- Post a new discussion related to the topics covered in this module. Your post needs to provide specific lessons learned with examples from this module helping you enhance your leadership capacity at work.
- After posting your discussion, review posts provided by other students in the class and reply to at least one of them.
This module gave some good insight into how to look at problems and how to explore the causes of them. An important element to exploring these problems as Anderson suggested was to search for the internal problem that caused the external problem. In law enforcement, we see many problems on a daily basis, and looking at these problems differently could give us a better understanding of the problem and how to fix it. Another important aspect of this module was problem ownership, and what effects it could have on rectifying the problem. It is usually tough for most people to own or admit that they caused the problem.
I appreciate the idea of focusing on problems with a high probability of being solved when assisting with problem specification. It gives the opportunity for small successes along the way of chipping away at the larger, more damaging issue(s). Due to the structure of law enforcement relationships and the amount of time it takes to establish such a high level of trust, tackling the small obstacles provides the necessary time to gain additional trust to build upon the problem solving effort.
I particularly liked the skill of problem specification. One of the objectives of this skill is to learn to “craft precise language that summarizes people’s problems and opportunities”. It is difficult for someone to fix a problem or make improvements if they don’t have a clear understanding of the issue. This skill is something I intend to work on both personally and professionally.
The skill that resonated with me was empathy. Too many of us lose sight of the bigger picture while in the performance of our duties as well as dealing with fellow officers. We as officers are often under the impression that we should be able to correct any problem. We need to start looking at the situation from the other person’s point of view.
I agree with you, empathy is for sure a skill that all leaders could improve on. You never know what someone might be dealing with in their personal or professional life. We only see the surface problems or the manifestation of the problem.
The video from the Mayo Clinic which depicted individuals with different situations and challenges was thought provoking. You can never really know what a person is dealing with. Treating everyone with respect is paramount. Learning how to listen and then bridge the gap in the conversation where the person you trying to help either feels that the solution is their idea or they simply welcome you assistance is incredibly valuable skills.
Richard, I agree with your statement. Realizing the situation and putting yourself in someone else’s shoes is not that difficult to do and is often eye-opening to the situation. And gives you a perspective that may help you come up with a better solution.
This module was incredibly informative for leaders, providing a step-by-step guide to successfully addressing issues from multiple perspectives. To ensure that subordinates feel heard and respected, listening with empathy and without judgment before offering counsel is crucial. Crucially, leaders should recognize the importance of allowing space for others to express their emotions and opinions to effectively reach an agreeable solution. Additionally, being willing to admit where there is no easy answer and providing alternative resources can be a valuable asset when it comes to problem-solving. Leaders must remember that it's not always possible to have all the answers, but they should strive to provide support as they work through difficult issues with their team.
I think that this process in looking at how to identifying problems, defining ownership, and coming up with solutions is a critical skill that we need to do as leaders for our organization. I see the path of taking this as step upon step to building our toolkit and provide ourselves as resources for our staff to be successful, and also internalize our own needs. This internalization from both the subject that needs help and our own is key to making actual change in fixing the problems. This goes beyond the simple, concerns of a department and is focusing on the roots of problems for staff that either are needing help or have the need to make changes that are meaningful.
Referral to a professional is the final skill and one I will be paying more attention to. Law enforcement is a profession where we often do not like to admit defeat; we will run something in the ground before handing it off to someone more qualified and allowing success.
We are also in a profession full of depression. We often compartmentalize our feelings and act too tough to ask for help. As supervisors, we must be able to see signs of change in our people, have the courage to talk to them about it, and know when to make a professional referral when needed.
Mel Gill discussed taking the first step when a problem presents itself during the introduction of this block. He advised us that we have situations, not problems. Problems are not solvable, and solutions always have answers. He reminds us to ask ourselves what we will do in these situations. This is a strong reminder of our purpose in life and at work. Showing and demonstrating this mentality to our family and co-workers demonstrates nothing is impossible and, just as important, that we may fail multiple times before we succeed, but we will succeed.
After listening to this module, I was most impacted by two of the areas. First was on Empathy. We in law enforcement must show empathy to those that we come into contact with to better understand them, the situation that the person is in and the feeling that the person is going through. Having Empathy, not sympathy, will allow us to better resolve the situation and enhance our decision making skills without compromise the legal position that we are charged to uphold. Secondly, in module 9, I was especially thankful of how the lecture explained the difference between coaching, counseling, and mentoring. We as leaders are always called to provided these functions, which I have provided on multiply occasion. I learned that coaching is the short term learning function, as counseling is often longer term that support for change in different performance or morale areas, and mentoring is often the longest term where a more senior person takes a less experience person under their wing to help them lean to exceed in the culture which could last for months or even years.
I enjoyed the problem specification section of the module, particularly the Einstein quote. "If I had to solve the world's problems in an hour, I'd spend 55 minutes defining the problem."
Too often as leaders we treat they symptoms instead of treating the cause.
Mitch, that was also my favorite quote in this block. So true. We will spend hours discussing the problem in great detail and not give a proper solution. We are great at identifying a problem and beating it into the ground without giving a well-thought-out solution. Sometimes we are part of the problem and don't take ownership.
While I believe each of these skills have validity in leadership, I personally employ two of the topics covered in my current assignment and personal life. First, is the lesson from Mel Gill. Gill speaks on how our mindsets and outlooks have lasting effects on our mental wellbeing. In general, I try to see solutions and not just be in a constant state of looking for problems. I find this comes naturally when I consistently look for the positives or benefits in each situation, I find myself apart of. I strive to see my failures as opportunities to reevaluate and learn from. Second, is ownership. “A leader must own everything in his/her world. There is no one else to blame” (Willink, 2015). It is imperative to own our mistakes as well as the mistakes of those we lead. This fosters growth, trust, and safety amongst those we are entrusted with.
Problem solving and problem ownership are big to me. If we can learn to have a good plan in place prior to an action that would eliminate most of any issues they may arise. We also need to learn that it's okay to mess up or make a mistake, just own up to it and learn from it. Too many people like to blame others instead of taking responsibility.
Chad, I agree. Owning our mistakes is critical to the success of our teams and organizations. Playing the blame game destroys trust and fosters resentment. Even more so, we as leaders must own the mistakes of those we lead with our superiors. The actions or inactions of our teams rest completely on our shoulders and therefore we as leaders must own it completely. When our teams succeed, regardless of our contribution(s), all credit must go to our people.
Chad, I agree with you. We have to own up to our mistakes and learn from them. It is best to learn from them and not repeat the same mistake again. If we use the skill of ownership it will show others, that we are human and we can be trusted to do what is rights and honest.
Empathy is a valuable trait for supervisors to utilize. Still, many supervisors are from the older era and tend to stick to the “man-up” or “suck it up” mentality. Trying to understand the reasoning of the younger generation is difficult. We need to be more direct and specific with subordinates with an empathic mentality. Another risk we face is confronting a subordinate who has already followed a toxic supervisor. If you confront the subordinate and start sharing your personal history to gain trust, they tend to vomit back to the toxic supervisor verbally. Problem exploration is terrific if used correctly. Identifying problems and having a solution to make it better should help a department if the confrontation aspect is respectfully handled.
Cory, I was taught in the era of "man-up" and "suck it up" leadership. For an example our sheriff used to tell us if someone ran we chased them, and if we could not take off our gun and badge and beat the biggest guy in a bar in our county we did not work for him. These mindsets and thoughts while humorous and fun to think this is the good old days, would not be seen as good old days now. Now that we have a better way to take care of each other and understand why we do what we need to do, this is the time to make change and leave the good old days in the past.
I use “Skill 34” (Self-Sharing) a lot of the time and share what I did to address the issue. I have learned more from bad experiences than I have from the things I’ve done correctly. It gives me an opportunity to show the person I’m speaking with that I understand because I’ve been there and it helps me to show them how to fix what needs fixing.
Elliot, I also think this is a valuable skill and have found it to be useful for my own development and in the development of others.
Joseph Spadoni Jr.
Immediacy is the skill that stood out to me the most in this module. Immediacy is a widely applicable skill that allows us as leaders to deal with resolving issues before other problems can be addressed. I think it is important that we should be able to resolve issues before other problems arise and cause more issues than we started with. Immediacy also allows us to get “unstuck” and help others get “unstuck” when a problem is presented and allows us to move forward.
The differences in coaching, counseling and mentoring are things I had not considered. I think understanding the differences in approaches offer rarely used options in meeting expectations and achieving desired results.
I agree Cedric. I have to fight the urge to try and solve the problem directly instead of steering the person to the solution.
In this module, it shows that we can help people by coaching, mentoring, and counseling when a member of the team is having problems or issues. By confronting that person in an honest approach, it may solve the issues or problem. Confrontation may show him/her that they are not preforming to their potential and help them get back on the right track.
This made me consider how infrequently people in our profession identify and address the root of problems and say exactly what they mean. I believe this shows the importance of being honest with ourselves and with others when discussing problems affecting officers and affecting the agencies.
I enjoyed this section goal setting and planning. I learned that going forwarded the importance of having a written plan. Also to slow things down and really explore how we are going to reach our goals. I can see and understand how a written plan is beneficial in motivating and helping with communications. Slowing down helps us to determine to root cause for a long term solution.
I wrote down Zig Zigler's formula after watching the video of him. I found it inspiring and I wanted to remind myself to try it in the future. It starts with writing down your goal.
I also enjoyed seeing the action goal plan on paper. I'm a visual learner, and this solidified the teachings of the module. Having something written can also help to show others the vision.
This section was useful to enhance some of my skills the problem management skills that can be found in my department. I will be attempting to use some of these skills, especially with the problem ownership and goal settings.
This was very informative to a way to resolve issues through some methods that are thought to be aggressive such as confrontation. As leaders we are there to help our people and having the correct approach through problem ownership and action plans are a very good way to handle it along with effective communication.
I do a lot of self-sharing with my subordinates. Often times in roll call I will tell my team of previous experiences that I have encountered while working at my other agency. My team has told me that they appreciate when I tell them about those experiences because it has allowed them to become better officers. I believe as a leader we are only effective when we pass down our experiences to our coworkers.
I agree Jimmie, I do too. It helps to provide advice as a person that’s actually been in the shoes of the person dealing with the problem. I enjoy sharing what worked or didn’t work for me and sharing why certain things didn’t work.
Agreeing with the sentiment of self-sharing, I believe it is important for leaders to draw upon their own experiences to empower and educate their team. Such a practice has proven beneficial not only in terms of increasing morale and engagement but also in helping subordinates develop a deeper understanding of the job they are doing and how best to approach their tasks.
When I share my own experiences or when a team member shares, it often sparks further discussion within the team and opens up our conversations to new ideas, which can be beneficial for everyone involved. I do find however all too often the conversation sometimes goes down the rabbit hole and can throw the process off-track.
As a supervisor, we must confront others when things are not being done correctly but this doesn't have to be done in a negative manner. Confrontation should be used as a tool to provoke the action required. It should be used to build relationships and improve the success of your team. Never should confrontation be used to tear others down.
I agree that this is a way to get one back on track without causing problems for the whole team.
I enjoyed how this module spoke of the underlying issues that someone may be having. It expressed how leaders often want to focus on the external problem and fail to attempt to identify the underlying internal causes that manifested. I enjoyed how the module also provided examples of how to overcome these issues, once identified.
I agree. With will give me some tools to be able to identify and evaluate some of the problems within the organization.
Your observations are valid, Lance. If the root problem is never addressed, the problem will always exist. It's also important for the person to realize their own problem so they can be assisted with addressing it. A third party can tell a person what they think the problem is, but the source has to own it. They won't fix what they don't know is broken.
This module was very helpful, timing is everything when confronting people about issues they are having that may be affecting their job performance. People view the world around them without considering what is going on in the lives of the people they are in contact with. We fail to consider cause and effect when addressing a behavior we want to change. This can result in the behavior becoming worse.
This module was very informative. Unfortunately, making an effective referral to a professional helper is something that I believe we often fail. The so-called problem children either self-destruct and get fired or are runoff, but we never truly offer them the help they need. When we provide or require professional assistance, I liked the part where they discussed making a personal introduction and following up.
I agree, but to add, I believe a lot of individuals are unwilling to accept assistance from a professional and always say that they are "alright", which is the worst thing to say.
I agree also. Most people let their pride get in the way instead of asking or accepting they help they may need.
I enjoyed the opening Ted X video by Mel Gill, specifically when he explained the “possibility thinker”, and seeing possibilities, not letting failure be an option. During the lecture, I appreciated Dr. Anderson’s description of the differences between coaching, counseling and mentoring. I think that many leaders in law enforcement stop at the “coaching” phase and call it good. They only use the “counseling” for corrective or disciplinary action and never even consider the mentoring. A true leader is one who will mentor and not just train, but invest in their people and leave a lasting legacy.
I also found Dr. Anderson’s section on coaching, counseling, and mentoring very interesting. Unfortunately, the word counseling is often used in minor disciplinary actions and creates a negative connotation. In the term counseling, we must think back to guidance counselors. As part of our FTO program, we use a worksheet to determine the FTO’s teaching styles as either an instructor, mentor, or coach. The results are beneficial when pairing trainers and trainees.
I agree that mentoring should be utilized more. I also feel we need to find that root cause to a problem and not just attempt to solve it with discipline or coaching. Especially with a recent change in someone's behavior.
I agree with the mentoring phase of leadership. I have tried to do this but realize I must do more of it. I have worked along side Lawrence and has show me first hand his commitment to mentoring his people.
In comparing Problem-Ownership and Goal-Ownership it seems that goal ownership would be an easier thing for people to get behind. When establishing a goal and making a plan, especially a plan the subordinate has a hand in implementing, they want to see it through to get the results. This is more of a positive aspect than having to take ownership of one's internal or external problems.
Problem exploration: I found problem exploration an interesting skill to develop because in most cases, when your presented a problem by a teammate, your expected to solve that problem as a leader. That's why the team member
sought your counsel. Ordinarily, I would listen to the problem and ask the team member what they would like to see done where together, we would collaborate to formulate a plan to fix the problem. After learning this skill, I see more meaningful
communication can occur by digging into underlying issues that the teammate may have. This can assist their understanding of latent issues that may have contributed to the perceived problem and help them take some real ownership before
we collaborate. I plan to dig deeper using this skill which is then built upon and enhanced by the subsequent skills.
This module had lots of information on skill sets that build on top of one another. I see EQ playing a big roll in most of the lessons. Really enjoyed Zig Ziglar part in the lesson and had eye opening moments relating to listening and advanced empathy.
This was a great module. Referral to a professional helper is important. Communicating with your subordinates is important to see where they are mentally. When they feel comfortable talking to you, they open up about personal problems. It is important to know what they are thinking so that you can determine if they should be referred to a professional helper. Leaders cannot solve every problem but they can point a employee in the right direction for help.
I agree completely, Devon. I believe as well that for a leader to be truly effective in the development of their people, he/she must be willing to invest in the relationship and establish that rapport of trust and credibility with them. I really liked the segment about the skill of Self-Sharing. I do not know too many leaders in LE who would be so vulnerable as to do this, but I can definitely see where it would bring a lot to the table as far as trust in that leader.
In the Ted lecture, Mel Gill spoke about how changing your perception of things is important. I truly believe that. I have found in times when I have been the lowest, that changing my outlook or definition of what was going on seems to help me. Granted I also know from my family that sometimes people can get so low that changing their outlook can become quite difficult. But I also know that the brain is very powerful, and so long as you take care of it and keep it healthy, it is easier to change the thought process.
I have been shown incredible amounts of mercy and grace in my life. I am not immune to the struggles and difficulties of this world. I have greatly appreciated those who have shown mercy to me even when I make mistakes. Unfortunately, I feel like we in the police department do not regularly extend abundant grace to those who are hurting. We are doing a much better job than in the past, but I feel we still have a long way to go.
We are all broken vessels and need mercy and grace from one another when at all possible. The problem-exploration section reminded me that our role as supervisors is not just to ensure the police department runs well but to be a fellow human being to those around us. There is not one person who makes it through this life without some level of forgiveness, mercy, and grace. When we demonstrate those qualities as leaders, we are humanizing ourselves, building relationships, and hopefully helping to restore a broken human being who is also our fellow officer. I hope that I will do a better job moving forward of following through on the skills outlined in this module as they are extremely helpful and needed.
After listening to this module, I was drawn to the skill of empathy. I would be my worst critic when it comes to saying I need to improve on my empathy skills. We as LEO tend to have tough skill which is required a lot to do this job. We have to stop and understand what the other person is going through to properly address the situation.
Skill 26: Problem-Exploration and Skill 27: Problem-Specification were interesting elements in this lesson for me. I believe that law enforcement officers are get conditioned to address an issue and move on to the next call or issue. Essentially treating the symptom of something and not the cause or suggesting a quick fix. Fast-forward to being promoted and supervising, and now that conditioning is definitely not working to the advantage of the supervisor, the employee, or the organization. The phrase pattern that was provided with the example should be useful in planning conversations where underlying issues must be identified, so they can be addressed.
Good module. Very informative.
I agree. Often, we tend to throw a band-aid on it and move on.
This module was very beneficial to me. I do not think I truly looked at most situations through the lens that was discussed by Dr. Anderson. All of the skills that were discussed held value for me. However, I found the skills on goal setting, goal ownership, action planning, and implementing an action plan to be quite useful and easily transferable to many different situations, for personal plans both short and long term as well as dealing with organizational goals. I found this module challenging me to be intentional in how I coach, counsel those under my supervision. It is important to get the root cause of the issue at hand and not just give unsolicited advice. Dr. Anderson was able to make the connection of the skills he was discussing with the modeling exercises he did that demonstrate how to apply the skill in a real-world scenario.
I thought this module explained some great skills in identifying and addressing the underlying or root causes of problems. I really liked the way Dr. Anderson modeled the skills which showed how to speak with an individual to not just give them the solution or advice but allowing them to work out the underlying issues themselves and take some ownership. To display empathy and actually place yourself in the persons feelings. Too often we want to give quickly give advice and address the perceived problem that might show up as lower activity than normal when in fact there is a much bigger underlying problem.
This is a great point on displaying empathy by actually placing yourself in the person's feelings at the moment. I know I have been guilty of giving advice that I felt would fix the problem without truly understanding the underlying issues that caused the problem in the first place. I had a lot of good takeaways from this module.
I suffer my the same thing. I'm always quick to just fix the problem and not completely understand the situation.
This module contained a lot of good information. Specifically, problem-specification stood out to me. It is important to identify the root cause of a problem and not just the visible result. There are some officers on my shift whose activity is low. It is easy to identify that their activity is low and request that they "work harder". This approach by previous supervisors has not been successful. I think the shortfall is we have not yet been able to help the employee identify the root cause of their low performance and then set goals accordingly. I don't know if we will be able to motivate the employee to increase their activity. That will take buy in on their part. However, if we are able to identify the root cause, I think the chances are much higher.
Matt, I think this is a problem we have all experienced in Law Enforcement. What makes it more difficult for us is that we are in one of the few workplaces that cannot set even a minimum standard of performance for our employees (at least in terms of activity). In the private sector, if you don't sell so many units of widgets this quarter, you're gone and you have little recourse. You may hate your job, but you'll do at least the bare minimum. In our field, if our folks lack motivation, they simply stop working. That gives us an extra challenge. Sometimes, there is a root problem that we need to help our people discover and solve. Other times, our people simply see no compelling reason to perform. They lack anything that would motivate them. Added to this is the fact that, in our profession, it is the cool thing to be "over it." The mark of a veteran is that the veteran knows it's all B.S. so officers that might otherwise be motivated gain social reward for pretending not to be. So it seems we need a dual approach (that also happens to be a culmination of much of what we have learned so far). We need the ability to find the root causes of poor behavior, but also we must be able to inspire positive behavior, helping our people remember their "why" and acting it out in their day to day work.
Great points Matt. All too often we address the perceived or surface problem such as low activity or attitude because it's the most obvious when in reality there could be a greater problem we don't see. Such as issues at home or outside of the job. The issues could be relationship issues, financial issues, etc.. By addressing the underlying issues the employee can see longer lasting success.
You and I discussed this module over the phone and deliberated how to get to those employees who have such a hard exterior. At times, it seems like they are in the category of people who will never take ownership of the root causes. My heart breaks for these individuals because I believe there is so much more joy and freedom if they would just accept there is an issue and work to resolve that issue. Mercifully, I have taken ownership of past issues and I experienced so much more freedom after accepting those issues. I was embarrassed, there were consequences, but in the end, I am so thankful I walked through the process. I wish so much these individuals for a minute, could experience the future joy that comes through a temporary time of hardship. I hope we can change the culture of our department moving forward where we as leadership demonstrate taking ownership and that demonstration flows throughout the department.
I appreciated Dr. Anderson's statement that "the right to confront must be earned by developing a relationship over time." Of course, this is not always possible, but it was interesting to think of how this has been true in my own experience. With the people I have the closest relationships with, confrontation is so much less intimidating. With family, friends, and co-workers that I've been very close to, there is an understanding that however this confrontational conversation goes, it's not going to change our relationship. That gives both them and me room for honesty and also makes the critique easier to give and to receive. We have, by the nature if our relationship, already given each other the benefit of the doubt that we want what's best for each other, and this helps with genuine confrontation. This is a good reminder of the importance of building relationships with the people we lead. Though our relationships with the people we lead will of course be very different than those we have with family and friends, we can nevertheless build relationships where our people know we care about them and that any time we confront them, it is because we want what's best for them.
All of the information in this module takes mentoring in the area of problem solving to a new level. I cannot count the times I caught myself thinking, "Hmm, I didn't think of that." For example, active listening came to mind several times as I worked through the skill presentations especially, during skill 34 Self Sharing. I have often shared my own experiences when trying to explore paths for change, but I have never thought about how much I listened before I interjected. I did not think of the interaction as trust building but really, that is the most important part to remember. They need to see you care by actively listening and trying to understand what is going on. Once they realize it as genuine interest, it is easier for them to accept your self sharing as a possible solution or a place to start.
This module has a lot of information in it. What caught my attention was Dr. Anderson saying that so many leaders are quick to say "this is what worked for me", or "you should try it" before even knowing what the entire problem was. We often try to solve the problem much before we have all the facts or even a portion of what is really going on. Whether this is due to not having time to deal with the issues are just thinking that we know how to fix everything, we need to slow down and communicate with our people (listen to). I know I definitely could work on this issue in myself.
I agree. I thought the module on self sharing was extremely informative. I thought pointing out that impatience often causes leaders to offer their experiences too early was valuable information. It also went back to the listening skill from a previous module and something I identified as needing to work on. Instead of thinking of what I could share to help solve the problem, I should take time to listen.
Rodney, I agree and need to improve in this area also. Its most prevalent at home and the family does a great job assisting in grounding.
This module was very right on. A problem is an underlying condition that cam negatively impact the service and therefore needs to be addressed. Problems have a lifecycle that starts when the problem is created often by a change in the environment, includes identification and the stages of diagnosis and remediation, and ends when the issue is resolved either through some action being taken or the underlying situation going away.
Jared, I agree, in retrospect this was a good module but a tough one to get through. The skills discussed were "right on" as you said and require a more involved response than I was previously giving.
I don't know about anyone else, but Zig Ziglar really catches my ear. I was pleased to see another video of one of his presentations. I know he was talking about setting goals, but it is his delivery that is so on point. He's got energy, charisma, and passion. I think though, his voice is what draws me in. If he was a salesman, I'd probably be buying.
I agree Adam. He actually was a salesman. He sold cookware and was promoted a couple of times. The speaking began because he wanted to improve the salesman's image and began giving seminars. While I have heard of him before this course, I never really watched any of his stuff, but I am now a fan.
This module had an underlying theme of effective communication. I can see a baseline of leadership in all of the modules with communication, and this one stressed it even more. Communication is an open line of not just talking but listening and empathizing with what the person is feeling and conveying to you. We sometimes forget that a two-way conversation between a leader and subordinate and listening is the most crucial part.
You're right Steven. Communication seems to be at the core of all of these skills. If we focused on being better communicators (better listeners), much of our leadership problems would be far easier to manage.
This module taught me a lot about addressing conflict. I learned to actually listen first before I start to talk. I need to understand the problem at hand and get the full situation. Timing is so important also. Ownership is important in regards to the person to understand and take accountability for his/her part in the situation.
I agree, Kim! This module addressed conflict. Many supervisors try to avoid conflict but unfortunately, sometimes we can't. By listening first, we can correctly address the problem at hand. Instead of partially listening and possibly up-setting the situation more than it has to be. Listening all the way and then making a plan of action creates a better working environment.
I agree, Kim. Listening is key. By listening to the problem in its entirety gives us an opportunity to have all the information before responding.
So much to take away from this module. The part that interested me the most was the self-sharing skill. I tend to deal with conflict more often these days. I try to interact with staff when I know there are conflicts or issues that need to be addressed. When I know there is something that has to be discussed before it gets out of hand, I want to be reassured it is handled. Knowing what I do now, I understand I should make sure I fully understand what the conflict truly is before I share my thoughts. This module has taught me that timing is everything and to slow down and pause for the right moment to share my point of view.
I really gained the most from Skill 26, Problem Exportation. As we deal with issues and employees who are under-performing, I need to remember to dig deeper than the issues being presented and dig deeper. Often, I have learned, these issues are not the actual problem, but they a symptom of a greater issue. I should ask myself if I made sure they understood their tasks, how to so their job, or if there are any non-work related problems that I can help them with to help ensure our success.
This module was very interesting. I really liked Skill 33 Confrontation lesson. This was very helpful for me and I plan on developing that skill for future use. Challenging others to face their weakness when they have a tendency not to see them can be difficult. A leader needs to make meaningful recommendations to help a person see the possibilities for strengthening their weaknesses that is hindering success. I feel developing, mentoring and coaching officers are instrumental for law enforcement agencies.
I really liked Skill 35 on immediacy. I was expecting it to address the need to handle issues quickly and efficiently, however, my takeaway from it, was the perspective from which issues are handled in a timely manner. The Here and Now immediacy seems to need to present itself, at which point you have to jump on it. The Relationship Immediacy took a different context in how the relationships work and using those to empower others to do their jobs without restriction by clarifying the working relationship.
I thought this was eye opening. Understanding how relationships work and using them to empower others is the goal we are all chasing.
Another great module full of skills that should be developed or at least started to be developed early in the career. It seems so strange to me that I'm just now really learning about these skills and I'm in a leadership position. I can safely say that my leadership skills have increased and these are skills that I need to continually work on to be the best for my organization.
I have to agree Tyler. I was able to take away some good information from this module; things I had not heard of before.
I totally agree that it is strange that I’m just now seeing this material for the first time. Unfortunately, I think that represents how slowly the law enforcement profession has realized that retaining and developing our human capital is so critical to our immediate and long term futures.
The lesson reminded me that coaching plays a vital role in developing others within an organization. From experience, this skill empowers subordinates and encourages them to take responsibility in their approach to work. I have witnessed it improve individual performance and help motivate others to excel. This tool can assist in identifying and developing future leaders. For example, coaching is utilized short-term in law enforcement field training officer programs.
Joey- I could not agree with you more. Coaching and developing is key to a successful law enforcement organization. However, after the first year of training, coaching and development takes a back seat. I feel that it needs to continue throughout their whole career no matter their rank or position.
This module showed me several skills that should be implemented when dealing with a person who is dealing with issues that we may not know of except for what we see outwardly. The self-sharing skill is something that we can improve on in not only discovering the underlying issue, but also in helping them see their issues form the perspective of us sharing a story of our own which relates to their problem and help them see past it.
I agree Jerrod. It is easy to assume the other person knows what we know or they are not experiencing issues outside of work because they paint a smile on their face. Putting ourselves in their shoes and trying to see the world through their eyes can be a game changer in our ability to lead people.
This module reminds me of one of the most important things I can do for myself and my people... communicate clearly and actively listen, while getting to know each one on a personal basis building trust. If I have taken the time to build relationships of mutual trust with my people, confrontation is almost always positive as the book says maybe I have earned the right to confront.
Curtis, you make valid point. Confrontation makes individuals stronger in the way they are able to handle difficult situations soundly.
Curtis, I took the same thing you did from this module. We can all focus more on open communication and relieving conflict through it.
Curtis - One of the things that I have taken from these entire lesson plan is how important listening to our people is. While we all know that it is important, I don't believe that I put enough emphasis on it and need to do better. Definitely something for me to work on.
One of the skills that stood out to me in this module was a referral to a professional helper. In this profession there are many officers that feel seeking help from a professional to address a problem makes them look incompetent or weak. As a leader, it is important to recognize when a person he or she is working with is facing a personal problem beyond the leader's capability to handle it. When this occurs, it is important to refer the person to a professional ( medical, psychological, etc) when needed. This is critically important in our profession. We work in one of the most stressful professions and we will encounter stress-related issues that may require professional help.
I think this is something that is so often overlooked from a supervision level as well. Just as we don't want to be seen as weak or incompetent, nor do we want to make anyone feel weak or incompetent by bringing it up. But it is something we as supervisors must address, not only for our organizations, but for those we are charged with supervising.
One of the skills that stood out to me in this module was that of self sharing. I have used this many times throughout my career as a tool to establish common ground and build trust. So many of these skills play off of one another, requiring the leader to use them together to see the most success. I look forward to implementing the skill of goal setting, action planning and implementing action plan in an upcoming development of a reserve program within our agency.
The skills that I found most beneficial for me in this module was #26 Problem Exploration and #27 Problem Specification. We are so accustomed to making quick assessments and judgements and then moving on to the next issue that we seldom get to the root of the problem. These skills helped me realize that I need to slow down, practice active listening and have empathy in order to truly find the underlining causes of an issue and help resolve the issue permanently.
Good module. It's amazing how we already use a large majority of these skills already but maybe just never put them into context. I often use problem exploration, ownership, and confrontation. When confrontation is done correctly it usually leaves both parties empowered by allowing each to be involved in the steps towards resolution as well. Being approachable and authentic is always important as the respect felt for the supervisor will make the transition for managing the problem seamless.
I think one of the most impactful skills in this module was #31: Implementing Action Plans. For the action plan to be successful it is important to have thorough follow-up and coaching. Something that I harp on a lot is the importance of coaching and mentoring. especially in a supervisor level. There is a big difference between instructing someone and coaching them. It is that deference between mentoring and really taking an interest in someone's future or just instructing them what to do and how to do it. It involves a lot of the "Why" and explaining that to your crew.
One of the biggest take away's for me on this module was that not all confrontations are bad or negative. The person must know that the confrontation is not meant to be negative and the importance of making sure the person you are confronting receives and understands what you are saying. This module really stuck with me as I personally feel like I've been in this position many times. Having to have a conversation with someone who thinks it's a confrontation and doesn't really understand the reason for the conversation.
I like this take away as well. I had this confrontation between two officers the other week and we were able to learn from the conflict and move forward. It was really cool to watch the two officers work through the issue while I sat in to help facilitate.
I agree Zach that not all confrontations have to be negative. I think if we forge to be authentic and approachable then the respect we have already gained will only help the credibility of the supervisor and make him appear less adversarial. As in many of the other modules, taking the time to make lasting relationships with the people that we work for and with will only help us as leaders in the long run.
True, not all confrontations are negative. If you have built the proper trust and rapport with your people they usually understand the idea is about improvement for all involved.
This module and clusters are packed with information and can get a little much at times and feel a bit overwhelming. With that said, I did take a lot away from digging deeper into the underling issues or root causes of a problem rather than just putting a band-aid on the problem and moving on. I have been the recipient of someone at my agency caring enough to dig deeper and find out what underlying issues were causing me to not be myself at all. Likely saved my career so that portion of this module hit close to home for me.
I could not agree more. These modules are packed with LOTS of information that can be overwhelming. I can appreciate how you reference yourself as someone who has been the recipient of someone who took their time to dig deeper. I was having a hard time understanding this module myself until I as well realized this has personally happened to me as well. Well written post Jeff
Well said Jeff. Tons of information in this module. I had first thought that some of this skills were similar and could have been lumped into one but after some thought, I realized that each one is specific, unique and of importance.
I like the topics in this section and found the book a useful tool. The lectures are too redundant and bland. I felt as though the lecture portion for this topic (and the last two modules) is sucking away time from more valuable lessons. I will take away key components from the textbook and am already seeking ways to better myself based on reflecting on past issues I've dealt with and how I could improve on similar situations in the future.
An open line of communication with our officers is vital to manage internal problems. Sometimes it is easy to assume we know why issues are happening before getting all the facts. This is where knowing our personal is crucial. Finding the root of the problem can be the difference between losing a potentially good officer and having them back on the right track. Having a veteran group such as FTO's be mentors to deputies can help manage possible problems. These officers can not only field train but also build good relationships, reinforcing that of the shift supervisors making a community depending on one another for support.
A open line of communication is a vital part of many things in life. Managing people is absolutely one of them. Having open communication and conversations versus just confrontation can make all the difference. I like how you mention having a group of veteran FTO's can be good to help be mentors to manage such problems as these that arise. I can also see the opposite side of this. As we all know, those veterans can be the ones who have the poor attitudes, can't accept change and then create that negative atmosphere and try to get the incoming officers to buy into that as well.
I agree that open communication is necessary in an agency and with the community it serves. I also agree that the relationship between FTO/Probationer can be career lasting if done correctly. Once that trust is built, it generally lasts until one of the members breaks it. With that in mind, knowing a new officer will likely seek input in the future from their former FTO, it is critical that the departments FTO's are on the same page with Command Staff or early on in a new officers career, they could be pointed against the grain by an FTO who doesn't agree with Command Staff.
This module discussed several important issues that we deal with in our profession. A lot of information was shared during the lecture and reading portion, that truly helped me assign the proper terminology and outline the proper way, or a better way of addressing these issues. I have had to play the role of coach, counselor and mentor with everyone of my co-workers and subordinates and I was fortunate to have a good mentor of my own. It's very important that we can properly identify a problem and it's root cause, even within ourselves, so we can properly and effectively begin to address it through ownership, goal setting and commitment to action. Also recognizing when we need to take the next step of professional help. I've had to do this in the past and the impact it had on the involved party was one of relief and gratitude. In my opinion, to acquire and refine this set of skills is as crucial in our profession as being knowledgeable of the law and the use of proper tactics. This career choice, whether we want to admit it or not, has a major impact on our lives and those of our peers and subordinates.
I always possess the ability to self-share, I find that I only do this with individuals I trust. If I am dealing with a subordinate because of a work related issue / problem, I never share anything about myself. I strongly believe and feel; that I need to work on my empathy skills. I feel if I improve in that area; my experiences could possibly help me relate better with the individual I'm dealing with and they will understand better.
As a leader, we have to ensure we are doing what we can for our officers before the problem is out of our hands. Several years back, my Agency institute a "help line" that was dubbed by most as a snitch line. The concept of this line was for someone to say something before someone's problem got out of hand. This phone line was completely anonymous and I believe it saved some officers and allowed them to get the help they needed before it was to late.
This is interesting. Although it was considered a "snitch line" it got officers the help needed. the fact that it was still used is awesome and served its purpose. To many officers have been lost due to the old mentally of help = weakness. This job takes its toll on everyone and some kind of escape is necessary to stay at the best possible performance.
I think one of the ways we fail most as leaders is not ensuring that are goals are clear and that the entire team understand the goal and its importance. By creating a written action plan with dates and deadlines, ensures everyone is on the same page and understands how we will achieve our goal. By allowing those involved in the goal to be a part of the planning, will give them a sense of reason and purpose and they will work harder to achieve the goal.
Being on the same page is a key component toward success. I have worked for supervisors who had no clear, identified, and shared vision (goals). They seemed to know what they wanted, but failed to share it well. It created confusion and frustration for myself and others as we had to guess where we were going organizationally and how to get there.
This lesson has given me a lot of information that I am able to take away from this session. I need to improve my skills in goal setting. Doing so will help both myself and my subordinates. Another skill that stood out was immediacy. Less than 2 weeks after I got promoted to sergeant, I had to take one of my deputies to the hospital to get evaluated because he told someone about a suicidal thought he had. One of the hardest things I had to do was to leave him at the hospital after his evaluation.
Darryl, that is a hard thing to do, but you were there for your deputy is his time of need. That deputy will always remember that even if it doesn't work out that they stay on the job. That action was just as much a part of your responsibility as a leader as performing roll call, assigning/reviewing cases, and whichever other supervisory duty you can add.
Ultimately I want to believe that my team is very open and honest with me and that they involve me in all aspects of the division. However no one wants be "that person" to come to me with the problem when it involves another colleague. I have learned through this module that I have to be proactive and attempt to keep my eyes and ears open to the entire operation. Often I do hear of areas that maybe problematic and I immediately want to insert myself into those conversations but I have to learn and train myself to not get involved early and trust that the immediate supervisors are handling the situation to the best of their ability. That may fail and I need to be self-aware to address the situation.
It is my experience that police officers, in general, want to avoid the deeper feelings and root causes. This was especially true of the supervisors I had when I started on patrol. Fix the external issues that affected them and not worry about any underlying issues. There was a time where my wife and I were having a rough time and I was basically told to leave my home problems at home and do not let them interfere with my work. As we all know that is easier said than done. It took straightening things out at home to fix things at work. If my supervisors at the time could have had some of this insight it could have helped me tremendously.
Burt what you're saying is so true. As officers we do tend to put "band aids" on issues; rather than fix them. Knowing we will have to eventually deal with it. So many officers fail to shoe empathy; thinking it will make them seem weak. In our world there will always be the misconception of being "macho" and not showing any signs of weakness. At the of the day we have to remember we're all human. We cannot speak or claim to be our brother or sister's keeper or even speak about the thin blue line; when its' convenient. It has to be genuine and we have to be passionate about it. We never know what burdens our brothers or sisters are carrying. And we'll never know; because we refuse to show empathy and deal with the root cause.
Well put, Burt. So often police officers look for the band-aid approach to fixing an issue because it solves it right then and they can move on. We are often time terrible at digging deeper and finding out what underlying issues are present to help find a more permanent solution.
I really admired Dr. Anderson's approach to problem solving. His empathetic approach along with patience and active listening was very inspiring. I appreciated the approach of listening and humbly suggesting certain views of possibilities would make the other person comfortable to the point of collectively creating a solution or compromise.
This module was very insightful in breaking down action planning and goal setting. I have tried to set professional and personal goals pretty often. I don’t always accomplish them especially personal goals such as fitness and weight loss goals. But by breaking the problems down into specifics and finding a way to own the problems I can fix I hope to start a better track record of accomplishing my goals. I also greatly appreciated the attention in the examples of supervisors not only noticing but intervening in officers that are overwhelmed by stress. I was previously one of those officers and was diagnosed with major depressive disorder. It was only through a strong support system both in and out of work that I overcame my depression. It is a great thing that more law enforcement leaders are being made aware of the dangers and signs of this.
Anderson, T. (2017). Every officer is a leader cluster 3. Module 9, Weeks 3 & 4. National Command and Staff College.
Ronald, I also struggle with accomplishing those same personal goals. I need to do a better job of goal ownership by using the 3 steps to achieve goals. I also need to do a better job at action planning.
Implementing actions plans was one of the skills that I enjoyed because many times leaders forget to do this. I think that it's important to help others reach their goals and succeed within an organization. I think that everyone struggles, and can use encouragement from others. I think that organizations would be more successful if we implement more action plans and not get discouraged by failure. I also think that self-sharing your own personal experiences can be very helpful. You can learn a lot from others mistakes. I agree that law enforcement leaders should take the opportunity to pass on success strategies for handling problems, so that others can learn from them.
One of the areas of this lesson that stuck out to me was the referral to a professional helper. I think this is an extremely important skill set for a leader to have in the law enforcement profession. Even with the many positive strides that we have made in today's policing with focusing on the mental and overall wellness of officers, this is still an area that needs work. It is a naturally uncomfortable area for those within our profession to confront or deal with when it involves someone within our own agency. We deal with this without issue when it is someone outside in the general public. As a leader, I strive to make sure I am a resource for those I supervise. My agency management has placed a strong emphasis on officer wellness and we have many officer wellness programs and options available. We have a contract with a therapist that provides officers round the clock access to someone to talk to or reach out for assistance. I realize it is my job as a leader to recognize those that need assistance and make the appropriate referral to assist them. This lesson helped me gain additional skills on the right way to do this so that it is well received and a successful referral.
I can tell you from personal experience that it is uncomfortable but necessary for a leader to be involved with his staff. I have been on both sides of the conversation and have had the good fortune that when I was the one in need of help it was there. When one of my personnel was in crisis not only my agency was supportive but community organizations in the area also offered anonymous support as well. And it was with these resources available that neither crisis turned out bad.
Mental health crisis is certainly something that plagues law enforcement and we spend time training on how to deal with his with the public. Unfortunately, we do not spend much time doing the same for our own personnel. This is why it is so important for a leader to have a relationship with those under his command allowing them to open up about problems they may be having. Our agencies need to work to establish this kind of assistance and recognize that it does exist within our own agencies.
I thought Dr. Anderson had an interesting perspective on the concept of "confrontation" as he correlated that to increasing leadership credibility. Our ability to be transparent with our officers is critical to their success, the agency's success and building trust with our officers. He broke that down even further into strength and weakness confrontation; although confronted someone has a negative connotation to it; he defines these strategies as challenging someone to focus and/or face their personal strengths or weaknesses to solve problems or reach goals.
Anderson (2021) embarks on a dialogue engaged in dealing with problems from the perspective of a facilitator. In doing so, he formulates an understanding with folks that problems must be identified and owned before they can be addressed. This is so important to the process model of problem ownership as it is the first step. So often, manifest behaviors are addressed, but not the root cause(s) of a problem. Accordingly, suggestions are offered to address the behavior while the problem still festers. Individuals receiving this type of feedback and help are less likely to take advice. Suggestions centered on manifest behaviors, as opposed to actual root causes of a problem, are usually not followed.
Interestingly, this approach, if attended by facilitative persons, can be quite effective. The key is remaining non-judgmental and facilitating a discussion that engages in exploring potential root causes of a problem while addressing the manifest behavior as well.
Anderson, T. (2021). Problem Management and opportunity leveraging. Module # 9, Week # 4. National command and Staff College.
I thought it was interesting how Dr. Anderson handled situations in which individuals came to him for an answer on an issue. He more so guided them to their own solution through attentive listening and conversation than simply saying "oh the answer to that problem is you doing the following..."
I really agree with this. I found that seriously represented patience, empathy and active listening at its finest.
As leaders it is our responsibility to be able to recognize all of these steps before something gets so far along that we can't fix it. We need to pay more attention to our co-workers and ask more questions. I know some people have a problem with getting involved but as a leader it's something you must do.
This is definitely true. Although there needs to be some separation of work and home life the bleed-over is inevitable. We need to be able to recognize that there is often something deeper than the issue we are seeing at work.
In one of the examples relayed by Anderson he said, “Pinpointing the deeper feeling (overwhelmed to the point of losing hope) produced the insight. His problem (that he could do something about – “can’t say no”) came together for him like the pieces of a puzzle and the light of truth went on.” I think this is very true in a police organization where the manifested issues are often the end result of some other conflict. I also think this applies to almost all levels of the organization regardless of if you ae rank and file or management. This is why the problem exploration skills is so important to master early on
I really resonate with your thoughts here. That "light of truth" moment is so evident in folks when trying to get to the root of an issue. One of the things I have had to consciously arrest is the temptation to go straight to what I think the problem is, when actually I haven't allowed the individual to explore some potential avenues. In the past, I have tended to address the manifest behaviors as opposed to the root cause- I was not very holistic. This module has helped me identify that deficiency in myself.
Best and stay safe-
I enjoyed the information on problem ownership. I think this is key to being able to help someone through a problem. The individual must be willing to admit there is a problem and come up with goals and an action plan on how to address the problem. I have seen thing with some of my own staff who have been completely unwilling to admit that there behaviors are part of a problem. This module has provided some tips on how to work through that and dig deeper to find another problem may be causing the observed problem.
I also enjoyed that discussion as well because it is important to admit when there's a problem and to confront it without delay. Often times leaders try to avoid taking action and the problem only becomes bigger.
You are correct. I've noticed some leaders rather have someone else confront THEIR problem for them instead of addressing the issues themselves.
Absolutely, the individual that you are trying to help has to admit there is a problem in order to move forward in a productive manner with goals put in to place.
I really liked the part on goal setting. It opened my eyes when they said to write them down. That when this is done it is more effective. I looked back and every time i did that I reached my goals. The times I didn't is when I would just mentally say what I wanted to do. Having the paper in front is a daily reminder of what you are striving to achieve. Whether its a long term or short term goal this method is great to helping achieve it.
I enjoyed the goal setting as well and have found it beneficial to write them down. Many of us are good at remember the big goals, but some of the smaller goals get lost over time. Also, it's a lot easier to change them or move the goal post if they're not written down. It simply makes it to easy to change the goal, so it's accomplished rather than continue to try to get the original goal.
I enjoyed the section where the Action Plan was discussed. It gave me some insight on how I need to begin to think about things. I`ve never been one to write things down, make lists, etc. I get ideas in my head, but then it`s gone before I`ve had a chance to address it. This discussion has taught me the importance of putting things on paper.
I agree. I found the information on action plans and implementing action plans to be helpful. Having a action plan can help clearly communicate expectations among staff to limit assumptions and hopefully reduce conflict.
To me one of the most interesting parts of this module was when Dr. Anderson stated that people only use our ideas twenty percent of the time! This makes me consider how important it must be to see things from the other persons perspective, and lead them to form their own ideas. It seems to me that coaching a person into feeling as if they identified their own solution is beneficial.
I found it interesting that the purpose of the module wasn't just about helping others manage problems but also to encourage them to find their own solutions. As supervisors, we are there to facilitate the process, from identifying the problem to working through goals and an action plan. I thought it was interesting watching Dr. Anderson's modeling videos as he seems to be a master in the art of "not really saying anything at all". He's being incredibly helpful in a way that allows the other person to find their own solutions, which were likely rattling around in their head all along. It is very much the approach I would expect a psychiatrist to take. I think overall, he did a nice job tying this approach to a more grounded version that we can use in day-to-day supervision.
He says so much, even when he doesn`t say anything. You could just see how the answers and solutions came to the people he was speaking with. Very interesting..
All of the skills in this lesson are equally important, but skill 25, "Advanced Empathy", is the one I need to be more proficient with. Having the capacity to be aware of, understand, and be sensitive to another's deeper feelings and the internal problems or issues that are connected to those feelings is not only important in a workplace environment but also in a personal environment. A career in law enforcement can easily numb you to those types of concerns which is why it is important to continually reevaluate how well we engage with people and utilize this skill.
I see this happen a lot with officers, the one main problem that leads to the lack of empathy is that they get burnt out on hearing the same excuses all the time or by listening to the same problems. You have to be ready and have a clear mind with each person you deal with.
Travis this is a great point and something I definitely need to work on as well. Coming from the military into law enforcement, empathy is certainly not my strong point and something I see the need to improve when interacting with both the community and coworkers.
In Skill 28 Doctor Anderson said that an inability to “own up” to the problem is most often an issue of personal development, rather than stubbornness. I agree with this statement wholeheartedly and see this quite often with our staff (especially our young staff members). Many of these were hired right after graduating high school. Within a short time most find themselves making a big mistake and struggle to take ownership of it. As a leader I must be willing to assist them in the development of their professional and personal development.
The skill, “Self-Sharing,” described in the module can be a very useful tactic for leaders to bond and connect with someone they are trying to help with an issue. Using those real life examples will help make it more applicable to the subject where they can relate to it. If someone sharing a real life experience uses an example of something “not to do,” this can show vulnerability and may let that person in need of help realize others have struggles too, which can be learned from. The leader opening up and talking about a tough encounter that could have been handled differently can be a teaching point, passing on successful strategies, as well as allowing the leader sharing the experience to be viewed as a “person” too, and not necessarily just a “boss.”
This module was quite long and covered a lot of information. Problem ownership was an important topic for me. Having the ability and maturity to own a problem is a sign of a good leader. I think when someone can have problem ownership that individual also has the ability to find the avenues to overcome those problems.
Marshall, I agree that problem ownership is very important and shows signs of maturity and of a good leader. This is a very difficult skill and most of us have a hard time with it. Learning this skill it will help us in addressing problems or issues and overcoming them.
It was interesting when listening to the self-sharing statistics about how much people don't take advice and seek their own solutions to problems or issues. The 80 - 20 split revealed why I always looked for my own way even though those who came before me should have had the experience base to lead my decision making. Now I am the old dog with the library of knowledge but still, see people doing things differently. Clinical Depression is a tough pill to swallow in our profession, we are the strong and the people call us to handle their problems. We can not show weakness nor allow weakness in our ranks so we do not look for it, but we all see the results every time we hear or read about a fellow LEO taking their own lives. Let us be aware of our family's needs and help each other live long into retirement.
One of the skills I found most interesting was that of self-sharing. I see this as valuable skill when used properly to demonstrate to those you lead that you too have had problems along the way. It is a great way to allow people to learn from your mistakes and see that there often is more ways to solve a problem than first may come to mind. It also give those you lead a different view of you; it allows them to see you as an understanding human rather than just the boss.
I agree that self-sharing can be very valuable in helping others. I've always liked when my supervisors have taken the time to occasionally present examples from their own life which helps me better understand the problem as a whole.
From the video, Uncommon sense: moving from a problem-focused to solution-focused mindset, it was interesting to see the analysis that 95% of the world is mentally ill, unable to tell fantasy from reality. This problem of focusing on problems too much and the aftermath is hugely telling when we look at today's society's challenges. The inability to come up with solutions and the frustration it causes is concerning how it becomes enough of a concern we openly address the issues? Through other positive psychology classes, the concept of changing one's mindset just by looking at our problems as challenges, and significantly, calling them as such, goes a long way in addressing our approaches to the myriad of challenges facing us.
I think trust building is a good skill to have. I think that once you build trust with the employees they will go out there way to invest in the business. I think with trust the employee will have more flexibility fo.r the job
This module reminds me of what is necessary for Crisis Negotiations.
I agree with you but would expand it to recognize the difference between someone in crisis and someone whose normal state is mental impairment. Talking to people is our primary power against both but not every impairment encounter is because they are in crisis, rather it is someone else perceiving them to be acting weird.
There was significant amount of information within this module. I found the building block process of the skills very helpful. For example, we must attempt to truly understand the problems or feelings (empathy) before we can work towards offering help with the situation. Being able to specifically explore and put into language accurately outlining the problem so that it is clarified that someone can take ownership and then proceed with setting a goal and plan to focus on solutions.
I agree with the importance of establishing an empathetic connection. If people don't believe you understand where they are coming from, they often will shut down your message and you becoming ineffective.
Skill #28 problem ownership. I found this skill to be very informative and something that I have not thought about prior to this module. I was always the under the assumption that possibly someone that would not take ownership of their issues/problems, that they were immature. This is far from the case. By being able to look at the person that is creating a problem in seeing that if they are lacking self-confidence, or scared to be humiliated by owning the problem. By learning that someone that does not own their problem it is often issue with personal developments. I can see this to be true looking at individuals that bring problems on without their ownership of them, and willing to blame everyone else for them. Not so much a maturity issue more of a personal development issue.
I think it’s very important for those in a supervisory position to be able to show those vulnerable moments and talk about a tough incident where it could have went better – not only is it a teaching moment, but now others can see even those in a leadership/supervisory role can have flaws and make mistakes. Communication can open up and good discussions could be the result.
This module was intriguing for me as it created a lot of self-reflection on my communication style. The various skills all have recognizable applications for me in my role and I appreciate that the skills are broken down and have examples and modeling included.
One takeaway i was able to get from the module is that communication skills are important. Effective communication is the basis for good, productive leaders.
I think I have been habitually guilty of offer advise prematurely. I don't know if it's impatience or being too eager to help. That lesson helped to remind me that it's not about my helping the person but, rather their journey to fixing whatever problem it is.
I agree that we definitely offer advise prematurely and more than likely gave the wrong advise because we failed to listen effectively and help the person figure out what is the underlying issue that is causing them to act in this capacity to begin with.
I really liked how this lesson emphasized how important it is to develop a relationship with the people you lead before expecting and implementing change. I have learned from past supervisors that throwing a lot of new things at people without them trusting that person or understanding why doesn't have a positive result. People may still do what is asked of them, but they aren't going to do it to the best of their ability or go above what is asked of them. With my team, when I am looking at changing something, I often look to my team for suggestions or ideas to make sure nothing is missed. Plus, by doing that, you get buy in from them and it shows that their opinion and thoughts matter. Having supervisors and being the person being lead by them, that is very valuable to me and I want to continue that with the people I lead as well.
Very well said. You hit on all of the skills that were taught in this module.
I would say that the goal setting section was very helpful for me. Identifying goal ownership is something we all in our agencies need to look at. Being goal focused and more detailed about what to do can be a very big help in setting goals. Like knowing what to do and how to do it. When they spoke about celebrating the accomplishment of your people it was very helpful and a tool I will definitely start implementing.
If I was to sum up this module in a shorter format; I would say that it is imperative to know our people which involves being able to communicate effectively with them, instill confidence by setting short term goals for them to attain and having the courage to refer an employee to a professional if their is any doubt in our minds. The stigma surrounding PTSD is real and it is incumbent upon us as leaders to continue to break that stigma by our actions and words.
What I got out of this module was realizing that if someone's performance significantly changes or they become outward discontent there is a whole bigger bag of problems (in most cases). Developing and maintaining good relationships is key if you're going to have any luck with digging into the problem. Most of the modules we have covered seem to break things down in a simplified manner. This one seemed to be a little over kill to me. I may not be as open to it, since I personally feel people tend to get their feelings hurt more quickly than in years past and it seems like so many more people are diagnosed with a mental disorder too. But, in trying to view it in a way outside of my own beliefs, the module does give a detailed way to peel back those layers in order to get to the root of the problem, as long as the other person is receptive and I do my part. Getting to the root of the problem, showing empathy, do your best to achieve some ownership for the problem and help establish goals. Then continue to stay engaged with them, reaffirming goals and re-implementing as needed should get you close as long as you're all in.
I enjoy your perspective on this module. I personally appreciated the breakdown of the various skills, although I agree that they seemed to overlap at times and a number of skills seemed very similar.
I see that the workplace has become more receptive to stress, depression, and mental illnesses in general in the past decade. Long gone are the days of "suck it up" and keep your thoughts inside. This should be viewed as a good thing, especially in law enforcement agencies. PTSD is a real fight for many.
There were many good points made in this module. Empathy and goal setting to resolved problems stand out to me. Without thoughtful goals, I believe we are aimless. The job will get done but we never progress, we never get better. Comfort zones are just that, comfort. We need to push ourselves and our followers to always be learning, looking for opportunities to improve and make our organizations and communities better.
This module has a great amount of real-world importance. Helping staff identify problems, take ownership, and set goals and action plans to move on from the problem is something supervisors in law enforcement spend a lot of time on. I appreciated how the module ended on the importance of referrals for professional help. Officer wellness is such an important responsibility for command staff and supervisors and it is imperative that we know how to identify when it is time for us to steer an employee to a professional and how to effectively do so. I also like the importance put on action planning in this module. So often we successfully identify problems and set goals to solve them, but fail in implementation.
I think that goal failure can be overcome by implementing the plan as discussed. Revisiting frequently throughout a year to discuss progress towards goals is a must. In my agency, we require quarterly meetings to discuss progress in general but also where our goals are sitting. These meetings are informal but help build rapport (trust) and give supervisors the opportunity to confront when appropriate. The excuse of "I am too busy" or "I didn't have enough time" is just that, an excuse. Push ourselves and our followers, the benefits will show.
This was a big section with a lot of good information in it. I was interested in the problem- exploration and problem-specification sections. Identifying the cause of any problems seems like a no brainer but we often focus on the external problem, or the observed behavior. I found it fascinating that people don’t take others advice unless they understand and take ownership of the internal issue. Funny, cause I often dish it out or try to share too much of what my problems were and how I dealt with it. Good to realize that it probably went in one ear and out the other. I realize, even with my best intentions I may not be doing as well as I thought I was as a coach or mentor.
I also came to the self-realization that I spend way too much time talking about how I have done things and I see that I give out way too much advice when it often isn't what is needed in the situation. I have spend a lot of time in the last week since experiencing modules 7-9 paying attention to how I listen and respond in conversation.
There are many interesting skills in this module. I found the topic of skill 33 related to confrontation intriguing. Many people look at confrontation as a negative, but Dr. Anderson does a good job of explaining how the tactic can be an appropriate problem management tool when used at the right time with the right person. I learned as leaders we must have built a bank of trust with that employee before we can use this tactic, and that it also must be used in a respectful way. I think for many police officers being able to confront the officer with an honest assessment of their behavior is more appreciated than tip toeing around a problem behavior. I was also intrigued to learn that using self-sharing needs to be done at a proper time. For many of leaders we just want to solve the problem for our officers based on our experience. We do not give the officer time to solve the problem on their own, building their own assessments and resolutions.
This Lesson has taught how in important is to have the trust of the people you lead. the second lesson i took away from this is that we need to place our self's in people shoes before we judge their actions.
This was very eye opening for me. When I see an issue develop with one of my people my initial response is to fix it. Not the underlying issue just the problem. This seems to be the more efficient way, but turns out its just a band aid that causes more issues down the road.
Enjoyed the TED talk by Mel Gill and the foundation he gives us for setting ourselves up for the future. At this point in my life and career I am looking at taking the "next big step" and finding some of my thoughts and plans to be overwhelming. By using Gill's method of thinking what I have, where I want to go in the next two years, figuring out what I need to get there and then finally taking the next big step and actually acting on the dreams and goals. This is where most people fail because they do not act on the final step. They become scared to fail but should remember that failing is a means to success.
I also found Mel Gill to be entertaining and insightful. I really liked how he changed identifying problems into situations. Honestly, I think our minds tell us to try to fix problems when we usually don't other than temporarily deflecting the source issue. It's not about fixing, it's finding the solution. He was very funny...I had a good laugh watching that video.
I couldn't agree more Jacqueline. Nothing against Dr Anderson, but Mel had it going on. I hope they can add him to their rotation in the future. I also agree that our mindsets can make the problem worse if we go at it with the intent of fixing the person or just telling them what we thing their solution should be.
One take-a-way I had from this lesson is goal setting. Typically, when we thing about goal setting we think about it being used to measure and physical outcome. Such as increasing the number of community service contacts. However, in this lesson, goal setting is used in a way to change an individual behavior or to create a plan for forward self improvement growth. I found this an interesting way to help an individual really create a plan. Prior to this, i would have looked at different ways to talk through perceptions and possible harmful behavior. Now I will look at ways to help individuals write small obtainable goals to change their mindset.
Trust building takes what seems like forever to gain and only a second to loose. This set of skills are a great reminder on what it takes to start the trust relationship as a leader. The reference that Mel Gill stating that you don't have problems you have situations, problems don't have solutions but situations do, was a great positive outlook on this.
Amen! It's kind of like the plane crash analogy, you never hear about successful landings in the news.
As leaders we need to get to know our people, that's the foundation to success and will pay in dividends the long term. There are those in every organization though that seek to discredit. We have to focus on the betterment of the masses and this should include calling out the naysayers and helping them out of our organizations. There is no room for their toxicity.
I agree with you on trust. We see it all the time when out in the field and develop that with CI's and the community. Yet internally we seem to forget that once trust is lost its hard to get back. We might not like the answer we hear but ans long as honest and trustworthy we will accept it.
Apparently we should all move to Jamaica where they do not have problems but they have situations mon! I liked this idea however the Ted Talk speakers in general left something to be desired. Changing your mindset from one that is problem focused to one that is solution orientated is great. Sometimes everything looks like a problem, but could just be a situation we have put ourselves in. I try to take a moment and look at each issue form multiple perspectives and typically I can come up with some solutions.
Once again we were reminded of how important trust-building is in leadership. People won’t open up about underlying problems if they think we don’t care and if they can’t trust us. I appreciated Dr. Anderson’s discussion about problem exploration, specification and ownership. The way he broke the process down helped me understand why each step is important and necessary. He described problem-management as a set of skills that we must develop in ourselves and others to truly make a difference. I also liked Mel Gill’s description of a problem as a situation. Through humor, he really drove home the point that people have the capacity to change and not only survive but thrive under difficult circumstances.
I agree, there is a continued consistency on the importance to trust and relationship building within our organizations. Without having those relationships it is almost impossible to have any kind of meaningful conversations.
You are absolutely correct Maja, people with issues will not seek help if they feel they can't trust anyone or that the other person truly doesn't care. Again, I think this is where we need to put the "busy" things down in our life and give our full attention to someone seeking help (skill#20) which is listening.
I agree, building a positive relationship that has trust is critical in establishing an environment where people can feel more comfortable in taking ownership and accepting help with situations. I like the focus on solutions to the situation rather than focus on problems.
This was a busy module. I found myself having to stop, pause, and replay the info that was being relayed. I enjoyed how this area defined coaching, counseling, and mentoring. It defined each in a specific way and how they can be implemented into our role as leaders. I think its important in noting that these coaching and counseling areas are big for career development. As LE professionals we must have the insight to look within and see what areas we can improve, as well as how we can grow the people we lead. Was anyone able to download the “root cause” template???
There was a lot to take in during this module. One of the most important areas is recognizing when to refer to a problem solving professional. A good leader knows their own limitations and when to refer to a professional. It doesn't stop there with the referral. The effective leader researches possible choices and when possible makes direct referrals based on positive past results. It is important to provide a couple credible options so the employee can make the choice. It also provides them with another option if the first one doesn't work out.
I think your right Christopher that a good leader knows their limitations and should know when to make a referral. I never really thought about researching counselors and their level of certification. Our department and city has always had specific programming we could refer people too. That program would then help the employee to diagnosis possible problems and refer them to the preferred counselor or assistance. I think the program really protects employee’s anonymity and even offers free sessions to city employees. I agree it should not stop with the referral and as leaders following up with our people should also be a priority.
I found these three modules to be the most interesting thus far however they are quite long! On a side note, it was difficult to see the notes. Dr. Anderson presents us with several skills that build upon each other. If used correctly, we will all be fantastic leaders!
I found these three modules to be the most interesting topic presented thus far, however they are very long! The notations in the videos is to small to see and difficult to take notes off of. That being said Dr. Anderson's information is a treasure trove of what and how to deal with employees and difficult situations. Properly confronting personnel is more complex than we were ever told it could be.
I liked the metaphor used in skill #26 when Dr Anderson talked about a QB leading the WR when throwing the ball in exploring and trying to get to root problems. Leaders should help people lead a conversation a bit in order help get people to talk about what is really going on and what underlying problems they exist. Once the conversation starts though, the wide receiver needs to catch the ball and run with it. It's important to not be to quick to offer advice as they will likely not help to uncover the underlying problem.
I completely agree Paul, I like how they implemented the football analogy. That made it clear for me. Explaining how we need to lead our officers in the correct way fits right into the QB throwing a pass to a receiver in stride, or maybe leading him when he’s stuck
From what I gathered from the football analogy the quarterback would be a leader beginning a conversation with someone (the wide receiver). The wide receiver would be listening to the conversation while running their route. During the conversation the quarterback would throw the ball (inquiring just enough about the problem). When the wide receiver caught the ball (they would then run with it). This is when the quarterback would just sit back and observe/listen to the issue of the wide receiver.
This module is a great reminder to slow down and try to figure out the true, root cause to problems. I think I am usually a good listener but often find myself trying to jump in and solve the problem. This has lead to my making wrong assumptions and missing the point someone else is trying to make. This is a skill I need to work on as it will help me solve my own problems as well as help lead others to finding solutions to their problems, or "situations" in Jamaica. The presenter in the TedX video was great, very engaging presenter I would like to see more of him.
So tempting to just fix the immediate issue and move on. But solving the underlying issue will save time later.
Agreed. The underling issue will always manifest itself in the future if it is not dealt with in a positive manner at the outset.
I feel that you are spot on Durand. In my younger days, I was more concerned with getting the work done with 100% accuracy, and had no time to deal with people’s problems or their emotions. I was guilty of offering quick advice and solutions, and failed to hear what was being said to me. We should help our people when they are in need and hurting. We should care more about the people working for us, and less about the workload surrounding us.
The skills in this lecture were very information along with the the video presentation of positive thinking. Skill #28. Problem-Ownership, Helping Ourselves and Others Own-Up is one of the most important skills for me as a leader. In my current position, I have made it clear to my people that I expect them to take extreme ownership of their actions. I encourage decision making and action planning before they seek out my assistance. I expect them to come to me with a plan of action. I will support and offer suggestions. I have found this skills to be difficult to develop because most unmotivated people tend to pass the problems or situations to their superiors. As leaders it is crucial to empower our people with extreme ownership by allowing by employees to grow, therefore helping myself in the process. When employees are given the tools to apply problem-solving techniques, they buy-in and grow as individuals. Another important skill is public safety is Goal-Setting: Identifying Realistic and Motivating Targets. Leaders have to help employees accomplish their professional goals and motivate them in order to achieve those goals. Oftentimes, leaders fail to assist employees in identifying realistic attainable goals. One take away for me is focusing on identifying realistic goals for my employees and be the vehicle for them to achieve them. It is important for organizational success. Doing this will help enhance the overall organizational culture. Currently, I am in charge of a specialized team with a group high performers. Some of the members have have set unrealistic goals for the team, which has created some tension among them and stress for me. When I get back to work I will apply the principles covered in this topic to allow my team to set new attainable goals for organizational success.
I have grown fond of Mr Zig Ziglar through these modules. I liked his simple approach to goal setting. 1. Identifying the objective. 2. Laying out a timeline 3. List the obstacles 4. Collaboration groups 5. Devise a game plan 6. Identifying the need to knows.
Another module with a wealth of skills needed for a leader to be successful especially when dealing with others. There were a couple of points mentioned in the introduction video and in Dr. Anderson's presentation that stood out to me. I liked the concept presented in Introduction video that we don't have problems, we have situations. Like the presenter indicated, people cannot seem to get over "problems" but every "situation" has a solution. Another concept that I never really thought of was that we have to respect the unorthodox way that people solve problems/ situations. There are times when someone surprises me with their ingenuity when they describe how they arrived at a solution to a problem. I remind myself that I can learn from that. In the presentation itself, Dr. Anderson frequently reminds us that the skills in this module builds on skills from the previous two modules. This seems redundant but the importance cannot be overstated. A leader will not be able to properly help or assess the needs of others if they take a haphazard approach to this process. Dr. Anderson correctly stated that these skills are critical to helping staff members learn to manage and solve problems. One skill (Skill #36) Referral really is underrated. Many supervisors do not know when to let go of a problem or are unable to acknowledge that they do not have the requisite skills to remediate it. Whether a leader turns the staff member/ situation over to a licensed professional or another person in the organization that has more experience, the manner in which it "handed off" is crucial. A leader cannot just refer the person to someone else and wipe there hands and move on to the next problem. Dr. Anderson highlights eight steps to making a referral. For me, the key steps are ensuring the other person has the right qualifications, proper introductions, follow up (both parties), and continued support. Referring someone to a professional is not a supervisor weakness, it shows that the leader cares enough to get the staff member the best help they can to solve a problem.
I found this to be another module packed with a lot of great information. One of the things I learned from this was that when dealing with problem issues, I am likely to quick to offer my own solutions and advise. I should more patient. I think as leaders we can get caught up in the quick solution to manage an issue and move on. By not taking the time to get to the real underlying issue we are not really managing the problem effectively.
I agree. I find it helpful to ask people if they are hoping for feedback or just want me to listen. I tend to be solution orientated so I like to jump right in. Sometimes people just need to vent and they don't want you to solve anything. Patience and understanding what the other person needs is helpful.
I, too, enjoyed Mel Gill’s TedX presentation and always appreciate the determination and success of those that overcame serious tragedy or difficulty in life as it is hard not to listen to them as they speak with undeniable experience. I certainly took away his thoughts on possibility thinking. The additional skills taught by Dr. Anderson are probably some of the most difficult skills to learn and hone as leaders. I really felt problem-ownership, confrontation and immediacy are some of the most effective, but difficult to use skills in the problem management process. Getting someone, even myself sometimes, to identify the problem and take ownership is a difficult task. We cannot start to better our situation if we don’t fully understand what our part in that situation is. The confrontation skill was interesting as hearing confronting someone on their strengths was a first for me as the word normally had a negative connotation. And immediacy, which I thought sounded like confrontation but I can see the difference, can be a valued skill as a last resort or in a very trusted relationship.
Great points Jacobson. When people overcome adversity their message becomes stronger. They truly have undeniable experience that they can use to support others. Their experience gives them credibility.
The skills in cluster 3 covered in this section are the more difficult topics that in my opinion, many leaders struggle with. Empathy (Skill #25) is a big one, as I have seen leaders who make no attempt to see the feelings behind their staffs' problems. As in police work, there are many times where if we take time to understand the feelings behind the act or problem, we will find how to solve it. Problem specification (Skill #27) is another one, as many leaders are not comfortable pointing out specific problems, even when that is the first step in solving them. That leads us to Skill #33, Confrontation, which is a part of of what we need to do as supervisors. I did like how Dr. Anderson pointed out that this skill involves pointing out both weakness and strengths as part of the confrontation process. As a side note, I very much enjoyed the opening video segment: Uncommon Sense- Moving From a Problem-Focused Solution-Focused Mindset. Very engaging speaker!
James, you hit a big issue with departments. Problem specification is lacking with supervisors regarding addressing the department overall. Some supervisors find it relatively easy to pick out problems with weaker subordinates because they do not threaten them. This also comes from ineffective supervisors. Good leadership should be able to communicate with the staff and identify problems and have solutions to back them. This leads right to confrontation. Bad leadership thrives on destructive confrontation among the staff, and good leadership will support conflict with help in working the issues.
Module 9 is about providing us with additional tools and skills we can use as leaders to guide our employees through problems. Recognizing that there is a problem is the first step towards resolving it. As leaders, it is our responsibility to guide our employees down the correct path during this process. If we cannot do that then we are to refer them to someone who can. I personally found Skill 26, Problem Exploration, to be one that I am eager to utilize. I like the idea of put the other person's reality first. This skill provides clarity to the other person on what their problem is.
I agree, we need to learn to help our employees to find solutions to their problems. These skills will help us through this process for ourselves as well as with our employees. You are correct, we need to know the other person's reality. It ties in with module 8 and suspending our frame of reference.
I think this is absolutely critical Durand. It is about putting the other person first and helping them figure out for themselves what the problem is. Sure, it helps if we have a good idea, and there is a time and a place when that knowledge will be useful, but we won’t be able to move forward if they can’t acknowledge and define the problem in their own words first. Suspending our frame of reference is really important during problem exploration.
The good thing to see within the course of instruction, while it is immensely helpful in developing oneself to be an incredible leader of character, understanding there are limitations and always needing professional assistance. Many older generations continue to support the "suck it up buttercup" mentality with a diverse workforce, promoting the opinion that requesting professional help is useless. Through our supporting the individuals to get help, we are enabling them to continue to be victims.
While a tiny portion of the force may game the system, and looking back at the years of traumatic events encountered, getting help would have made life easier, perhaps making a difference in how one executes their duties and treats others.
Perhaps this inability to seek and promote others to get help is why we as a profession continue to have high rates of suicide, divorce, and self-destructive behavior.
In this module Dr. Terry Anderson reminds us of additional skills we can use with our employees to recognize, understand and coach them through problems they may be having. It is important that we first understand that there is a problem, recognition, and once observed and understood taking the proper steps or using the appropriate skills to assist the employee back to health and productivity. I recently observed this at our agency where an employee began to decline in production and their attitude and I did not address it appropriately only to find out later that the employee was struggling through a medical issue.
Diagnosing a root problem can be very difficult. I had a similar experience where one of my subordinates was displaying a negative behavior (anger, short temper). He was actually suffering from PTSD which was manifesting into the observed behavior.
Chief Jones and Sheriff Jahnar hit on a key point. Determining the root cause of a problem (Skills #26 Problem Exploration) and (Skill #27 Problem Specification) are not easy but being successful in these skills is critical to achieving a positive outcome. I meet with new employees, I always stress the importance of asking for help before the situation is out of hand. When I have known about an issue or pending issue, I have been able to help.I hate when I sit down and talk to an employee about an issue that has developed only to find out its due to on going money, family or health issues. I think it's important to point out that in these instances, the employee is still held accountable for their actions. Having a previously unknown problem does not absolve the staff member of their responsibility/ accountability.
Take the time to explore and understand the root cause of an issue can be hard. This module has given us some great tool to help with the process.
Absolutely Sheriff. As leaders, employees look up to us for guidance and coaching. This normally happens when our employees are experiencing personal or professional problems. Or better said, “situations” like the TEDx presenter said. I truly agree with what you said about recognition and identifying the issue. Sadly, oftentimes we fail to recognize the situation because we don’t take the time to talk to our people. I also had an employee who’s performance had drastically declined and instead of going the discipline route, my partner and l decided to inquire a little more. It turns out the employee’s wife is undergoing chemotherapy for breast cancer. We took the proper steps to get him EAP and constantly communicate with him about his spouse. As leaders it is crucial that we stay alert to changing behaviors in our people. I am glad l was able to address the issue on time to help my employee.
In this module, Anderson explains strategies we all can use to improve on in order to effectively coach, counsel, and mentor individuals to maximize their development and functioning levels. I found Skill 25: Advanced Empathy, to be very informative, as we need to accurately understand deeper feelings and problems within others in order to accurately understand how they are feeling and what they imply in certain situations. These are skills that I will implement on a daily basis in order to accurately define individuals internal or external problems.
In the module, Dr. Terry Anderson thoughtfully brought to light strategies leaders can utilize to improve their skills in goal setting for themselves and others. These skills provided insight into thinking into the minds of others to accomplish goals.
I thought this module was very helpful to identify and achieve goals in for myself. I am especially interested in helping the people I supervise attain their goals. That is the ultimate sign of leadership is to provide insight and guidance so that those you lead achieve their goals.
As I progressed through the module, I was reminded of a quote by General Colin Powell, "Leadership is solving problems.
The day soldiers stop bringing you their problems is the day you have stopped leading them. They have either lost confidence that you can help or conclude you do not care. Either case is a failure of leadership." The bottom line is that leadership requires empathy. It requires that a leader listens to their subordinates' problems and make sound decisions to solve those problems.
I agree with you wholeheartedly. We must foster an environment as a leader where our employees feel comfortable to come to us with their issues and trust that we will have their backs and help them through the situation. That it is okay to have problems and that if they do bring them forward they will not be in jeopardy of losing their jobs.
I agree with you and what a great quote to fit in with this module. I had heard it before but had forgotten it since, so it was a good reminder to me and one that I intend on using as a reminder of where I should be at as a leader. I do believe there are many leaders that struggle with the empathy piece, and it is so important for analyzing possible solutions to issues our employees and agencies face.
The discussion in this module, I was most intrigued by goal ownership. Reflecting on my profession, I would like to focus more on goal ownership with mu subordinates and peers. This method associates itself with the watch commanders. When becoming a watch commander on a new shift, as a leader goal ownership should be a priority. This method is essential if you desire to gain the trust and respect of your subordinates and shift supervisors.
What I took from this module is I realized I might give advice and/or solution to someone's problem before i fully understand the problem, I will work on being more patient before I attempt to help.
After some self reflection I, too, found that I have given advice to someone's problem in the past when I should have been using one of the other skills taught in this module. Being patient is key to helping but we must resist the urge to "skip ahead" to attempt to resolve the problem before fully understanding what the problem is. I will also work on not giving advise or offering a solution right off the bat.
I, too, have realized that I am more quick to respond with suggestions for solutions to problems rather than to take the time to guide people to what they will eventually realize on their own. I typically do this with people I don’t have much history or relationship with. I have failed to realize that, potentially, the reason why some that I do not supervise come to me is because they have heard from others I do supervise how I treat them…again, maybe. I need to understand that I should be taking a little more time to give them similar treatment.
These three modules Dr. Anderson does are all very good but long. It would be nice, for future classes, if there was a syllabus with all the talking points. The notations in the videos is to small to see and difficult to take notes off of. That being said Dr. Anderson's information is a treasure trove of what and how to deal with employees and difficult situations. Properly confronting personnel is more complex than we were ever told it could be. Apply and learn is the name of the game.
Skills presented in the module not only provided skills to enhance leadership performance, but also to build relationships with team members. The module also focused on improving our own management skills while helping others interact and build strong relationships. If we as people can willingly and honestly take ownership of our part of the problem, we will likely have a positive change in our behavior and be more productive.
This module had a wealth of information. The sections on goal setting, making an action plan, and confrontation were of the most interest to me. I seem to have the most problem with these skills. I also feel that the section on referrals was especially poignant in today's atmosphere. With police suicides reaching epidemic levels across the nation, we as supervisors need to be keen to the symptoms of depression and know what services are available and how to approach our people.
This module really goes into how to motivate yourself and others in your agency. The skills that are reviewed really drive home how to deal with internal and external issues. It offers ways to create and execute a way to help officers that may be deemed as low performers, may suffer from PTSD, or need other professional referrals. It also provides systems to give additional recognition and training to offers who excel in their positions. Overall it builds on the existing lessons we have had very well.
I too was impressed with this module. I will use theses skills to continue to motivate my team.
Good points. I think the mental health of our teammates is sometimes overlooked. With the amount of things that we see on a regular basis, the importance of recognizing some of the signs of depression is crucial.
Outside of goal setting which was particularly interesting, most especially at this time, was the instructor's information on confrontation. As public safety professionals, we are paid and invested in to maintain law and order, to rescind others' civil liberties at times, to say no when doing so is against popular opinion and of course to confront. Developing a relationship over time before engaging in confrontation was a quote that struck me the most. Even during the situations where time is of the essence, I believe that developing that brief relationship before the confrontation, if necessary, can be an example of exercising wisdom and discretion at its finest. Confronting first and asking later is counterproductive and can kill future opportunities for any kind of meaningful relationship.
This was a very informative training module. One of the things I learned during this module is that I need to improve my skills at goal setting. I've always had the ability to mentally develop action plans and visualize the direction I needed to take to accomplish my goals. As a result, I often have a difficult time explaining certain processes to subordinates. I can see it and understand it clearly in my minds eye, but I cant seem to explain it in a way that others could benefit from it.
What i took away the most from this module was the opening video. where it was discussed to look at things as situations and not a problem. When looking at things this way it becomes easier to solve the issue at hand. Labeling it an issue implies that there is a solution you just have to figure out what that is.
The resource videos on depression at the end of the module really got my attention. I think we have many coworkers who deal with illness on a daily basis. A lot of people don't understand that with everything we see, it takes a toll on us physically and mentally.
Yes, we are slow to value others feelings in our profession. God help you if you get hurt or sick!! How many times have we heard how horribly someone is spoken of because they took a sick day.
The skills of goal setting and action planning are the two skills in this module that I need to work. I discuss with my team our vision and goals often. However, I realized that we failed to set specific goals and take actions. I find that my team and I only take action on what we are comfortable with.
This lecture was very informative in providing leaders with a blueprint on understanding issues from different points of view and the best way to reach a solution. The key is listening to the person's problems and trying to understand their emotions and opinions before providing them with generic advice. For leaders, our subordinates must have confidence that when they present a problem, they will not be judged but supplied with a solution and an explanation of how to resolve the issue. We must also understand that we will not have the answer to every conflict and that there will be a time to provide alternative resources to our subordinates.
As leaders we must also be more open to listening as the coach before preparing the best way to reach a solution.
I agree. We tend to go straight to the coach mentality rather than actively listening and paying attention to other internal or external ques, which could better identify deeper issues that an individual may be having.
The psychology behind the last few modules has been extremely interesting. It is giving me a glimse into some definite areas I would like to improve. This cluster in particular made me think about my goals. I am not one that has typically created a goal plan and put it all on paper. This lesson made it clear to me that this is an area that I can dive into deeper to make me better personally and professionally.
The module on Confrontation may be helpful for me to be more effective within and outside of our agency. I generally do not like confrontation but will use it when necessary. Learning about the different types of confrontation (strength, weakness and diatic) will help me feel more comfortable using confrontation for maximum productivity.
I don't mind the confrontation. I see it as a chess match. Who is going to outwit who.
We have to be vigilant, regarding our people. While we may all be responsible for the same duties, we are all different. Some people may need coaching, mentoring, or counseling depending on the situations of their lives.
While some people may look as all being the same, we are not. Each person has their own pressure points or triggers that may cause a problem. Each of the styles and skills may have to be employed to solve a problem, or assist the person on solving the problem. When referring someone to a professional for help, we will encounter a stigma, that is still attached, by some. We have to be extremely careful when considering the ramifications and requirements when dealing with possible intervention by Human Resources.
I agree. The same set of problems can affect two people differently. We all have tolerances of how much stress we can handle. Some are more durable than others; therefore, we shouldn't expect someone to respond to a particular problem the same way.
I won't delve into my personal life much at work, especially with subordinates. I think a lack of empathy is a fault of mine, particularly when I deal with people calling in sick. I compare others to me, when I had some medical issues going on and I could have missed a lot of work. The bottom line is I only missed days when I was hospitalized and at one point I was in pretty bad shape. Now my thought process is, if I could come to work feeling as bad as I did on some of those days, there aren't many things that should make you miss work. I should not compare that to me, as people have other things going on and they have to miss work. I should probably be a little more empathic, but I find it extremely difficult to do so.
Derek, from my experience having empathy goes a long way. Empathy is one of the skills that set me apart from others. When we show empathy it demonstrates that we care about others' situation and feelings.
I learned a lot from this module. It is essential to uncover the root problem of the situation instead of just trying to put a band-aid over it. There will always be conflicts in a police department, and these skills will help us to either manage or solve the disputes that may arise.
I agree with you and recognize the problem that we are all problem solvers. I believe that it becomes easy for us to skip over someone's story, because we are rushed for time, and just jump straight to, Let me solve this , for you.
I found this step by step process of identifying underlying issues that cause behaviors to be a great resource in showing empathy and getting involved with your personnel. This is great toolset to be able to resolve conflicts or just working with and showing your people that you are concerned about their success.
I always want to see my officers succeed and reach their goals. By the people reaching their goals and accomplishing great things, reflects our leadership capabilities. It is also essential to have as many tools as we can have in our toolbox to have ready if we ever need to use them.
Darren, I agree with you. I don't think anything means more to a coworker or subordinate than someone showing they care about them not only professionally, but personally. I try to do that with my coworkers and I think it goes a long way.
I will definitely take more time to research and dive into the problems and issues involved. I realize I have been too quick to jump to conclusions and not really read all the signs or ask the right questions. This has brought several issues I have to light and will definitely re-evaluate and handle differently in the future.
This lecture has many great points for leaders, but the one that I think all leaders should utilize more often is knowing when to refer to a professional. As Leaders, we may overlook the signs of when our followers need to be referred for assistance. Depression and stress are at an all-time high, and I think utilizing these skills can help put our workers back on the right track.
Having community resources BEFORE the various scenarios and critical situations arise can be the best prepared that a public safety professional can be. I fully agree with your estimate and believe that we as professionals can be better prepared by identifying who these resources are, how they can help and how we can offer these to our citizenry.
This will help me in many ways to address problem employees and employees with problems in the future. Using these skill will help this process from the not being enjoyable it has been, to more rewarding to see that I have helped an employee for the better. In time I hope to be able to self reflect more to understand what improvements would be best from myself to help my team.
It is a lot to digest. But I would imagine that with our years of experience in this job, we can easily apply this material and be effective.
I agree. It is a lot of information but I agree that many of the concepts learned can be applied on the job with co-workers and with the public.
This lesson on Problem Management and Opportunity Leveraging gave us insight into skills that help us on 3 different levels explained as coaching,, counseling, and mentoring. While we all are currently probably functional on the coaching and maybe counseling, these skills when established at a greater level will allow us to mentor our subordinates and truly help them to become the best versions of themselves. The skill as they pertain to problems: exploration, specifications, and ownership can help us not only with our teams but also with the public, if we can help them find solutions to the internal issues we can possibly eliminate the external issues present. The section dealing with referral to professional helper will possibly save a co-workers life and should not be overlooked.
Dustin, I agree that most of us operate the majority of the time at a coaching level. For myself, I feel like I am at a coaching level with most of my team because of the size of my staff and the day to day issues that arise. It would be wonderful if I can get to a deeper level or counseling and mentoring with more of my team.
After going through this module I see that goal setting and action planning is something that I need to work on. Since I've started in this career these two items have not been something that is done. It will be a learning experience.
I agree, I have always had "career goals" in my mind but will make an effort to put some of these things in writing and actually write down a plan of action to see them through!
I prepare action plans as well as after action plans for operations that my division executes as a way to track our success and safety. Never did I think to prepare an action plan for my career. This is something that I will start preparing now to ensure that I obtain my career goals.
Skill 34- Self sharing, I can understand this skill being helpful to a new recruit. Since the leaders i started with as a rookie weren't the most forth coming. While i looked up to them, I was always given the tough but fair ones. Now that I'm in their position and talk to the newest any of my shifts. I can see the effect it has when I give them some insight on what i went through when i started out.
I think it is nice to hear a supervisor share their story of a past failure. It ensures they will not be as judgmental as a new employee may believe and fear.
Watching this module I found that I am probably currently more of the person who doesn't dig into deep and just look at the external problem. With a better understanding hopefully I can change this and dig a little deeper to get to the true root cause of the problem and heal instead of putting a band aid on the problem.
I agree i am guilty of this myself, dig more into a problem can give us as leaders better insight into what really is the cause.
I worked on this Module in ICLD class and it was beneficial to me. I started the school year off with my team, and making goals, setting goals, and lastly seeing what the goal progress looked like. It was nice to see the progress that the officers made this year and where we traveled to as a team.
As we are comparing goals to the end of this race, we are setting goals for next years race.
This course is teaching me and helping me to refresh on certain tasks that I need to master better. Eventually, this will all smooth and be one big masterpiece of communication.
The portions on Goal Setting and Goal Ownership were extremely helpful for me. As I was going through these two parts, I was writing notes on how to improve my shift or rather, how my shift could improve itself. It made me think that if they have a part in the goal setting process, they would have more buy-in with the goals I wish to set for them. I plan to have them all write a list of 10 goals they have, both personal and professional, then have a meeting to discuss and allow them to assist in choosing the 5 best. Of course this is all about get them involved in the decision making processes of the shift and the division, but I believe it will lend to the development of future goals and they’re ability to become a team.
Thinking about how I handle problems, confrontation may be something I need to work on. I don't have an issue with confronting people, but perhaps I could be doing it in a more productive way.
Ditto here. I usually need to take a minute and realize that the goal is to resolve the conflict, not to "win" the conflict.
This module made me think about the things I need to do when I suspect one of my subordinates is suffering from depression. According to the module an episode of depression may last two weeks. A person may be sad the entire two weeks of this episode. My department has a referral process already in place, but we as supervisors need to pay closer attention and be able to recognize when things are going wrong and make an easy referral for the person who is suffering. It also made me think about how I need to become a better listener.
I felt this was something that I needed to pay closer attention to as well. We may not always be able to see what is going on but by listening better we can pick up on the signs and take care of our people.
You made a valid point that as a supervisor, leader, mentor, and or coach that it is necessary to monitor our team member(s) and to be able to recognize when they’re suffering from an issue.
Agreed, this makes you think your role as a supervisor and the tools you have at your disposal. If any agency does not have the tools in place to interdict bad behaviors and/or address internal issues before they become worse, it will take away from agency morale. When agencies have systems in place to get help with officers, it helps to alleviate officers personal issues with the help they need.
I agree, this is so important right now. Before the current issues, we were seeing a marked increase in police suicides across the nation. Now more than ever we all need to be cognizant of our officers to detect possible depression and the related problems.
This module has a lot of useful information on Goals. I appreciate they separation in the steps as for as problem exploration needing to be done before specification and ownership. This reminds me to always evaluate a situation before drawing conclusions or making assumptions. The setting and implementation of goals should be a process. The end result is often a product of the effort put forth in the beginning. I was once told by a manager I had, "A lazy person does twice the work." As I thought about what he meant it became clear. If I do a job half-way, sloppy, or not up to standard I will have to go back and do the job again. A lazy person does end of doing twice the work. That helped to solidify my belief that no matter what I do, I will do it to the best of my ability. This module reconfirms that research, evaluation, planning and implementation are all vital to the success of whatever you do.
The recurring theme of listening and understanding, then getting the person with the problem to identify the problem, take ownership of it and then deal with it was helpful. All to often I seem to not have enough patience to be truly helpful. I hear the symptom and give advice that is generic and probably not very useful.
Ownership is a tough hill to climb because you have to overcome ego.
after typing my comment and reading your I think we are in the same boat. I am really going to try to do better with these skills from this module and dig a little deeper into the problems under my command, which to me has always been kind of a slippery slope.
I think that's just normal human behavior. We are given a problem and here's the solution. This module made me think of all the proper steps to take and not just to get from A to B the fastest.
Dr. Anderson pointed out something in the Self-Sharing skill that I really agreed with. When he said that most leaders are impatient and want to offer solutions instead of identifying the causes of problems, was a very helpful insight. As a leader I find myself doing that very often. I will try to improve this skill by not acting to quickly when offering my own insight into a problem.
I agree. In an earlier module they also talked about leaders helping those they work with become better not by giving them the answer or doing the work but by challenging the subordinate and giving them the skills and resources necessary to accomplish the task. This creates empowers them to do the job themselves and gives them the confidence to take on more responsibility.
I was able to take a lot away from the problem exploration portion of this module. We often manage the problem solely based on the external issue and try to identify the specific problem. I order to understand the problem, we also need to look at the internal issues that often overlooked. I will have to work on this part of the problem exploration.
The learning in Module 9 showed me that the skill of advanced empathy helps others to effectively express what they are implying to identify themes in their stories to connect islands of experiences, behaviors, or feelings. This showed me these are some things I can use with my organization to provide advanced empathy.
It will absolutely help with young officers but I believe the senior officers may be a little harder to crack. It will probably take some hard work to loosen them up.
This module made me reflect on the relationship building with my subordinates and how it plays a role in leadership. The more you know about your people, the easier it is to deescalate issues and recognize them before they become large problems.
I totally agree, we as leaders have to build relationships with our subordinates so we can know how to handle different situations and like I said in my response, to know how to give advanced sympathy.
I believe that the building of those relationships, not only helps us deescalate issues or problems, but also helps us become more trusting and genuine with our team members. If we face issues from the perspective of just simply being helpful and wanting everyone to succeed. Then we have added to our "credibility bank."
I agree. I need to build on my relationships in order to gain more credibility and trust with my subordinates.
I agree. Building a relationship with your subordinates is very vital, if not this can be difficult for the leader because the goal is to identify the problem and solve it so that moral and performance will begin to improve and move ahead.
I agree with the exploration thoughts shared in this session. I strongly agree with the idea of advanced empathy coupled with self-sharing, where it allows team members to share their feeling and experiences with others, and those encounters build trust within the team. This type of EQI and strategy within a group is essential because it allows the members to be honest, and it promotes growth through input on finding ways to accomplish goals or solving potential problems. Everyone is bought in, and that leads to empowerment and success.
I have never been one to reveal much personal information much less attempt to illicit the same from employees. This module opened my eyes to my faults as a leader, as well as in my personal life. It offered some practical approaches, when used in the proper setting, which could potentially lead me to be an overall better person.
It is a good reminder that the better relationships that we cultivate with our people the easier it is to get them to complete the mission and deal with the hardships of the job.
I have always been much the same. Work was work. Life was outside of work. As my job has placed greater responsibility on me I must constantly remind myself to concentrate on the person for that person is what makes the organization.
This Problem Management and Opportunity Leveraging module help me identify some of my own short comings in my leadership qualities. For example, I’m not as empathetic as I should be to people’s issues and tend to interject or interrupt them with my own experiences. Now, I’ve learned to shut my mouth for a minute and conduct some active listening. Towards the end of the module I began to realize that these skills could possibly help someone with depression. It helped identify ways to get that person a more qualified person to help them. It could be that a subordinate or peers short falls are more than just goals they aren’t reaching.
I feel the same way when it comes to being empathetic; it's an attribute on which I must work. In my old age, I have learned to allow my deputies to talk freely and encourage them to find their own solutions to issues. Sometimes they need the help and I will self-share, ad nauseum (something else on which I need to work) to give them a little bit of guidance on what worked and did not work for me.
I liked the lesson about coaching, counseling and mentoring. it was an interesting point made stated that each was the almost the same. The big difference between them was the length of time that each one last.
I liked learning about problem exploration. A leader must learn the root cause of the problem not the nonverbal cues the individual is displaying. We must know the "cause and effect." Leaders must also use coaching, counseling, and mentoring as well.
Leaders must also continue practicing this skill in order to to become better. When a leader can get the individual to take ownership of their behavior, it is more likely to be resolved.
I agree with the coaching, counseling, and mentoring lesson. I also found that the part when is stated that a leader must give as well as receive.
I agree with the cause and effect; we need to understand the reason which may be internal, to help solve the effect or visible problem.
This module has given me a lot to work on.
The most glaring issue I see in myself is Problem-Exploration.
I truly care abut my personnel and they know it. However, I almost never consider underlying issues that may or may not be work related being the root cause of problems.
I learned a lot about problem exploration. We have to address the root cause of the problem.
There was a lot of information to take away from this session. To parts stuck out for me the first being, Problem ownership this section brought back memories of the disgruntled deputy who always wants to blame others their problems, pointing what everyone else did wrong and not acknowledging they also had a part in it. The second is immediacy. As Watch Commander I have had to send to deputies out to get evaluated due to suicidal statement. One of the worst feelings when bring him/her to the hospital due to the severity of the statement.
Coaching, counseling, and mentoring our people is a skill that can build effective relationships between leaders and members of the organization. Learning how to do that is the challenge. In a law enforcement community, we tend not to be empathetic towards the feelings of our co-workers. Being more empathetic can lead to identifying problems that may not be caused by the job. There could be problems caused at home or other underlying issues that, if we can identify, can lead to better helping solve the issues at hand.
It is a skill that could very much help build relationships. It is an area that we as supervisors should be trained in, which help us in being able to effectively solve the problem.
This analysis is spot on. I found that the module helped me to be more empathetic to people’s issues. The module explains how to coach and mentor up to a point where you may discover something more wrong than what you are qualified to handle.
I agree Dave, I have a problem with a lack of empathy, especially when it comes to people not coming to work. I judge based on the things I dealt with a few years ago and how little amount of work I missed. My thought process is if I came to work with all that going on then, there aren't a lot of times people should miss work. I shouldn't judge everyone else based on what I did.
I felt a bit overwhelmed with this module. It gave some great information and I got a lot out of it. I think the Affective and Cognitive Styles will help me to better communicate with my employees and help them.
Another great lesson on lots of skills set to improve on. Some more than others, empathy is a real big one. A lot of times I see people using excuses as a way to get out of doing things and wanting to give you a thousand excuses why. Its hard to show empathy to someone when you know they are capable of doing a task but they just don’t want to do it.
I agree. I see people taking more time to make an excuse as to why a task wasn’t completed or why they did what they did then actually doing it or just taking responsibility. As leaders, we want to help them, but it is hard to show empathy towards someone who doesn’t want to take self-responsibility.
How much personal information should we reveal at work? And how should you respond when other people "open their hearts" to you? This can be an uncomfortable and challenging skill set in a leadership role because self-disclosure is a delicate issue. If we get it right, it can strengthen relationships, instill trust, and boost our ability to inspire and lead. However, if we make an unwise, inappropriate, or react badly when others reveal personal details, it can have the opposite effect. An untimely disclosure can trigger a different outcome as well. I will strive to improve in this skill set as a supervisor.
The problem is how much personal information people reveal, it is the disgusting way in which they get ridiculed for doing so. We should champion those brave enough to do so but we don't.
#27-Problem Specification is what I really grew some interest in. Knowing what the root problem is, definitely helps in dealing with people and getting at the main cause of an issue. As it said in the lecture, people will not deal with the specific problem for many different reasons, but all in all not take ownership of the real problem which leaves the problem to be unresolved. This lead me to realize not to turn a blind eye to it but to really take time to communicate with people in an attempt to solve the real issue.
Another thing that was addressed in #27 that I found fascinating too was people don’t set goals because they don’t want problems along the way. They then develop a fixed mindset that “I’m happy where I’m at.” The main reason people fail to reach their goals is because they are not specific enough.
Skill # 25 is my Achilles heel. Awareness and sensitive to other's feelings and internal problems is a challenge. My listening skills have improved but I'm still distracted and lose interest too quickly. Placing myself in another's place is my objective going forward.
Problem specification is a great skill to have when dealing with employees. Clearly defining the problem will assist in attempting to solve the issue. Even if the issue can not be solved, it can be properly managed in order to get the employee back on the correct path so that they are productive.
In my agency, we seem to be spread pretty thin and a lot of managers are juggling multiple tasks that occupy a lot of their time. Investing the necessary time to search for the root of observed behaviors is just not happening. This module reminded me of the importance of taking the time, putting the employee before the project, and trying to guide them through their problem.
Very good module for me there was a lot of information and i found myself doing a lot of self reflection. I have been guilty of sharing to much at the wrong times and also not letting others talk and me just listen. I learned more about signs of depression
and have seen signs in the past and did not recognize them. This module has opened my eyes to a lot and will help me as a leader
and my everyday life.
This has been an interesting module for me. For me the skill of confrontation was the one that peaked my interest. Weakness confrontation is always hard. It requires having relationships with the people you are going to give hard feedback to and have those crucial conversations with. Being honest and providing the feedback is hard for many officers to receive and accept. The tactics used to reduce the stress involved for both parties having the conversation was interesting and helpful. I do believe by having these types of conversations can help build relationships and establish trust and credibility as a leader when done correctly.
After watching the lecture on problem-ownership, I understand that in order to get past what whatever it is we are dealing with we have to let go. I have held on to stuff in the past and every time the issue was brought up, I immediately got angry or felt sick. So after owning up to the issue and moving past it I got better. I no longer wanted to create a confrontation and hold onto the emotions it created.
I agree with you Mike I have had the same experience. After watching this module i see how important it is to throw away that rear view mirror and move forward.
I agree with you also David, I have to learn to just let go and to quit dwelling on past issues. I like how you put it in saying < throw away the rear view mirror and move forward.
I agree, I too have a hard time of letting go of old stuff. It actually clouds my judgement in future decisions. Letting go of past issues that we can no longer do anything about is the best way to go.
Very well said Mike. I have been guilty of holding on to stuff also. This module gave some great information!
I think we have all done the same at one point or another. The relief you feel once you are able to get past the emotions are great. Moving forward is such a great feeling.
I agree, I believe we all have issues with letting go of stuff we need to. This module has helped me realize this.
As I watched this video lecture I learned several things. Skillset number 27, "problem-specification and skillset 28, problem-ownership stood out for me. I think in law enforcement it is important to understand why some employees demonstrate low performance. I feel it is important to address the specific causes and solve the problem.
I agree with you Lance, Problem Specification is very important. Understanding the root cause of why employees not only demonstrate low performance but also demonstrate a sudden shift in their behavior and their appearance is important. It helps to provide better guidance and the right resources for that officer to seek help. I believe when those underlying issues are addressed the performance and behavioral issues may self correct or at a minimum show improvement.
I agree with you. Addressing the specific issue will improve an employees overall performance.
I agree about addressing specific issues and performances instead of doing the blanket effect. Lack of performance is an individual deficiency and should be addressed as such. I'm challenged to understanding low productive levels within specialized sections. Seems employees should be motivated in exchange for the privilege.
I agree with you it is important to understand why some employees demonstrate low performance.
The skill of advance empathy is an area that I need to improve upon greatly. I have been so desensitized from being in this profession for so long and being managed by rigid supervisors. I fail to consider what a person may be going through, and I feel that this sometimes hinders me as a leader. This is an area that I have started to work on self-improving so that I can build better relationships with people in general.
Drauzin, I too have been desensitized and show very little empathy for others. My supervision style has changed through the years and not necessarily for the better. I became a more objective focus supervisor. I definitely got things to work on.
I couldn't have said it better myself Drauzin. Being in the profession for a long time definitely desensitizes you. What is emotional or even scary for some officers, is just another day for us. I need to remember what it was like to be in their shoes so I can better relate.
I don’t think I have ever sat down and wrote out a plan of action. Seems like I have been flying by the seat of my pants since day one. I would like to think that I have mostly known what to do to get to where I thought I wanted to go my whole career. With an action plan, seems like I can show myself along with the people that I work with where we need to go and how to get there.
I have never wrote out a plan of action either. I've always been guided by my vision of the path I needed to take to get to where I wanted to be. I now recognize that a written action plan would be something I could share with others. I can clearly visualize my path, but I cant explain it to others the way that I see it and understand it.
I have always thought I was pretty good at problem ownership and showing empathy. I think where I could use some work in problem exploration and specification. The key is to point things out to the other party without them becoming defensive or offended. This is a valuable skill set. With regards to goal setting, I find that I've sometimes "gotten stuck" and now know I need to get better about implementing plans of action.
I agree with what you said. Exploring the root of the problem and then trying to figure out a way to solve that problem from within rather than dealing with the problem on the surface, which most likely is not the root of the issue to begin with.
Jason, I agree with your post. The conflict normally runs deeper than the surface, so figuring out where the conflict all began and then working inside out can help resolve the issue.
There were many take-aways after reviewing the content in this module, specifically, the self-sharing component. I often interact with my staff and during issues or conflict, I provide information from a similar incident I have been involved in to help them navigate through the issue. While I believed I was truly helping, the information relates I should refrain from the "sharing" until I have fully understood the true conflict, actively listened with an empathetic perspective. As I tend to deal with conflict on a daily basis, I will now slow and wait until the timing is more opportune to share a perspective; and only if relevant.
This lesson provided a good overview of the importance of combining problem-solving and conflict management with the skills of goal-setting and ownership. As supervisors it is easy to go into "problem-solving" mode to fix issues quickly, but the difficult part is to slow down enough to clearly assess the root cause of the issue, rather than the observable problem presented. We must remember to not rely so heavily on our own experience and/or belief that we know what it best to resolve an issue. we must work at identifying the deeper root causes of the problem and focus on the "people" aspect by engaging others in providing input and perspectives, developing possible solutions, and designing a step-by-step plan of how to achieve the goals set.
I agree with you about this module expressing the importance of combining problem-solving and conflict management with the skills of goal-setting and ownership. Identification of the root problem is key to resolving the problem. By coaching the peer to come up with a solution on their own would be far more gratifying in the end, than for us to go into “problem solving” mode to fix it quickly.
I agree with your assessment, Nancy, another issue I think needs to addressed is problem ownership. It is difficult to recognize your problems and take ownership of them.
I agree that ownership is the hardest of them all. One always have issues with learning the imperfections .
Coaching skills for problem management and opportunity leveraging module was very useful to see my shortfalls when dealing with issues at my organization. Such as, defining my role as either a coach, mentor, or counselor. I have always considered these the same approach but with a different tone or mentality, but, to see them further defined in different situation or person and how to use them was very helpful. The skill I related to the most was the Problem Exploration. Usually there is an underlying problem causing the behavior and trying to get to the root of it takes some time and listening. Attentive listening, empathy and as the last module stated, possibly suspending your frame of reference to better understand where the true problem lies is a skill I need to practice.
After studying the twelve transitional leadership skills in this module, it is clear to me that Skill #33 ("Confrontation") is the area in which I must most apply myself. During the past year, I have been told by my superiors that I rely too often upon and for too long on an influential style of leadership, and do not revert quickly enough, or sometimes at all, to the authoritative style when it becomes necessary to do so. The techniques offered in the module provide a clear path for me to begin addressing this area of development, and I look forward to putting them to good use.
Chris, I would offer that we rarely need to resort to an authority/legitimate base of power as leaders. Yes, because we are a quasi-military structure in law enforcement, we tend to revert back to our rank/position which is only positional power. I think we can agree that 99% of what we do is not so critical that specific directions and orders need to be carried out on demand. Collaboration and teamwork win every time. That said, I do agree, that during a critical incident, where officer safety and taking a dangerous suspect into custody is the appropriate time to utilize positional power if things are not being handled correctly. We always need to maintain command and control, perimeter security, and overall safety of the mission. Organizational and situational leadership will enhance camaraderie and esprit de corps within our ranks. Brian
I learned from this module that confrontation does not have to be negative, but there must be trust is the person being confronted will receive what you are saying. That made perfect sense to me. How many times have we had to confront a subordinate and you can just tell that they are just tuning you out. I now know that it was because they didn't trust the reasons why they were being confronted.
Bravo Joey! It is an absolute truth that confrontation does not have to be negative. It can and should come from a place of genuine concern that the behavior is somehow unhealthy for that person either professionally or on a personal level. By first acknowledging their strengths and how those strengths can help them overcome a difficulty, it is easier to create a positive approach to change. It is much easier to become stronger then to see yourself as weak and a failure.
This lesson made me realize my previous error when self-sharing. All too often, though I had built trust I shared what worked for me and gave advice based upon my perspective. I have learned the most effective method to use self-sharing is to first understand, empathize and see the problem from their perspective. This will help be a more genuine and trusted source of guidance when self-sharing. The advice you give may not always be used and the self-sharing can be used to show them you understand more than anything else.
Frank, I too realized the same. It's so natural and easy when something has worked well for you to believe that it will also work well for others, and I have been guilty of doing so on more than one occasion. As you stated, one must achieve advanced empathy (i.e. understanding the problem from the other's perspective) if they hope to create the greatest chance of being genuine, building trust and finding the best solution to the problem at hand.
I have the ability to self-share however, I find that I only do this with those that I trust. If I am dealing with a subordinate because of a behavior issue, I never share anything about myself. I need to work on my empathy skills and maybe this would improve as well so that my experiences could possibly help the person I am dealing with to understand better.
I agree with you Drauzin, I too, have the ability to self-share but only do so with those within my circle of trust. I am empathetic but perhaps being more open and sharing a bit more, might lend to helping those I am working with to understand better.
I can relate to your comment. I am similar in that I don't often self share when I don't trust the person I'm talking with. I also need to work on my empathy skills to show my staff that I am human and also go through similar issues.
I also learned that I too quickly self-shared information with employees when giving advice. This did not by no means work long team because I did not help my employee understand the root-cause of the problem. It is important to understand that in order to offer some real advice, we have to put ourselves in our employee's shoes. I agree with you that under to help an employee, we have to show empathy and see the problem as our own. I will work on slowing down and avoid giving premature advice to my people. This will help my employees and me to better understand the root cause of problems to better deal with them. Great point made Frank!
Same here Frank. I always thought that my method of self-sharing was appropriate. I do believe that I have had good success with my approach, but I now realize that I typically don not take the time to try to see the problem from the other persons perspective. I believe that if in the future I take a moment to do so, I will be more successful.
Frank, That is a great point. We all have experiences and perspective that leads us to solving a problem a certain way. I too will have to work harder at understanding first before I give advice.
I had the same realization that I was also making that error. It is very easy in law enforcement to provide advice based on our past experiences in similar situations. I almost feel like that is the expectation when we ask someone for help (or get asked for help) it is so common! I know I will have to make a conscious effort to avoid this moving forward. I want to make sure I am working to see the problem from their perspective, especially because the younger generation sees many things so very differently.
My self-assessment in the skills showed that I need to do a better job at Skill #33. Although I have no problem with confrontation, I need to do a better job at doing so respectfully. In the future I will challenge the employee by having them focus on their strengths, which will motivate them to correct their weaknesses.
Monte, confrontation is a fine skill, isn't it? It is very easy to confront, but not as easy to do so from a position of understanding and empathy. It is definitely a skill that must be practiced, and one that I too can work to improve.
I also agree completely.
I have never been shy when it comes to needed confrontation, but the module points out that I could be doing it MUCH better.
I'll be working on that.
I appreciate the emphasis in this module on developing relationships and trust before trying to confront problems with a person. The relationship/trust building process, which ultimately lets the person or group know you care about them and have their best interest in mind, leads to the person/group being receptive to change. I've seen too many leaders skip this step and simply try to implement change and it almost never works unless it is coerced. But as we previously learned, coercive change is almost always temporary and doesn't create or develop an employee that contributes over time to the department's goals.
I agree with the relationship building comment you have made. Once that relationship is built employees are more likely not want to disappoint you once your have built that respect.
Monte, I agree, once you have build that relationship the other person will do their best not to make you regret the relationship you have. They will feel if they disappoint you they have disappointed themselves.
It is true the employee once they build a relationship begin the trust. With that being said that same employee will work the hardest.
I agree that building the relationship is very important. It helps establish camaraderie and lets that person know that you are genuine.
The problem and management opportunity skills defined in this chapter are better utilized if a relationship/trust is built, but sometimes that hasn’t happened and interaction still has to take place. These skills define ways to show advanced empathy, problem solutions, action steps ... etc. by understanding the approach to these skills they still may useful even if a relationship hasn’t been established. But, I also agree if one has been, it makes it easier and less uncomfortable.
I really appreciate this post. As a leader we must be trusted to get the buy in and to get people to go above and beyond what is required of them. This process takes a lot of time but it is possible. People don't like to have change forced on them suddenly. Some may feel as if they had no say or opinion, or feel as if they were the last to know. Those are issues I often run into at my organization. As a leader, creating a positive culture is important and I feel that getting ideas from your team often helps them with feeling like they have ownership in the decision as well as making sure nothing is missed with the change that needs to be made.
I agree that building a trusting relationship with our team members is valuable. I could definitely work on my empathy skills more. I tend to be a very sympathetic person, however, I need to go further when it comes to my team. Perhaps that will help in the trust-building process.
I think you are spot on Kyle. Too often I think supervisors skip the part about developing relationships and trust before trying to confront problems with a person. If you don't have that trust credibility just isn't there and the individual is rarely open to accepting the information with any level of validity. If that relationship is there, it comes from a place of caring and support. It is easier to look at yourself when you are in a safe environment to do so.
I would like to focus on skill # 29, Goal-Setting and skill # 30, Goal-ownership. Like most police departments, we all set annual goals to achieve accomplishments throughout the year, hopefully, so we can provide a better level of service and ensure operational efficiencies within our departments to meet or exceed our goals. What routinely happens, we fail to get buy-in because we don't get front-line personnel involved in the goal-setting process in the first place and/or we fail to write down our goals that include the strategies, measurables, and outcomes we want to achieve. If we don't make this a meaningful process, our goals will not be internalized by our staff and they will not be accomplished. It's that simple. The goal-setting/ownership process starts by having SMART goals in the first place. During the reading, Napoleon Hill said it best, "A goal is a dream with a deadline."
Brian, good synopsis of goal-setting and ownership. I agree that it is critical to obtain buy-in from line level personnel because without that buy-in we are likely to fail in achieving our goals effectively, if at all. Just asking our line personnel for ideas, suggestions and feedback in the development of goals prior to implementation changes the trajectory and demonstrates that command is paying attention to the needs of our personnel.