Three Basic Skills


By Christopher Salvatore

Ability to solve problems, resolve conflicts and make decisions.

Problems happen when there is a difficult situation that needs a solution. To solve a problem a person requires ingenuity as well as facts and skills to move from the present state toward some desired goal. An effective leader is able to identify whether a problem is a new one or a recurrence. He or she understands that a problem is associated with relationships, values, perceptions and beliefs.

A superior with problem solving and trouble shooting skills will handle a situation by identifying the symptoms and causes. He or she sees it in advance the outcomes and the effects on handling it in a certain way. Problem solving is related to creative, systematic and strategic thinking skills.

A leader who uses his mind to reason and reflect on his and other people’s judgments and opinions will help him or her to make a decision. A person will find alternatives and resources to either overcome, transform or avoid the problem.

Build integrity and develop trust.

People place confidence and trust on a character that shows integrity, honesty, competency, consistency and openness. When a follower trusts a leader he or she believes that the actions taken are for his best interest. A supervisor or manager must exercise fairness and be honest about his or her feelings, maintain confidence and demonstrates confidence and competence. These traits will make others trust that person. He or she must fulfill the promises that he makes.

Trust is essential in any relationship. He or she must also develop a "trust culture" in his working and family environment or in any system so that people are able to perform effectively. He or she must learn to encourage teamwork in a working or home atmosphere to speed up the process of goal attainment.

Ability to build rapport.

Building rapport is important in developing relationships. Your ability to match a person’s behavior and thinking is like putting yourself in his shoes. When people exchange information, interests and beliefs they create a bond. The ability to develop the bond will allow you to recognize and select appropriate behavior to motivate and influence.

You will deal more effectively with people when you know what is more important to them. You are doing him or her a favor by understanding and listening to them and they will feel obliged to comply with your request or suggestion.

Assignment Questions:

1) For each of the skills listed give a Biblical example of someone who either used the skill correctly or failed to put the skill into practice.

2) Give a personal example of a time when you were on the receiving end where a leader did not effectively put into practice one of these skills.

3) For the skill used in your personal example describe a practice you could adopt to effectively implement the skill in your leadership.

Source cited: Student hand book for Naval First Line Leaders pp12-13