We are all familiar with this frequently posed question,
“How often do you practice a fire drill, and how many fires have you dealt with in your service”?
“How often do you practice behavior response drills, and how many occasions of challenging behavior have you dealt with in your service”?
The answer to the above is utilized in the Mandt System training to facilitate a discussion about the need for training knowledge to be supported by an implementation process that seeks to ensure transfer from the classroom to the workplace and then to be sustained over time. While all agree to the wisdom of this, very few practice it. The purpose of this blog is to share some ideas for making this practice process a reality.
Eight Steps Toward Successful Practices
1. Start Small – An over ambitious plan may not be the best place to start. Creating a 5 minute practice session following a weekly team meeting may be a better option. Once the habit has been established it may be possible to enact more ambitious ideas.
2. Include All – Creating positive healthy relationships should be part of the character of the whole organization. Where users of the Mandt System have experienced most sustained benefit, it is where they have employed a whole organization approach. Leadership as well as front line staff find a way to be part of the behavior response process, even if it is simply a ten minute follow up with individuals after an event.
3. Document – Keeping a record of practice and drills is important as all who teach Chapter 6 (Legal & Liability Issues) of the Mandt System curriculum know.
4. Make it Realistic – So often practice drills are based upon fear induced scenarios and not the regular issues being managed on a daily basis. Use incident reports and ABC forms to create scenarios that will make sense to staff as well as reinforcing appropriate skills.
5. Review Policy – When training transfers from the classroom to the workplace it sometimes falls foul of current policy and procedural positions that have not been modified to reflect the training. Make sure a review of policy occurs to identify and address any of these disconnects so that the one supports the other.
6. Keep in Non Physical – While practicing technical skills is important, most staff are not using these on a daily basis, Relational & Conceptual skills are however being utilized on all and every shift. Out of every 4 practice sessions being organized have 1 technical to 3 relational/conceptual.
7. Review incidents that were successful and were resolved without physical interaction as well as those that required physical interaction. We can learn much from our successes and it can help keep things in perspective for your team.
8. Encourage staff who are involved in debriefing incidents or injuries to debrief according to the training received (Did we do what we were taught in Mandt?), both non-physical and physical techniques as appropriate. That will reinforce the information taught on an ongoing basis. Staff will be better prepared to come in to the annual training prepared to take the test and the annual recertification class could then be used to address specific challenges the staff encounter, making it more meaningful for them and likely reduce their resistance to attend.
The eight steps above represent a starting point to organize your thinking about this important issue. Add your own and develop to meet the unique needs of your organization and the individuals you serve.
As your training partner we would love to hear from you regarding your success and challenges, let us know how the above works for you firstname.lastname@example.org
Mandt Director of Communications