RDECOM holds first executive coaching class
March 4, 2010
- Civilian employees seek professional development
<b>ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md.</b> - The U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command kicked off a civilian employee professional development program March 4 at the Edgewood Conference Center. With 20 volunteer employees, the session focused on coaching and teamwork development during an eight-hour training session.
"Our ability to provide technology to the Warfighter is directly related to our ability to recruit, train and develop the best engineering talent available," said Class facilitator Andy Kirkpatrick, management analyst with the Communications-Electronics Research, Development, and Engineering Center at Fort Monmouth, N.J. "One important way to accomplish our mission is to ensure we have many opportunities for professional growth."
Class attendees read New York Times best-seller "The Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A Leadership Fable" in the weeks leading up to the training. Kirkpatrick said students should focus on what they thought was the most important idea expressed in the book, and what they might do in day-to-day activities to implement that idea.
"Coaching is not a new concept and has been a part of the Army culture for many years," Kirkpatrick said. "It's an extremely powerful tool for personal and professional development."
During the class, students filled out surveys designed to give clues to personality styles. Kirkpatrick outlined different techniques and motivators to deal with the varied styles.
"All of us, at the end of our careers, are going to remember the things that mattered most. We're going to remember people because people are our legacy," said RDECOM Deputy Chief of Staff Dick Belmonte. "At the end of the day, we will have better insights into teamwork."
Kirkpatrick challenged students to take the lessons learned to heart. "It's what you're going to leave here with," he said. "There are all sorts of different situations, but it's a challenge to come back to the principles and use them as a touchstone."
Kirkpatrick said coaching is a key element to building effective teams. "We need you to coach and to be coached," he said. "It's part of being a well-rounded team member. It can't be forced, and it must be nurtured."
Belmonte said this session is the first in a series of classes designed to enhance professional development within the organization. Slots are available for the scheduled April 8 session, Conflict Communication. To sign up, RDECOM employees should go online to the <a href="https://wiki.kc.us.army.mil/wiki/RDECOM_Executive_Coaching_Program">milWiki</a>.
"As we build momentum and develop career counseling opportunities, we'll have a 360 view and a network of people," he said. "Coaching is about trust and seeking honest feedback. Who are the people who have your back' Nurture these relationships."
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