Preparedness is Everything,
Updated: Feb 26, 2020
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“Psychological preparedness can help people to think logically and wisely, which in turn may decrease the risk of severe injury and loss of life. Therefore, individuals and communities need to prepare psychologically for confronting a disaster.” – Health Psychology Open
Preparedness comes in many forms. You can prepare for a test, prepare for a disaster, prepare for a change in the law or in legal requirements, you can prepare for a data breach or a phishing attack. One thing besides the word "prepare" that all of these have in common is training.
Training happens every day. We are always learning something new from someone around us. There is formal and informal training. There is online and in-person training. There is prerecorded training and live online training. Many organizations use training to “check the box” and just to say, “I did it.” The State passes laws every year requiring some new kind of training or education for our staff. Some organizations don’t even have to change their activities because they are already proactive on the subject.
When making a decision on the type of training you should bring to your organization either to be proactive or to meet a state requirement, I know that cost is a huge limiting factor, but one should always consider the best method to present a topic.
David Cleveland from East Texas Council of Governments says that “Live training is always best if you have a great trainer! If you combine the two (live training and a great trainer), it cannot be beaten because the audience is informed, entertained, AND the trainer can reach and respond to the audience's needs. This is not possible in a prerecorded video. My basic point is all the above most often results in more effective training than the alternative. Do not get me wrong. Great training can occur through video. Consider Dave Ramsey and Kathryn Walden of PPL fame as great examples. BUT great trainers can only go so far on video. They are limited by the medium itself.”
I cannot emphasize enough what David said about a great trainer. You may decide that you want to do a training on Active Shooter Response in person but if you have a trainer who is not skilled at the art of public speaking, your staff will walk away without the tools they need to survive and will often feel more fearful and not empowered. There is an amazing example of this in an episode of The Office. Take a look:
You see, the fire response training that Dwight presented may have been effective if there was a funny, engaging, and empowering trainer. Not only that, the training needs to give the audience ownership. It needs to tell them why the training is important for THEM. Not just for the company. Whether the training is on sexual harassment or phishing, the employees need a personal reason to listen, not just that they might lose their job.
Online training can be good as well, as David said, but it has to be the right topic and it is even more important that you have a god presenter on the screen. If it is simply a PowerPoint with bullet points and a voice-over of Jeff reading the slides, your staff will learn NOTHING. But hey, at least you're compliant with the law, right? Maybe, but your staff members just wasted their time, they are now falling asleep, and next thing you know, they have fallen for a phishing attack that will cost the organization thousands if not millions. Good training is worth investing in!
If we have that good training and are prepared, we will be able to take action to protect the company and/or save lives! Here is a classic example of where bad training or no training caused people to get hurt, the Las Vegas apartment complex shooting on January 2nd of 2020:
The perpetrator was 93 years old first of all. It wouldn’t take much to overpower him. When he entered the room and pulled his gun, the first response of the manager of the apartment complex should have been to take the gun from the man or push him to the ground. What if the man had shot the manager’s assistant? That would be on the manager’s conscience. There are some basic classes to learn how to get a gun away from someone with relative ease. Additionally, the assistant, as she left the building, bumped the old man and he stumbled, almost falling to the ground. It wouldn’t have taken much for a slightly stronger shove to knock the guy over, saving the pain that the manager soon experienced and potentially saving lives.
The only reason the manager was shot twice was because of a lack of preparedness and good training. The confrontation could have been diffused quickly and easily with some well-planned action.
We need to train our people, that is a given, but will you find a well-developed online or in-person program that will change thinking? That is the question. According to Kaspersky Lab, 90% of data breached could have been avoided through better education, training, and procedures. They were caused by employee error.
Preparedness. It is everything.
Author: Daniel Seguin - Communications Director | Lead Trainer