As a leader, many look towards you for support. The leader can often be viewed as the foundation of a team. Much like a building’s foundation, if it is unstable, the building will fall; your stability is key to the success of a team. Firefighting is a prominently male career field which makes my first question about stability a difficult one for many of us to assess. The first area to look at is your emotional stability. Many people have a hard time recognizing their feelings which further complicates our ability to see how our emotions play a role in the stability. Do you come in to work with your feelings on your sleeve? Do your emotions affect your decision-making process? I have included an Emotional Self Assessment (created by Don Hellriegel and John Slocum Jr.) to assist you with the analysis:
Using a scale of 1-4 with 1 = strongly disagree, 2 = disagree, 3 = agree and 4 = strongly agree answer the following questions honestly.
1. I know when to speak about my personal problems with others.
2. When I’m faced with obstacles, I remember times I faced similar obstacles and overcame them.
3. I expect that I will do well on most things.
4. Others find it easy to confide in me.
5. I find it easy to understand non-verbal messages of other individuals.
6. Some of the major events in my life have led me to reevaluate what is important and not important.
7. When my mood changes I see new possibilities.
8. Emotions are one of the things that make life worth living.
9. I am aware of my emotions as I experience them.
10. I expect good things to happen.
11. I like to share my emotions with other people.
12. When I experience a positive emotion, I know how to make it last.
13. I arrange events others enjoy.
14. I seek out activities that make me happy.
15. I am aware of non-verbal messages I send others.
16. I present myself in a way that makes a good impression on others.
17. When I am in a positive mood, problems are easy for me to solve.
18. By looking at facial expressions, I can recognize the emotions others are expressing.
19. I know why my emotions change.
20. When I am in a positive mood, I am able to come up with new ideas.
21. I have control over my emotions.
22. I easily recognize my emotions as I experience them.
23. I motivate myself by imagining a good outcome for the tasks I do.
24. I compliment others when they have done something well.
25. I am aware of the non-verbal messages other individuals send.
26. When another person tells me about an important event in their life, I almost feel as I experienced this event myself.
27. When I feel a change in emotions, I tend to come up with new ideas.
28. When I am faced with a challenge, I usually rise to the occasion.
29. I know what others are feeling by just looking at them.
30. I help others feel better when they are down.
31. I use good moods to help myself keep trying in the face of obstacles.
32. I can tell how others are feeling by listening to the sound of their voice.
Add your responses for questions: 1, 6, 7, 8, 12, 14, 17, 19, 20, 22, 23, and 27. This is your self-awareness score. A score over 36 shows that you recognize how your feelings, beliefs, and behavior affect others. These people can accurately assess their strengths and limitations and have a strong sense of self-worth and capabilities.
Add your responses for questions: 4, 15, 18, 25, 29, and 32. This is your social empathy score. A score over 18 shows that you are thoughtful and consider others’ feelings when making decisions. These people are good at understanding others, taking an active interest in their crew, can empathize with others and recognize the needs of those around them.
Add your responses for questions: 2, 3, 9, 10, 16, 21, 28, and 31. This is your self-motivation score. A score over 24 shows that you can keep disruptive emotions and impulses under control, maintain standards of integrity and honesty, can adapt to various situations, and have internal standards of excellence that guide your behavior. These people are passionate about their work, seek feedback from others and always strive to improve.
Add your responses for questions: 5, 11, 13, 24, 26, 30. This is your social skills score. A score over 18 shows that you sense others’ developmental needs, inspire and lead groups, send clear concise messages, build effective interpersonal relationships and work well in a team environment. These people build effective bonds and relationships with people.
I know this post is longer than usual however, the information is something to consider. The worst thing an officer can do is lose the respect of the crew and being emotionally unstable makes it difficult to obtain the trust needed to build respect. The hardest person to evaluate is yourself. Once you master self-evaluation and improvement it will be easier to evaluate your crew and make improvements.