Managing as a Coach: Shifting Your Mindset

Managing as a Coach: Shifting Your Mindset
Duration: 60 Minutes
Module 1Module 1
Recorded on: 2023-09-28
Unit 1Presentation Materials: Managing as a Coach: Shifting Your Mindset
Unit 2Transcript: Managing as a Coach: Shifting Your Mindset
Unit 3Workbook: Managing as a Coach: Shifting Your Mindset
Unit 4Recording: Managing as a Coach: Shifting Your Mindset

Is your current supervision style to subordinates not as effective as you want it to be? Perhaps a shift in approach is warranted to see positive outcomes for both you and your subordinates. This session introduces us to Cognitive Coaching as it applies to criminal justice and how a mind-set shift on the trainer or supervisor can help subordinates’ ability to “connect the dots” as needed in decision-making.

Leading this discussion is Thomas Dworak, the Founder and Lead Instructor of The Adaptive Way who developed and facilitates the Adaptive FTO. Prior to this role, he served as a Sergeant in a suburban Chicago police department where he was the Field Training and Evaluation Program Coordinator and the Lead Defensive Tactics/Use of Force Instructor.

Specifics of this webinar covered:

  • The value of thinking differently in the dynamic and ever-changing work environment of law enforcement.
  • A glimpse into the tasks that take up the greatest amount of a supervisor’s workday.
  • How perspective shapes our actions and can be influenced by continuous learning.
  • How taking time to train subordinates upfront can save supervisors a lot of time in the long run.
  • Why supervisors must have a mind-set shift to help subordinates learn critical thinking.
  • The importance of understanding our weaknesses to improve ourselves and those that we supervise.
  • How much of law enforcement’s training is siloed and in a linear approach instead of one that focuses on cognitive skills to foster better creativity in decision-making and problem-solving.
  • The value of experience and mistakes to facilitate cognitive skills.
  • The areas where mind-set shift should take place.
    • From criticism to curiosity where mistakes are approached with curiosity instead of blame.
    • From procedures to tacit knowledge that looks into scenarios when the procedure doesn’t apply and instead requires judgment, intuition, and sense-making to arrive at a decision/action.
    • From getting through material to encouraging curiosity where training focuses more on questions and interactions to foster a better understanding of concepts.
    • Providing simple explanations that a beginner is more likely to comprehend instead of complex ones that can stifle curiosity or even create confusion.
    • Moving away from explaining to encouraging self-discovery through exercises and scenarios that allow officers to learn through experience and even from mistakes.
    • From evaluating to training to create a safe space for learning without fear of judgment.
  • A glance into the skills that younger officers tend to lack and the process of helping subordinates to connect the dots through:
    • Understanding the subtle cues that may indicate stress and equipping them with knowledge and experience to overcome emotional response to stress.
    • Fostering hindsight perspective through the practice of after-action reviews that focus on lessons learned rather than blame.
    • Cultivating foresight by anticipating things to be aware of in specific scenarios and encouraging forward-thinking to predict what might happen next.
    • Shifting from a micro-focus to a big-picture view to not lose sight of the real goals and critical information.
    • Avoiding fixating on a single decision and its consequence of confirmation bias by looking at other perspectives and options.
    • Developing critical thinking that considers various options and upholds curiosity.
    • Embracing adaptive thinking that espouses flexibility when policy deviations are needed.

Questions from the webinar attendees are about:

  • Keeping easily distracted employees to focus without resorting to micromanaging.
  • Getting employees to be more consistent in applying critical thinking to complex problems.



Other Webinars with This Presenter


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Resources and Handouts


Audience Comments

  • “Great presentation on self-development to best lead your staff.” –Travis
  • “Trying to maintain patience while helping staff to work through problems.” — Ted
  • “The mindset shift: This is an all-encompassing aspect of life that is applicable in everything we do – as parents, leaders, coaches, teachers/trainers/instructors. I will always think about this as I run my adult education classes in the probation department.” — Tsungai
  • “I think overall just shifting the mindset; accepting/meeting people for where they’re at, offering them opportunities and to invest in themselves, and helping them build within their thinking/roles.” — Shayla
  • “It was helpful to be reminded to find brief, spontaneous opportunities to debrief and coach others.” — Tamara
  • “Tom did another excellent JOB.. Take CARE” — Robert



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