Drs. Nic Bencaz and Carol Thornson recently attended a Facilitator Workshop for Team Dimensional Training (TDT), presented by Dr. Kimberly Smith-Jentsch of the University of Central Florida. Dr. Jentsch developed TDT based on more than 15 years of Navy research and the Tactical Decision Making Under Stress (TADMUS) program.
Team Dimensional Training provides a common framework for facilitators to improve team performance. As such, significant results have been empirically demonstrated. For instance, TDT lowers repeat mistakes, reduces errors, increases trainee participation in debriefs and AARs (after-action reviews), and increases learning.
Team Dimensional Training has been implemented and applied to several projects and domains, including the U.S. Navy submarine training facilities, Federal Law Enforcement Training Center, first responders, local/state law enforcement, to the most recent implementation, to support research on the health and teamwork of astronauts during space exploration missions, specifically to improve team performance among astronauts traveling to Mars on the 2030 mission.
At this workshop, Nic and Carol learned about the importance of the essential Five Key Instructional Components of TDT and how to implement them, specifically: (1) Team members self-correct; (2) the Facilitator creates and maintains a psychologically safe learning climate; (3) Goals are explicitly learning- rather than performance-oriented; (4) Discussion is structured around an effective model of teamwork; and (5) Balanced discussion of positives and negatives, rather than focusing in all positives for well-performing teams and all negatives of poorly-performing teams. Thus, the cornerstone of the TDT program is to enable team members to assess and diagnose their own performance problems. Nic and Carol look forward to presenting further details of TDT to their colleagues at CPG, whereby such techniques may be integrated into ongoing and upcoming projects at CPG.