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                 how they receive information. When a leader better understands their subordinates, they are better equipped to develop that subordinate within the limits of their abilities. As empathic leaders, there is an art to being more involved with subordinates on another level. The level created
is a sacred space where the subordinate is open
to sharing information that might not have been shared otherwise due to leadership uncertainties. Leaders with empathy fall in line with the “This is my squad” campaign for many reasons. Designed and developed to produce more robust and
more cohesive teams, TIMS is vital in evolving tomorrow’s Army. Within these teams, the CSA’s top three: SHARP, extremism and racism, and suicide awareness, are commonly discussed and why the smaller units are not faced with as many cases as larger organizations without empathetic leaders.
“This is my squad” is a campaign that ensures that leaders at the lowest levels understand and know their role in generating and maintaining the force. This is where the rubber meets the road.
At this stage, leaders are developed to showcase empathy and instill in their subordinates the assurance they are taken care of and what they feel matters genuinely. While it is not a standard issue at Basic Combat Training or Advanced individual Training, empathy is a trait that can be taught
over time. Leaders must grow to understand that empathy is a necessary tool for mission successes at an early stage in their career.
We must understand empathy and emotional intelligence matters, not only to the leader but, more importantly, the subordinate. Giving them time and attention to those other than yourself
fosters empathy and creates an environment where morale is high, missions e accomplished, and Soldiers love coming to work daily. Over time,
the performance of those within the organization, where empathetic leaders reside, will improve,
and the risk of suicides, SHARP incidences, extremism, and racism will hopefully diminish significantly.
In closing, some leaders are not born with the ability to be empathetic or even know the four components of emotional intelligence, and there
is nothing wrong with being naive. The key is to be open to learning “the why” and “the how” as
it correlates to generating and maintaining the Army’s Soldiers. Leaders must use all the tools in the toolkit to better understand their subordinates. In doing so, leaders create an environment
that is fluent, accepting, understanding, and compassionate for all members regardless of rank or responsibility level. Empathy and emotional intelligence may not be in Army regulations word for word. However, the two’s importance and meaning are put on display every time a leader takes a second to hear a problem or have that critical conversation despite their internal feeling towards the topic or the individual. Leaders have the power to be great and to create greatness ultimately. The only things needed are Leadership, duty, respect, selfless service, honor, integrity, and the personal courage to stand and weather the storm.
1SG Webb is the First Sergeant of Echo Company, 120th Adjutant General Battalion (Reception), 193rd Infantry Brigade.
ADP 6-22. (n.d.). Army Leadership and the profession. United States Military.
Eurich, T. (2018, October 19). Working with people who aren’t self-aware. Harvard Business Review. with-people-who-arent-self-aware
Gentry, W. A., Weber, T. J., & S, G. (2007, April). Empathy in the Workplace A Tool for Effective Leadership. Center for Creative Leadership - Innovation.
Goleman, D. (2005). Emotional intelligence. Bantam Books, an import of Random House, a division of Penguin Random House LLC, New York.
The Army’s vision and strategy. (n.d.). The Army’s Vision and Strategy | the United States Army.
Landry, L. (2019, April 3). Emotional intelligence in Leadership: Why it’s important. Business Insights - Blog. blog/post/emotional-intelligence-in-leadership
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