Successful leadership is a constantly developing skillset and the life of a Marine leader requires constant adaptation to both new environments and most importantly adaptation to our Marines. Constant improvement to the relationships between a leader and his/her Marines is crucial to foster effective leadership, sound communication. Interaction is the foundation for these relationships. In the following paragraphs, we will explore how the development of communication, both personal and professional, can help improve the life of a Marine leader.
The first, more widely recognized communication method that a Marine leader wields is professional communication. Improvement in professional communication must be constantly worked on. There are 4 tactics that can prove particularly helpful in developing this professional communication: Initial Mentorship, Follow up mentorship, Coaching, and Counseling. The initial professional interaction between a Marine and a leader is described as Initial mentorship. This interaction is helpful because it builds the junior Marines confidence in the leader. It provides the leader with an opportunity to set a precedent- what is expected of the Marine. This transparency is much appreciated. This initial interaction is arguably the most important because it creates an environment where a leader can develop the beginnings of both a professional and personal relationship. Follow-up mentorship is used to touch base with a Marine a period of time after the initial mentorship. Follow-up mentorship is helpful because it cements together the notion that the leader is conscientious of the junior Marine. The follow-up helps to further the junior Marines confidence in the leader. Coaching is used to provide the Marine with guidance on how to carry him/herself. It gives the Marine direction of how to accomplish a job effectively. In addition, coaching allows the leader to develop subordinates whom he/she can trust; a Marine who can be relied on reduces the workload for a leader. Counseling is the last in the loop of professional subordinate development. Counseling ensures that Marines are receiving feedback on their past performance. By provides constructive criticism on the Marines performance, the leader is able to show him/her how compared to the expected standard.
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How it works
An often overlooked aspect of Marine Leadership is personal communication. Improvements in personal communication Help to greatly increase unit cohesion. Asking junior Marines about their personal lives can be particularly effective. As humans, we are the product of our environment. Understanding where a junior Marine comes from can help guide us in the way that we address certain issues. Asking personal questions, without prying, can show the as a leader we genuinely care about a Marines well being. A Marine who knows you are looking out for his/her best interests will do the same for you as well. Often times it is difficult to create an environment where peers can open up with each other. This is often even more difficult when it comes to vertical cohesion. Creating team-building exercises in a relaxed environment, one that includes friendly competition can help greatly in tearing down metaphorical walls between the leaders and the led. Another great method to building great personal relationships is to develop and understand how Marines think. What are their character traits?
Each person thinks in a specific manner. These manors, although independent, can be categorized. Understanding what type of personality Marine posses can help a leader in deciding how that Marine should be tasked. As a result, he/she can become more of an asset to both around and above. Additionally, they will enjoy themselves and increase unit morale.
Being an effective and caring Marine Leader is not an easy feat, though doing all that we can to develop great relationships with our Marines. As a result, our jobs will become easier. We must develop both by improving our personal and professional relationships. Successful leadership is a constantly developing skill. When developing it, take time to think about our Juniors Marines: pause, reflect on these tactics, and then talk.