Military Review English Edition March-April 2016 - Page 110

(Photo by Staff Sgt. Shane Hamann, U.S. Army) U.S. soldiers secure a compound while other soldiers meet there with Afghan elders 3 March 2013 in Spin Boldak District, Kandahar Province, Afghanistan. The soldiers are assigned to the 2nd Infantry Division’s Female Engagement Team 6, 2nd Battalion, 23rd Infantry Regiment, and the 519th Military Intelligence Battalion. The individual growth session allowed attendees to “see themselves” better. This deeper awareness was achieved by providing each attendee MBTI feedback to understand his or her personality.11 The session also helped leaders appreciate their teammates by understanding their personalities. As the Myers-Briggs Foundation website states, “The goal of knowing about personality type is to understand and appreciate differences between people.”12 Leaders were subsequently able to lead with greater insight about themselves and their teammates. The CCL also administered the CSI assessment to identify one of three change styles for each attendee. Considering the changes anticipated during their deployment, this tool allowed leaders to understand how they approached change and preferred to deal with situations requiring change.13 For example, according to the CSI, conservers desire “solutions that are tested and proven,” while originators “prefer quick and expansive change” and to “challenge assumptions” and “enjoy risks.”14 With an appreciation for how each leader saw change, subordinate leaders could assess the situation and provide more informed personnel and operational recommendations. 108 The focus of the program then shifted to the development of teams. Renowned leadership expert John C. Maxwell says, “Everyone wants to be part of a winning team. Individuals play the game, but teams win championships.”15 The FIRO-B tool helped because it assesses how one feels about interpersonal relationships: “how the need for inclusion, control, and affection can shape interactions with others.”16 Leaders apply their FIRO-B feedback to increase effective collaboration and communication with others. Leaders began practical exercises designed to bring their individual talents together after analyzing their assessments. They began to form their teams with the knowledge of each other’s personality, strengths and weaknesses. The CCL’s vast array of experiential activities and experienced staff proved beneficial again. The crawl phase was over, and now leaders were walking. The “color blind” experiential activity required teammates to be blindfolded while trying to solve a complex puzzle. The solution to the activity required effective verbal communication and each individual managing his or her own perceptions March-April 2016  MILITARY REVIEW