INCIDENT IN THE BARRACKS (Continued)
putting a key on him? How do you think that made PVT Mendez feel? He asked
Staff Sergeant Butle, then got SSG Boyer to talk about asking a series of questions:
Why were you upset at PVT Mendez? What did you hope to achieve by putting a key
on him? How do you think that made PVT Mendez feel? He asked these questions in
a nonthreatening way. By doing this he got SSG Boyer to talk about his feelings, his
experiences, and how he had developed his leadership beliefs and methods. This
gave him genuine insight into SSG Boyer's beliefs and behavior. It gave him the
information he needed to help SSG Boyer learn about human nature and develop
better leadership concepts and methods. They talked at great length about human
nature, motivation, and leadership. Staff Sergeant Butler taught Boyer about
leadership, giving examples to support his points.
They had sessions like this about twice for a month. Staff Sergeant Butler helped
Sergeant Boyer with all the leadership problems in his squad; he taught him how to
teach, to counsel, to discipline, and to communicate with his troops. Within two
months, Sergeant Boyer was one of the best squad leaders in the company. He
apologized to PVT Mendez for his lack of sensitivity. Staff Sergeant Butler's
counseling skills made a big difference in Sergeant Boyer's life, the lives and
motivation of Sergeant Boyer's troops, and the effectiveness of Sergeant Boyer's
squad. Staff Sergeant Butler had changed Sergeant Boyer's leadership beliefs,
methods, and behavior. He had done this through:
An appropriate reprimand.
Controlling Boyer's behavior by forcing him to behave in accordance with
Butler's ethical policies, regardless of whether or not he agreed with
the beliefs behind the policies.
Informing Boyer of the consequences if his leadership did not improve.
Effectively and honestly communicating with Sergeant Boyer.
Determining Boyer's experiences and feelings that had caused the
development of his beliefs.
Explaining why he thought Boyer's beliefs were wrong.
Teaching Boyer a different set of methods for communicating with his
troops, for motivating them, and for disciplining them.
Coaching Boyer as he learned to use the new methods.
Letting Boyer know that he was on his side, and giving him confidence
that he could improve as a leader.
Figure 1-2. Incident in the barracks-counseling exercise (concluded).