interested in joining authors network, email us for more information.

Home > Training, Uncategorized > Training Programs Staff with the Tripod Model Part 2

Training Programs Staff with the Tripod Model Part 2

October 14th, 2009

In part one of Training Programs Staff with the Tripod Model, we reviewed the Departmental Perspective, the professional Perspective, and Standard Tools.  Let us now look at strategies to bring these concepts into practice.


The responsibilities of the trainer. Who initiates this?  The answer to that is as different as all corrections systems are.  The request for new, comprehensive training like this could originate from the line staff in the particular niche.  Or, the catalyst can arise from some perceived need as seen from the official leader of the group. No matter where the request comes from, the training office should take an active role. First, the training committee has to be aware of the origin of the training request.  Of course, centralized permission is necessary. 


Part of planning a full day of training of course is assessing the needs of the group.  In doing this the creators have to know the history and dynamics of the group.  A series of questions should be asked.

* Does the group meet at least once a year? 
* Does the group meet regionally? 
* Who arranges such meeting? 
* Is there a centralized coordinator? 
* Are there de facto leaders in the ranks? 
* Would such a group be receptive to the tripod model?
* Has the chain of command requested such training?


It behooves planners to know who in the group leads officially and who holds influence and respect.  That might not always be the same individual. Knowing this can make the difference between mediocre training and a truly useful education experience.


The needs are as important as the history.  It is important to know what problems weigh on the minds of the group.  The challenge comes in asking a sample of the group to present problems.  There is the possibility that a faction or a few individuals will present their own agenda.  Are those who are silent not getting their needs met?  Is this a group that wants to be lead by a few members?  Is there dissension?  Will some strategies of training lead to division rather than a united perspective to help achieve departmental and niche needs? In this planning stage, email polls and consulting with selected members should be balanced.  Certainly, the successful training committee will be adept at the game of group psychology and reading dynamics.  The above questions should be considered in the initial planning phase.


Before training can commence, one has to appoint an assertive, yet tactful moderator. A strong arbitrator is crucial to the effectiveness of the instruction. For example, a member from the training may lead some venting by staff.  Expressing concerns in measure may be a useful gauge of the health of the sub-profession.  It also is a brainstorming process that can be successful with the momentum of the group setting.  This method typically is not as fruitful with an email poll. It also relieves vocational stress.  However, excessive articulations of grievances can transform quickly into a free-for-all gripe session.  At this point, the focus is to remain broad. And the idea remains that the moderator must be tactfully assertive to achieve maximum benefits of group discussions.


Pitfalls. Can a well-planned tripod training session be without flaws?  It is absolutely doubtful. There are many challenges to this balanced training that range from misunderstanding of initial needs to the post mortem: In random order, some of the problems that the training committee and group may face are:

* No perceived need from niche
* Programs niche or centralized coordinator may feel need for training of this sort but may not necessarily ask for it.  Therefore, training staff may be able to advertise the program.
* No perceived need from chain of command
* Fiscal concerns
* Motivating the apathetic
* Some staff (and trainers) may be reluctant to altering established, traditional instruction
* Traversing the tangle of chains of command

* Controlling suppressed enthusiasm in the case of new opportunity in the face of infrequent training.
* Power struggles and ego battles can erupt when professionals are called to improve their lot through training.


Despite all of the potential pitfalls, you can help all programmers to expand vocational horizons. Through this tripod model of training, programs staff can be re-energized and more eager to fulfill the Department’s mission statement.  Professional isolation can be combated. Boredom and burnout can be mitigated, thus allowing for more productive, longer tenured, inspired employees.  Any workshop that accomplishes those meritorious goals would certainly be deemed a worthwhile investment for any facility.


This article was previously featured on


  • Digg
  • Sphinn
  • Facebook
  • Mixx
  • Google

Email This Post Email This Post    Print This Post Print This Post

joebouchard Training, Uncategorized

  1. No comments yet.
  1. No trackbacks yet.