, to raise their hands. Then ask,
How many can sing a song?
Same kind of response.
Walk into a kindergarten class and pose the same questions and every hand will shoot up and wave enthusiastically. Some will even start singing.
What happens to us? We replace our natural, spontaneous drive to have fun with worry about embarrassing ourselves. We grow up and start to take ourselves seriously.
Law enforcement trainers know we are preparing officers to face serious, high stakes incidents. We and our learners need humor even more than most. Because research also shows that humor is a great stress reliever.
But because our learners are adults and our topics are serious, we have to create the humor and fun of learning and then give our learners permission to join in while working hard and learning serious stuff.
Steve Farmer has 20 years experience in law enforcement. He's trained and certified officers to use revolvers, semi-automatics, shotguns, tactical assault rifles, OC, batons, and Tasers. He also trains citizens in carrying concealed. Serious stuff. Yet he encourages people to have fun when practicing the fundamentals.
You will be amazed at how much better you shoot when you're having fun. I even once had a student that told me in her testimonial, "The more fun I had, the better I shot."
Do YOU have fun training?
If you don't have any fun training, chances are your learners aren't. And that means you're both missing out on the learning potential that the research shows humor and fun can create.
Okay, so there's a ton of research establishing the benefits of using humor and fun in training. How do I do that when I'm not funny?
Next month's article will be packed with "how to" tips for harnessing humor to power up your law enforcement training - even if it's a topic like Blood Borne Pathogens. Seriously, that can be a memorable hoot.
If you can have fun, you can learn how to use humor to be an inspiring trainer. Tune in.