General Officer Decision Making: An Inquiry into U.S. Army General Officer Approachability.
ARMY WAR COLL CARLISLE BARRACKS PA
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Are US Army general officers approachable from their subordinate commanders, or staff officers, and to what degree How did some officers learn interpersonal communications skills and others fail, and what are the consequences of senior officers inabilities to hear others This study poses these questions and others to USAWC Class of 1986 students, and follows up on their thoughts with general officer interviews. Nine active duty generals and one retired general participated along with, to a very limited degree, senior members of the Israeli Defense Force, for comparative purposes. The students indicated that about two of every five generals are approachable, in that they seek their subordinates views pursuant to a decision, and have no problem with a subordinates request for a relook following the bosses decision. A number of these gentlemen are power down advocates. He is usually verbally hostile when challenged by a subordinate, but may also be an avoider and revert to an iron cast chain of command to avert the issue. The generals concurred that many of their colleagues have trouble with feedback. The so-called general officer mystique is often blamed for what is in fact simple insecurity on the part of the senior officer. There was general concurrence that formal training in receiving feedback is necessary. The Senior Service College can and should play a role in such training. Author
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- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics
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