I was home on leave for 2 weeks and then traveled to Riviera Maya near Cancun, Mexico last week to film some more Police Dynamics training videos. So now you know why I haven’t posted any new police or leadership training videos for the last few weeks. Here is the first one from Cancun on Discernment.
The character quality of discernment is defined by the Character Training Institute as:
Understanding the deeper reasons why things happen
It’s like wearing a SCUBA diving mask so you can see below the surface more clearly. This is an essential quality for a leader, a supervisor, an investigator, a patrol officer, or even a parent to possess.
So much of what we do in the leadership and law enforcement arenas deals with behavior. But the principles of Police Dynamics go below the surface and look at the character that motivates the behavior. By exercising discernment, you can begin to deal with the real problems as opposed to only treating the symptoms.
It’s actually the fundamental difference between character and ethics. We often use those terms interchangeably, but ethics deals primarily with behavior. We have ethical rules of conduct: do this but don’t do that. It’s all behavior based. While the principles of character look into the heart of the individual because it’s their character that most often motivates their behavior, particularly when they are under stress.
That’s why an effective leader or law enforcement officer must put on his or her “Discernment Mask” so they can see below the surface. For an investigator, this is how they catch criminals. For a patrol officer, discernment can be more valuable than a ballistic vest in ensuring their safety on the streets.
This ties right in to our teaching about Super Vision in the Dynamic of SuperVision. An effective supervisor has to put on their “SuperVision Goggles” which is really all about discernment.
In future episodes of Police Dynamics training, I will take you deeper into an understanding of these principles of leadership and effective policing. Next week we will start a series on the Dynamic of Discretion, one of the advanced principles from Series 2 of the Police Dynamics program. So stay tuned and bring your SCUBA gear because we’re going deep…!