Repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell – Behavioral Training plays a key role

The word “Training” has rocked the press this week with the repeal of the military don’t ask, don’t tell law.

We are looking at a major organizational change effort, in which training will play a key role. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates said he would “approach this process deliberately.” In a PBS interview, Bernard Rostker (RAND Corp) and Tammy Shultz (Marine Corps War College) outline the process, including 1) defining the code of conduct, 2)setting expectations for behavior, and 3) training  service members to ensure compliance. Leaders will also be trained to ensure equal treatment and respond to specific situations.

The goal (or business need in corporate training terms) is equal, not special treatment . In a report by the National Defense Research Institute (U.S.), United States. Dept., sensitivity training has been deemed inconsistent with the principle that as long as people adhere to behavioral guidelines, what they think is “their own business”.

To meet the goal of equal treatment, the training will need to teach the guidelines or rules in the code of conduct (Bloom’s taxonomy knowledge and comprehension levels), and most importantly enable learners to apply these principles in a range of situations.(Bloom’s taxonomy Apply level). According to the report mentioned above, leaders will receive training in how to respond to hypothetical situations as well as answer questions from their command. The goal is to prove solutions to real life problems, not change attitudes.

It will be fascinating to observe the effects of this major change effort. Will behavior change ultimately result in attitude change too? The future will tell.

Happy holidays, Michele


About Learning in the News

Musings from Michele B. Medved about the application of adult learning theories, methodologies and best practices in the real world
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