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Our Professional Development Menu

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We constantly develop new leadership classes for PSL.

To bring us in or to get more information, contact us today at jim@psleaders.com

We offer single-day as well as multiple-day, comprehensive programs as well.

 Tell us what you want to achieve.  We do the rest.

The Courses

Communication

  • Leading with Dialogue: The Essential Communications Skills  

The people with the greatest ability to lead and influence people are those with the best skill at conducting effectively those conversations humans like to avoid.  When we have to correct another’s behavior, point out shortcomings to a superior or counsel another on personal problems, our human instinct is to avoid doing so.  Too often, unskilled attempts at these critical conversations end badly.  Learn how to succeed using dialogue.

Adaptive Leadership

  • Adaptive Leadership Tools

Leaders create the moral and emotional environment in the workplace. These two variables have critical influence on an organization’s effectiveness. In public safety we tend to discount emotion. But we do so at our peril. Recent neuroscience research shows that emotion is the most important factor in decision-making; in this case whether subordinates choose to follow the moral and strategic direction of he leader.

The module presents a new, four-piece suite of adaptive leadership tools: engineering, symbolic, interpersonal, enforcement.

“A growing body of research suggests that the way to influence—and to lead—is to begin with warmth. Warmth is the conduit of influence: It facilitates trust and the communication and absorption of ideas. Even a few small nonverbal signals—a nod, a smile, an open gesture—can show people that you’re pleased to be in their company and attentive to their concerns. Prioritizing warmth helps you connect immediately with those around you, demonstrating that you hear them, understand them, and can be trusted by them.”

“Research by Jack Zenger and Joseph Folkman drives this point home: In a study of 51,836 leaders, only 27 of them were rated in the bottom quartile in terms of likability and in the top quartile in terms of overall leadership effectiveness—in other words, the chances that a manager who is strongly disliked will be considered a good leader are only about one in 2,000.”  – Amy J.C. Cuddy and others from the Harvard Business Review

To bring us in or to get more information, contact us today at jim@psleaders.com

Decision-Making

  • Managing Cognitive Bias: The Essential Skill for Improving Managerial Decision-Making

Law enforcement personnel at every rank make consequential decisions with incomplete information.  This fact is a defining characteristic of the service, 24/7/365.  Learn about cognitive bias and how to manage it in order to improve decision-making.

  • Tactical Decision-Making

Learn to use  The OODA Loop:   a four-point decision loop that supports quick, effective and proactive decision-making. The four stages are:

Observe – collect current information from as many sources as practically possible.

Orient – analyze this information, and use it to update your current reality.

Decide – determine a course of action.

Act – follow through on your decision.

You continue to cycle through the OODA Loop by observing the results of your actions, seeing whether you’ve achieved the results you intended, reviewing and revising your initial decision, and moving to your next action.

Emotional Health and Well-Being

  • Surviving Inside and Out

 Every law enforcement professional experiences the physical, emotional and psychological effects of stress. Officers at all ranks must operate in a physical state known as hypervigilance in order to be safe and effective in their work.  Hypervigilance is a physiological response to risk in the work environment.

Poorly managed hypervigilance has become a strategic issue affecting the dynamics in every police and corrections department in the in US.  As additional stresses add to physical, emotional and psychological challenges of the job we see more officers hurt by burn-out and cynicism.  Today, even in a nation awash in handguns, officers are more likely to die by their own hands than by homicide.

This module teaches officers how to manage the effects of hypervigilance to sustain high performance and personal satisfaction over the course of a career.  

The Dynamics of Followership

This is an overlooked aspect of leadership.  Understanding the dynamics of why and how people follow will make you a better leader and a better follower.

“Followers are dynamic, responding to and changing in regard to the conditions and circumstances around them.  How they choose to respond and how we choose to utilize those responses have a major impact on our ability to lead effectively.”-Chief Mike Wynn, Pittsfield, MA PD

Group Dynamics

  • What Leaders Need to Know and Do

Norms are unspoken agreements about how people behave in a group. Norms define the boundaries of acceptable and unacceptable behavior for group members.

  • Teaching and Coaching

Observations from two leaders, the late UCLA basketball legend John Wooden and Harvard ethics Prof.  Joseph Badaracco summarize the critical importance of teaching and coaching skills for first-line, managerial and executive leadership.

“In my field of work the leader is called ‘a coach.’ To excel as a coach and leader you must be a good teacher; to excel as a teacher, leader and coach, you must remain a student who keeps learning.” — Wooden

“Managers are the ethics teachers of their organizations. This is true whether they’re saints or sinners, whether they intend to teach ethics or not. It simply comes with the territory.   Actions send signals, and omissions send signals – almost everything does…” — Badaracco

This module covers how adults learn and the key teaching and coaching techniques that will enable any boss to become a John Wooden.

Procedural Justice

Policing is controversial by its nature.  Officers frequently make “right v. right” decisions; personnel exercise discretion and engage in balancing tests all the time.  They balance individual rights versus group rights, they must choose a course of action from among more than one right way to go.  As Tracey Meares wrote,

“The use of procedures regarded as fair by all parties facilitates the maintenance of positive relations among group members…while it may not be obvious how a particular case should come out, it is almost always clear how parties should proceed and be treated in that particular case…people appear to care very deeply about the way they are treated by authorities quite apart from the outcomes of particular encounters.”

Procedural justice is a systematic way of doing the right thing the right way and getting the right result.   It’s a general term referring to the way police officers exercise their authority.  The system’s parts are the law and the state and federal constitutions; an officers’ experiences; and the officers’ core values.

This module is a complement to the modules on decision-making.  It helps officers appreciate the social context of their roles and to manage cognitive biases that can affect judgment.

Protecting others and themselves,  providing public safety and pursuing justice brim over with moral challenges because police authority is built on the moral foundation of the Constitution. This module affords personnel the opportunity to reflect on their own experiences and practices to date and think where and how they would like to do better what they already strive to do.

Understanding Your Personality Preferences: Taking The MBTI Personality  Type Indicator

The MBTI instrument provides people with an important new body of information about how they operate in the world.  It provides them insight into how they learn, how they make decisions and how they sustain their inner drive.  It’s a valuable part of any leadership course.

Leading Effective Meetings

Most police personnel hate most meetings.  They typically feel like a waste of time.  This module offers a simple technique  to use in staff meetings, roll call trainings, community meetings and any setting where two or more people are trying to make a decision.

BCND stands for

Brainstorm

Clarify

Narrow

Decide

The use of these four steps is a proven way to create buy-in, get good ideas from others, promote professional development and enhance accountability for decisions.

How to Create and Use “Dashboards”

We measure hat matters to us.  What we measure matters more.  From our children’s report cards, to the bathroom scale to the gas gauge we use dashboards all the time.  This module teaches personnel how to create and use a dashboard to keep track of how they are doing on their goals as effective practitioners.

An investment in the values and talents of leaders at every rank.