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NEWS | Oct. 27, 2021

Soldiers participate in leadership engagement course

By Jessica Elbouab 133rd MPAD

Service members and staff from the Kentucky Army and Air National Guard attended the Leadership Engagement conference by Shipley Coaching at the 123rd Airlift Wing in Louisville Sept. 9-10. 
The course intends to give leaders practical concepts and models to guide them toward better communication with their colleagues and practical engagement with their subordinates.  
"The definition of culture is the behavior demonstrated by the majority of people, a majority of the time," said Paul Muehlmann, president of Shipley Communications. "If we can get engagement to be a new part of the culture, what kind of difference could that make in our military?"
The two-day course took participants through a hands-on experience beginning with the Four Lenses assessment. According to their website, the Four Lenses is a proven personality temperament model that acts as a universal companion to any training or initiative. Once participants determined their personality temperament, the activity continued with taking that knowledge and applying it to engage as a leader effectively. 
"The leadership engagement seminar helped me identify my personality concerning how I lead others," said Capt. Joshua Pitcher, battalion logistics officer, 1st Battalion, 149th Infantry Regiment. "I now understand my strengths may not translate to other people's leadership styles or their personalities. Being able to identify how other people take in information and how they execute the guidance I give them is a valuable takeaway from this course."
As leaders within the organization, learning the preferred temperament of one's Soldiers provides a space for effective engagement. One of the key concepts mentioned over the two days was that people need to be noticed, named, and known. This idea provides that if leaders know their Soldiers, there is a level of trust that develops. 
"Great leaders are both smart and human," said David Graff, chief operating officer with Shipley Communications. "Leaders often delegate out the human."
This is the culture that the Leadership Engagement course is looking to improve. 
Another focus of the instruction was on maturity. By human nature, we all respond with high and low maturity when facing interaction with others. Our natural response has a lot to do with our personality temperaments identified through the Four Lenses. 
According to the Four Lenses website, blue types are nurturing people, People who are assessed as the color blue, are often taken advantage of due to their nature to care for and please others. This is a low maturity behavior. Realizing this, someone that identifies as blue is empowered by setting boundaries, thus becoming a high maturity behavior. 
Gold assessed attendees are identified by their structured and organized nature. An example of low maturity often demonstrated by gold rated individuals is too micro mange or take over tasks delegated to others, so as to meet their personal standards. A way to transition this leadership struggle would be to sit down and discuss clear expectations with one’s Soldier or if available, work through a task together to identify needs. 
Lastly, the conference focused on all the aforementioned techniques toward developing relationships within units. If leaders are looking at their Soldiers with their temperament in mind, they will communicate knowing the best approach.
“I highly recommend all leaders from the senior level to the tactical level attend this course," said Pitcher. "I believe it will help develop them to be better leaders for the Soldiers in our formation."

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