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Chief Officer Training Curriculum
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  1. Chief Officer Training Curriculum Leadership Module 4: Group Dynamics and its Effect on Problem-Solving

  2. Module Objectives • Recognize benefits of effective empowerment and delegation • Identify the fears and the common mistakes made by leaders when delegating and empowering • Apply leadership theories and concepts to problem-solving and decision-making • Recognize the elements upon which effective leadership is built.

  3. Overview • Empowerment and delegation are the leadoff topics • Creative problem solving • Explore the effects of mental models, personal mastery, and systems thinking on organizational learning and success • Elements for building relationships

  4. Empowerment and Delegation • Functions used to divide work and get members more involved • Delegation is more of a management function • Empowerment is a leadership function

  5. Delegation • Increase participation • Includes responsibility to carry out the assignment • Manager still responsible for outcomes • Varies in levels of authority • Little delegation • Moderate delegation • Substantial delegation

  6. Delegation (continued) • Varies in levels of reporting • Frequent reports – little delegation authority • Less frequent reports – more substantial authority • Advantages of Delegation • Shares the work • Increases buy-in • Additional talent and skills • Time-management tool • Professional growth • Develops members for advancement

  7. Delegation (continued) • Reasons often stated for lack of delegation • No time to develop people • Quality control • Professional insecurity • Confidential information • Do not want to share the power or spotlight

  8. Empowerment • Empowerment is used to share the power • Requires the member to • Be well versed in the policies, values, ethical guidelines of the organization • Understand the mission and its level of commitment to service • Possess or obtain the KSAs for the task • Be rewarded

  9. Empowerment (continued) • Members are expected to exercise their empowerment when • It serves the mission of the department • It meets or exceeds the customer’s needs • They have the KSAs • They have the tools • It is legal • It is ethical • They would not be shamed by their actions being made public • Members believe it is the right thing to do

  10. Empowerment(continued) • Advantages of empowerment • Members have a vested interest in the organization • Draws from a larger pool of KSAs • Members become engaged in the departments mission and vision • Improved communications • Time-management tool • Member advancement • Member job improvement

  11. Empowerment(continued) • Reasons often stated for not empowering members • Members are not trained • Lack KSAs • Members do not know the organization’s mission and vision • Lack of trust in member’s ability The ultimate decision to delegate a task or empower a member lies with you and your faith in the members in your organization.

  12. Activity 4.1 • Field Training for Recruits • You will look at a common fire service scenario and dialogue about whether to delegate or empower members to solve the tasks

  13. Creative Problem-Solving • Everyone has some measure of creativity • Like a muscle, the more it is exercised, the better it becomes • Creativity is a product of perspective • If you look at a problem only one way, you limit your possible solutions

  14. Creative Problem-Solving (continued) • Creativity in organization can be encouraged in a number of ways • Communication • Commitment • “Free time” to think and ponder • Plain hard work • Diversity • Creativity can be learned

  15. Activity 4.2: • Creative problem-solving for leaders • Demonstrates the power of creative collaboration to solve critical problems

  16. Elements for Building Relationships • Leader relationship includes • Organizational relationships • Personal relationships • Community relationships

  17. Organizational Relationships • Beginning first day on the job • Hanging out at the fire station • Social gatherings • Organizational relationships are often carried throughout one’s career • Pressure of Promotion • A shift to the “dark” side

  18. Organizational Relationships(continued) • Often referred to as professional relationships • Between chief officers • Among the rank and file • Built around assignments and areas of responsibilities • Personnel • Fire prevention • Operations • Administration • Training

  19. Organizational Relationships (continued) • The ability to build effective relationships throughout the organization helps a chief officer get things done efficiently and effectively • Confident that she or he can deliver what is expected • Expected to take on more responsibility • Tying for the top positions in the department • Considered desirable bosses

  20. Personal Relationships (continued) • Begin the first day on the job • For some, developing personal relationships is difficult • Requires openness that some members are not comfortable with • Usually developed with strong bonds that transcend the duty day, an entire career, and often into retirement

  21. Personal Relationships (continued) • Promotion to battalion chief often threatens these personal relationships • Company level to management • The promotion itself can become a barrier to continued personal relationships.For some, these personal relationships are strong and help the chief make the transition

  22. Community Relationships (continued) • Community • Often developed during one’s career • Become more necessary or important upon with the promotion • Becomes much larger and the positive relationships when expanded to the battalion level of the community at-large. Same relationship building behaviors used at the company level are now extended to the larger community

  23. Elements for Building Relationships • Relationships are built upon the notions of • Trust • Communications • Verbal • Written • Modeling • Accountability • Responsibility

  24. Elements for Building Relationships (continued) • Trust • Very fragile • Greater amounts of time and effort to rebuild • Four specific behaviors foster and facilitate building trust • Honesty • Predictability and consistency • Clear and careful communication • Commitment to keeping promises

  25. Elements for Building Relationships (continued) • Honesty • Honesty is ranked as the number one leadership characteristic that is essential • Ethical and truthful • Predictability • Do the right thing consistently, every time • Deal with people fairly and equitably

  26. Elements for Building Relationships (continued) • Clear and careful communication • A leader who communicates clearly, precisely, and timely with the right information

  27. Elements for Building Relationships (continued) • Clear and careful communication • Written communication • Memos to fire companies • Requests to the shift commander for resources • Reports on programs • Budget documents • City council reports • Good grammar, spelling, and continuity in content is very important

  28. Elements for Building Relationships (continued) • Clear and careful communication • Written communication • Technical reports • Not for creative writing • Place the purpose of the document up front • Reader may not have time to read much past the first page • Write clearly, concisely, with language that communicates the message

  29. Elements for Building Relationships (continued) • Clear and careful communication • Oral communication • Majority of a battalion chief’s communication is oral • Fire station visits • Customers on emergency scenes • Following up on citizen complaints • Local businesses and politicians • Schools • Personnel evaluations • Mentoring, coaching, and just sharing experiences with others

  30. Elements for Building Relationships (continued) • Clear and careful communication • Oral communication • Is sensitive to • Body language (gestures), cultural differences, and tone of voice • Volume can influence effective communication • Level of sophistication chosen, foul and colloquial • Timing -  Do you listen to others or are you always interrupting to talk?

  31. Elements for Building Relationships (continued) • Commitment to keeping promises • Don’t promise anything you can’t deliver • Follow through • This is consistent with the notions of responsibility and accountability

  32. Elements for Building Relationships (continued) • Modeling • Effective leadership behaviors • One of the most important characteristics of good leaders • Rank-and-file firefighters validate whether you are a good leader or not • Expect honesty, consistent good communication, and a commitment to keeping promises • Modeling is built on congruency with shared values, personal values, and a willingness to set the example

  33. Elements for Building Relationships (continued) • Accountability • Setting measurable goals • Same standards and criteria • Audit personal routines • Remember the 80/20 rule

  34. Elements for Building Relationships (continued) • Responsibility • Take personal responsibility • Take responsibility for the consequences for your action • Expect a higher level of responsibility for self actions and the consequences of those actions than those of others • Be responsible for the actions of followers and for achieving the objectives of the organization

  35. Activity 4.3 • Relationship Activity: Ball-Toss • Relationships are built, tested, and influenced continuously • This activity demonstrates this in an enjoyable way

  36. Summary • Empowerment and delegation • Creative problem-solving • Building relationships through the leadership factors • Trust • Responsibility • Accountability • Modeling • Communication • The leader-follower relationship