Army University Leaders Learn to Overcome Challenges

By Erik MosheJune 23, 2023

Army University Leaders Learn to Overcome Challenges
(Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL

Fort Leavenworth Master Resilience Trainer - Performance Experts (MRT-PEs) Craig Merkley and Cindy Swatek, in coordination with the Army Wellness Center (AWC), provided training to directors and senior leaders of schools and organizations within Army University to promote a team culture. Participants engaged in a dynamic warm-up and a dodgeball competition and learned how to maintain focus and attention in a chaotic, challenging work environment.

“At Army University, leadership deals with many moving parts due to the challenges of any academic environment, along with the diverse student population that come from all around the country and world,” Merkley says. “With these challenges, there is a constant pull for attention, time and resources. Attention control helps leaders to identify what’s most important in that moment and to fully focus on those challenges before moving to the next task. Attention control helps them to rank order their priorities and then complete one task before moving on or being distracted by ever-persistent job demands.”

“Many people have an easy enough time identifying what’s important to them or what tasks need to get done,” Merkley says. “However, many struggle to put a plan into action. The strategy of mental cues can be used as a list of ‘how tos’ when seeking to accomplish a task. Creating task-specific cues helps an individual to fill out the process behind the desired outcome. A task-specific cue would be a physical or technical cue that relates directly to the process of performing. For example, for the group playing dodgeball, the process of throwing could have cues—eyes on target, elbow up, hand out, flick wrist, follow through. Establishing these cues helps people to be more effective and accomplish things more quickly.”

“We have been able to work with AWC staff in multiple trainings, and they really understand the mind-body connection that drives each of us. We can easily let AWC staff focus on the physical aspects of any performance while we lock down the mental side of a performance. This was also a great opportunity to work directly with the senior leadership of Army University. They are a great group and are extremely engaged in seeking out the best for their students.”

Brig. Gen. David Foley, deputy commanding general of the Combined Arms Center, strongly encourages attendees to use the Ready and Resilient (R2) Performance Centers for both personal and organizational development.

To schedule training to increase your team's performance and cohesion, contact your nearest R2 Performance Center, or visit https://www. R2/I-Want-to-Schedule-Training.html.