There are three classes that I think should exist but don't. Maybe they exist somewhere, but I haven't heard of them.
1) A class for women going into law enforcement. I wrote about this in "Violence: A Writer's Guide." Men and women are different. And law enforcement, like it or not is a paramilitary, testosterone-laden and violence-driven profession. (Note well, I don't consider any of those things to automatically be negative.) Not all, but most guys going into these professions have already handled the locker-room politics of team sports. Many of the women going into the job don't know when they are being tested versus being harassed or when it is absolutely necessary to handle things yourself. Many (again, not all) were raised that friendship comes from niceness and respect is assumed. In this world, friendship stems from respect, which is never assumed and must be earned-- and niceness itself is suspect. We lose too many good female officers on probation because no one taught them that being a nice person and being a good officer are unrelated things.
(I am aware that this sounds sexist. FIDO. One of the reasons that this class doesn't exist is because the politically powerful people who control the dialogue insist that men and women are the same. This stupidity and blind ideology, no matter how well meaning, condemn too many women to failure. The pretense that the world is fair or equal creates victims.)
2) Political survival for tactical leaders. This class appears to not exist for two reasons. Number one, the political players keep insisting that they aren't playing politics. The other guys are playing politics, but not me... So they tell the operators just to be natural and everything will be fine. The second reason is that tactical guys have a couple of blindspots and an arrogance issue. The blindspot? We believe that 'playing politics' is an inborn things, some kind of genetic trait. The arrogance? We believe we are above that: "You play your silly little bullshit political games. We're saving lives here."
Because of this some really good operators get punished or sideline. How cool would it be if you could play the games well enough that your budget didn't get gutted every year. And it's a skill. As much resistance as there might be to such a class, it would be extremely effective. Because if there is one thing good operators know it is how to learn and how to use information and how to adapt. And politics is a skill.
For some reason, the first name that comes to mind for collaborating on this is Greg Ellifritz, which is odd because I've never met the man.
3) Nerd rehabilitation. The Conflict Communication material keeps turning over new rocks. Originally intended as a de-escalation program for cops to manipulate crooks, the principles have worked for everything from negotiating huge business deals to family issues to getting along in the workplace. The reason is that it is natural communication done consciously. A friend pointed out tonight that ConCom has all the tools for people with no social ability (nerds was his word, not mine) to gain those abilities as skills instead of inborn talents.
All three of these would be good classes. Valuable. None of them do I feel fully qualified to design and deliver on my own. Ahhhhhh, who am I fooling anyway? As if there was enough free time...
Nine days in MInnesota with Steve Jimerfield, Marc MacYoung and Kasey Keckeisen:
How to run a scenario in Port Townsend, WA:
A long weekend in Oakland. Ambushes and Thugs, ConCom and a Playdate. Probably.
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