By Capt. Katie Richesin, 2nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team Civil AffairsJune 8, 2016
SCHOFIELD BARRACKS, Hawaii -- On June 2 noncommissioned officers (NCOs) gathered in Bravo Company, 225th Brigade Support Battalion's breakroom, eating pizza and laughing. The unit completed its Stryker turn-in, a difficult three month process that equated to long hours for the maintenance company.
However, the lunch break was soon cut short when the company commander gave them their next task, which was talking about leadership from a psychology perspective.
It is the second leadership development class for the company. The first focused on a moral test in which junior leaders were given 60 characteristics that were eventually narrowed down to the five that were the most important to the Soldier.
"Decisions centered around who you are makes a person happier," stated Capt. Amber English, commander of Bravo Company, 225th BSB, 2nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division. "It goes back to who they are fundamentally."
This introspection continued in their second class, focusing on leadership style during stressful and non-stressful situations.
After a short introduction to the book "Friendly Style Profile for People at Work" by Dr. Susan Gilmore, the NCOs took a test to determine their natural leadership styles and then divided into groups with a mixture of the four styles to try to understand how different Soldiers react to different leadership styles.
"People respond differently to different situations. Their genetic make-up is different. Different leadership styles are needed because people are different," said Spc. Eugene Cox, an administrative clerk for Bravo Company.
English is conducting these classes, hoping her Soldiers understand the impact they have on others.
"I have to think of people with different attributes," stated Staff Sgt. Ronald Winterstein, 225th BSB master driver. "When I am going to interact, if they're opposite, I may push them away."
"I definitely need to be more concerned about how people react and how they are handling the situation," Cox added. "People's feelings affect how they work."
According to English, leadership style impacts subordinates on a personal level. They can create a squad of motivated and driven Soldiers.
"If it starts at the squad level, then it can spread throughout the company," English said.
Leadership and psychology are a passion for English, who is currently pursuing her Master's degree in Psychology of Leadership in the Workplace from Pennsylvania State.
English plans to continue the leadership series, looking to resources and experiences outside of Army doctrine.
"With how the Army and society is transforming, we have to draw experiences from outside of the Army to adapt. We have to adapt first before affecting the Soldiers," English said.
The topic is particularly pertinent as the Army builds adaptive, agile leaders. English's next class will continue to build the foundation of leadership attributes from the bottom up.