Page 12 - Jackson Journal
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                  We must develop our feedback skills for ourselves and others. For me, I journal regularly.
I have found it a key source of my own feedback and highly valuable to me. My promise to myself (for the feedback to be effective) was to be brutally honest with myself. If I can write honestly about myself, reflect on it, and then do something with regard to change, this is what ADP 6-22 defines as “self-regulation...adjusting one’s thoughts, feelings, and actions without prompting from others.” We must create our own approaches to self-regulate to improve and see ourselves.
On the other hand, if we want to get better at doing this for others as leaders, we must create approach- es that enable feedback to be properly collected, accessed, and communicated effectively. Over a 30- year career, I’ve compiled a myriad of techniques for doing these things. Although my approach
has evolved over time, the outcome is unchanged; provide feedback to an individual who can use that feedback to improve their professional performance increase their potential.
Similarly, the goal of the formal Army’s assessment programs, as highlighted in BCAP / CCAP litera- ture, is to gather information and analyze it so that it can be used “to refine the Army’s efforts to more accurately match the strengths of its officers [lead- ers] against the range of critical roles and respon- sibilities and missions the Army faces today and in the future.” The same can be achieved (in my opin- ion) across the spectrum of our assessment tools we now have at our disposal. We must help our leaders understand the value of assessments; what they can achieve from feedback, actuating synthesis, and employing feedback properly to develop self and others.
Across our formations, we must assess our tal- ent accurately to more effectively nest within the Army’s intent for the future, not just development for what we need in our formations now.
I had a former leader who would always say, “readi- ness is about what you have—not about what you don’t have.” Developing leaders is a critical compo- nent to our readiness as an Army, both at individual and collective levels. Given that People are the Army’s #1 priority, we must invest more into assess- ing the talented people who make up our Army and serve in those critical leadership positions, really from the team, squad, and platoon echelons up to formations at the battalion, brigade, division and higher. We will not get better at this until we edu- cate our leaders and subordinates on the why, how, and what of the significance that assessments hold in our development.
Helping others understand why we need to develop leaders of character, leaders who foster environ- ments conducive to dignity and respect, and leaders who can assess themselves and others is critical to our Army’s readiness—understanding the how is
a matter of educating current and rising leaders
on how best to use the emerging tools and innova- tive approaches employed to assess themselves and others in a consistent and timely manner. Lastly, we assess daily what is highlighted and well defined in our current doctrine (see references cited). Armed with this understanding, not only will People [lead- ers] be better prepared for future assessments, but they will be better in every environment across our Army—better prepared to assess themselves, to be leaders of character, and to effectively lead forma- tions of any echelon to success in the spectrum of conflict.
BG Milford H. Beagle, Jr. is the Commanding General of the United States Army Training Center and Fort Jackson.
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