Dr. Gary Klein, one of the world’s foremost authorities on decision-making, created the above model about performance improvement. Since much of my work is helping clients develop physical skills, I add ‘Knowledge and Ability’ to ‘Insights.’ Not enough effort is placed on ‘Avoiding Errors’ in our training despite the fact that Self-defense and Personal Protection are riddled with minefields we have to navigate.
Serious Mistakes Gunowners Make is all about avoiding errors. To gain different perspectives about the topic, I posed a question to several of my colleagues at the 2021 Tactical Conference. “What single piece of advice would you give to new and inexperienced gunowners about ‘avoiding errors’? ” The condition I imposed on their answer was that it couldn’t be a platitude such as ‘Get some/more training’ but had to be something that a gunowner could actually understand and do.
A fight avoided is better than a fight won.
Don’t think you’re better than you are. If you have no metric to measure your performance, you don’t know what you can or can’t do.
When in doubt, don’t shoot.
Dr. Klein’s little model has stimulated my thinking a great deal lately, so I’m going to be pursuing this line of inquiry more in the near future.
One of my colleagues who has retired from two different POlice agencies made the following comment when he finished reading Real Shootouts of the LAPD.
It’s interesting how even highly trained cops screw up when they get out of their familiar environment.
Thinking ahead about how to Avoid Errors is an important part of our defensive skillset.