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Poll call: What skills are essential for new police leaders?

“Interpersonal communication is the first level that opens the gateway to success with all the others.”


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By Police1 Staff

Becoming a new leader can be a daunting and challenging experience. New leaders are often tasked with managing complex organizations, navigating political and social landscapes, and building effective teams. In addition, they must gain the trust and respect of their colleagues, establish their credibility and set a clear vision for the future, all while managing the expectations of stakeholders and dealing with unexpected events.

The success of a new leader depends on their ability to adapt to changing circumstances, learn from their mistakes and build strong relationships with those around them. Police1 recently polled its readers to find out which skills they believe are most important for new police leaders. Here’s what 481 folks had to say:

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We also polled members of the Police1 LinkedIn group and here’s what they shared:

  • Interpersonal communication is the first level that opens the gateway to success with all the others. It suggests you know and care about your subordinates; sadly, it’s becoming a thing of the past. When people feel assured you care about them and their best interest, they will often go above and beyond; the opposite can be said for those who command from behind a desk.
  • I think all are essential to effective leadership. The challenge is how to strengthen each of these qualities at every level. Real professional development must be more sophisticated and pervasive and police leaders must expect and assess the continuous growth of themselves and those they lead.
  • Mental health: addressing that PTS is an injury as is depression/anxiety/anger and getting your people healed, which will result in better retention and community engagement. Saving your department’s very important and limited resources as well as experienced talent.
  • I agree with the comments posted and the survey results thus far that interpersonal communication is critical. In addition, strategic thinking is an area I feel new first-line leaders do not get enough exposure or even consideration to be involved in bigger thinking. It is a missed opportunity by executive leaders to create that development…my two cents.
  • For me it has to start with interpersonal communication…nothing moves without it…strategic thinking comes with growth…operational knowledge is the manifestation of all of it.
  • While there are many qualities needed for effective leadership, I feel everything begins (sometimes ends) with communication. Learning nuanced communication, the power of words and how they matter are critical to a leader’s success. Failure to effectively communicate could derail even the most promising leader.
  • As a retired lieutenant, I can surely agree that all those leadership traits are important. However, with good problem-solving techniques, the other issues will be resolved.

What do you think? Share your comments in the box below. And if you are a new leader, Police1 has a wealth of resources to help you succeed:

Police1 readers respond: What skills do you think are essential for new leaders?

  • Communication, emotional intelligence, self-management, time management.

What skills do you think are essential for new leaders? Share your thoughts in the box below.