Friday, January 11, 2013

Leadership Training

I spent the last week in a class called "Basic Leadership Skills" at the Foreign Service Institute. Normally, the  class schedule starts a few hours after the normal work day and ends a little bit before it. Well, with all the stuff I had going on trying to catch on things after the holidays and my quick trip to Copenhagen, that schedule didn't happen. I ended up going into work early, then going to class, then going back to the office for a couple of hours. Home life consisted of making dinner and going to bed, but I approached the week as an endurance sporting event to keep my energy levels up. And it also gave my time-management skills a workout.

Anyways, this leadership class delved deeper into the Myers-Briggs (MBTI) types and relationships than any other class or assessment that I'd had before. I'm an ISTJ...but with only slight preferences that way. Perhaps the best take-away from that part of the class was that "If a 'J' is sitting around doing nothing, it's because he's sheduled himself to do nothing at that time."

Two other acronyms that I liked were: HARD and WAIT. Communication should be "Honest, Appropriate, Respectful, and Direct." Couple that with "Why Am I Talking?" and you get a sense of what the course was about. What made this different from & better than all the military leadership courses that I'd had in a past life was that this was not focused on military leadership and not taught by military instructors to a military audience. At my table were folks from the Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons and also some from the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (better known as "Drugs & Thugs").

So, yeah, knowing how to use soft skills and interpersonal relationships are important.
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