Why we teach ‘fire drills’ and really don’t bother with ‘fire talks’
Within the Vistelar Conflict Management program, we practice what we call emotionally safe, performance driven instruction. And people say, “What is that all about?” Well, it has to be emotionally safe so people can learn and feel safe, and it has to be performance driven, meaning that people have to learn how to do something. They have to learn how to perform something, not know something, but rather know how to perform what they know. Now this is … It can get a little confusing, but I think it’s important to understand the difference. A lot of times, people do what we call fire talks. They explain the program, they show examples of it, and people get some cognitive knowledge. But they really don’t get it, because they haven’t performed it, they haven’t done the fire drills that need to go along with the fire talks.
Here’s something very important to remember. If we just do fire talks, if there’s a fire drill, meaning a real fire that we have to respond to, people can die because we’re not ready for it. So we have to learn how to perform. And so very simple, we have to learn how to practice the skills. I was using a training program, and somebody said to me, he said, “You know what? We covered this material, but the people really don’t get it. And they sure don’t translate it out in the street. What’s the problem?” And I’m saying that there are two problems. One is that they don’t practice enough in their basic training, but also they don’t do anything to sustain it. So I’m recommending to you, that whether it be a CPR of doing, whether it be a fire drill in your facility and your building, or whether it’s your verbal skills, you should readily practice them.
And again, not only on duty, but practice them to see if you remember, if you haven’t got complacent, if you haven’t forgotten something, if you’re not performing it right. So if you can do practice on duty, and these are short little drills you do on duty, verbal fire drills, you can actually do a better job. And so we recommend that you practice every so often, take your people through and actually practice doing a universal greeting. Practice dealing with some verbal abuse. So you have to do a deflector. Practice doing a persuasion sequence. But when you do that, you can do a better job. So both in basic training and on the job, if we want to sustain what we want them to do, we need to practice. We need to perform it. We need to sustain it.
Team Dynamis Ltd. is the UK representative for Vistelar Conflict Management Training since 2014.
To learn how your organisation can benefit from this modern, evidence-based approach to learning how to professionally manage conflict, please visit: www.dynamis.training/vistelar to learn more.
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