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                 caught up with the individuals within their squad that they forget that they are responsible for all soldiers’ health, morale, and welfare.
Leaders must motivate. To motivate others within the organization, there must be a level
of understanding gained through interaction between individuals. Motivation comes in many forms. It may occur during a counseling session, physical training, or within a simple conversation between two or more individuals. Regardless of the situation, motivation is needed by all to accomplish the smallest of missions. As the years pass by, I am continually shocked and appalled at how many leaders do not know what empathy is, let alone emotional intelligence.
The culture of the military has to change and continues to change for many reasons. One reason, in particular, is the mission of the United States Army: “To deploy, fight and win our nation’s wars by providing ready, prompt and sustained land dominance by Army forces across the full spectrum of conflict as part of the joint force. (Army’s vision and strategy) This is why leaders must understand their role as the leader and be aware of their responsibility to articulate the right message across the formation in all environments.
The subject, emotional intelligence is not touched on in military lessons or regulations. Emotional intelligence is an element that leaders must consider if they see themselves progressing
in a leadership role as they continue to advance in the military. This is key to refining skills that have been deemed essential across the globe regarding: successfully coaching teams, having the ability to manage stressors, deliver effective feedback, and productively collaborate with others as required. Defined by Harvard Business School, “the ability to understand and manage your own emotions as well as recognize and influence the emotions of those around you, emotional intelligence is needed to be a successful leader regardless of your status in or out of the military” (Landry, 2019).
Emotional intelligence is broken down
into several components: self-awareness, self- management, social awareness, and relationship management. Each part is needed to improve one’s overall emotional intelligence for the better. At the core of emotional intelligence is self-awareness.
Self-awareness takes me back to the number one leadership principle that I was taught a long time ago as a private, knowing yourself and seeking self- improvement. As a term we use in master resiliency training, self-awareness is the ability to understand one’s strengths and weaknesses and recognize the emotions and effects they have on the performance of others.
Often, leaders state they are self-aware and have a great idea of what they bring to the table. If asked, about 95% of leaders would say they are self-aware when in actuality, there are only about 10 to 15% of fully self-aware leaders (Eurich, 2018). While this research is based on organizational psychologist Tasha Eurich’s works about the civilian population, there is no proof the military is exempt from this research. As a result of this slight misjudgment, problems occur more often than we would like to admit within our squads, companies, and higher echelons where subordinate leader relationships are concerned. Leaders must remember this competency and understand that their audio must match their video. In doing so, leaders who harp on empathy as a leadership tool must evaluate themselves in a 360-degree manner. How does
one accomplish this? It is completed by asking subordinates and other leaders for feedback, good and bad. With this feedback, leaders will be able
to adjust, reset, acknowledge and gain insight into how their behaviors may be affecting others.
The second competency of emotional intelligence is self-management. Having the
ability to react calmly to stressful situations in
the work environment tends to be an area where many leaders fail consistently. While in stressful situations, leaders must be able to regain focus and adjust as needed so the mission is accomplished. A positive outlook as a leader is essential, especially when dealing with subordinates in stressful situations. Having the ability to stay calm and collected will ensure the relationship or connection between leader and subordinate goes un-severed for the issue’s duration or situation. The moment a leader overreacts or lashes out because he or she is unable to remain calm is the moment subordinates lose faith. As former Chairman of the Joit Chiefs of Staff Colin Powell once stated: “Leadership is solving problems. The day Soldiers stop bringing you their problems is the day you have stopped leading them.
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