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5 Secrets To Success From An Army Ranger

5 Secrets To Success From An Army Ranger

Have you ever met that person that is quiet and subdued then, you get to know them a little more you find out that they are quite the bad ass? Well, I had the opportunity to sit down with a friend a mine, Tom, recently and I asked him about his life as an Army Ranger and what lessons he was able to take with him. Let me briefly pause here to thank all of you who serve or have served in the armed forces. I am truly in awe how you risk your lives for our freedom. Thank you, thank you, and thank you.

Okay, back to Tom. As I listened to the stories Tom was telling me, some of which I know I couldn’t do, I couldn’t help but think, ‘man, this is one bad ass dude’. You’d never know it when you meet him, but trust me, he is. As recalled the lessons he had learned, this is what he taught me.

Be Prepared

Tom recounted some of the training he went through and it’s no secret how hard these men and women train, especially at the elite levels of the military. What did make me stop and think is that it’s way more than just the physical training but the mental training.

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Do you take the time to mentally prepare for what you are about to face each day or do you head into battle without a plan? Knowing what I’ve seen throughout my career, many just go with the flow and end up getting wrapped up in the riptides of life. Set yourself up for success and prepare yourself, every day.

Trust

Tom’s life was, literally, in the hands of his brothers as were theirs in his. He explained how deep the level of trust went within the team and part of their preparation was to trust each as though their lives depended on it, because it usually did. Do you trust your preparation and the plans you make or do you doubt yourself and your team? If you have thought through your plan and taken every precaution to ensure your success, you need to trust and go for it.

I’ve seen far too many people get caught up in self-doubt and stop executing on a successful plan. I’m talking about myself here as well. Trust in what you’re training and preparation.

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Don’t Quit

We’ve all hear that you should not quit, but we also know this is easier said than done. Through his training and missions, Tom found out that he had a greater resolve than he thought possible. There were times when he wanted to quit but at first his team wouldn’t let him, then he learned to not allow himself to quit. Over time, a sense of responsibility was instilled in him which would never allow him to quit.

Do you stick with your goals and see them through or do you stop and start and never finish what you started. You owe it to yourself to NEVER GIVE UP – as Winston Churchill said.

Create a Sense of Responsibility

Tom quickly knew and felt a sense of responsibility to his team. He knew that they were only as strong as the weakest link. Because he also knew that the weakest link could mean the difference between life and death, he took his responsibility seriously. He wasn’t about to quit and more than that, he was going to do whatever it took to ensure the success of the team so they all came back alive.

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Thankfully, many of you won’t have to risk your lives, but you will be responsible for the livelihood of others, whether they are your family or you employees and coworkers. Does this sense of responsibility burn inside you to the point where come hell or high water, you too will do whatever it takes?

Take Action

Finally, Tom shared; you just have to take action. Much of the time fear surrounded him. However, he knew if he didn’t take the necessary action he, or his team, may be killed. Are you sitting on the sidelines waiting to make a decision or are you taking the necessary action to do the thing you need and were meant to do? If you are doubting yourself, don’t. If you are doing something of significance you will have fear.

The difference between those that think of doing something great and those that do something great is the action they take. So get out there and take action. YOU ARE WORTH IT!

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Featured photo credit: Elliott Plack via flickr.com

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Last Updated on February 21, 2019

The Secret to Effective Conflict Resolution: The IBR Approach

The Secret to Effective Conflict Resolution: The IBR Approach

In business, in social relationships, in family… In whatever context conflict is always inevitable, especially when you are in the leader role. This role equals “make decisions for the best of majority” and the remaining are not amused. Conflicts arise.

Conflicts arise when we want to push for a better quality work but some members want to take a break from work.

Conflicts arise when we as citizens want more recreational facilities but the Government has to balance the needs to maintain tourism growth.

Conflicts are literally everywhere.

Avoiding Conflicts a No-No and Resolving Conflicts a Win-Win

Avoiding conflicts seem to be a viable option for us. The cruel fact is, it isn’t. Conflicts won’t walk away by themselves. They will, instead, escalate and haunt you back even more when we finally realize that’s no way we can let it be.

Moreover, avoiding conflicts will eventually intensify the misunderstanding among the involved parties. And the misunderstanding severely hinders open communication which later on the parties tend to keep things secret. This is obviously detrimental to teamwork.

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Some may view conflicts as the last step before arguments. And they thus leave it aside as if they never happen. This is not true.

Conflicts are the intersect point between different individuals with different opinions. And this does not necessarily lead to argument.

Instead, proper handling of conflicts can actually result in a win-win situation – both parties are pleased and allies are gained. A better understanding between each other and future conflicts are less likely to happen.

The IBR Approach to Resolve Conflicts

Here, we introduce to you an effective approach to resolve conflicts – the Interest-Based Relational (IBR) approach. The IBR approach was developed by Roger Fisher and William Ury in their 1981 book Getting to Yes. It stresses the importance of the separation between people and their emotions from the problem. Another focus of the approach is to build mutual understanding and respect as they strengthen bonds among parties and can ultimately help resolve conflicts in a harmonious way. The approach suggests a 6-step procedure for conflict resolution:

Step 1: Prioritize Good Relationships

How? Before addressing the problem or even starting the discussion, make it clear the conflict can result in a mutual trouble and through subsequent respectful negotiation the conflict can be resolved peacefully. And that brings the best outcome to the whole team by working together.

Why? It is easy to overlook own cause of the conflict and point the finger to the members with different opinions. With such a mindset, it is likely to blame rather than to listen to the others and fail to acknowledge the problem completely. Such a discussion manner will undermine the good relationships among the members and aggravate the problem.

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Example: Before discussion, stress that the problem is never one’s complete fault. Everyone is responsible for it. Then, it is important to point out our own involvement in the problem and state clearly we are here to listen to everyone’s opinions rather than accusing others.

Step 2: People Are NOT the Cause of Problem

How? State clearly the problem is never one-sided. Collaborative effort is needed. More importantly, note the problem should not be taken personally. We are not making accusations on persons but addressing the problem itself.

Why? Once things taken personally, everything will go out of control. People will become irrational and neglect others’ opinions. We are then unable to address the problem properly because we cannot grasp a fuller and clearer picture of the problem due to presumption.

Example: In spite of the confronting opinions, we have to emphasize that the problem is not a result of the persons but probably the different perspectives to view it. So, if we try to look at the problem from the other’s perspective, we may understand why there are varied opinions.

Step 3: Listen From ALL Stances

How? Do NOT blame others. It is of utmost importance. Ask for everyone’s opinions. It is important to let everyone feel that they contribute to the discussion. Tell them their involvement is essential to solve the problem and their effort is very much appreciated.

Why? None wants to be ignored. If one feels neglected, it is very likely for he/she to be aggressive. It is definitely not what we hope to see in a discussion. Acknowledging and being acknowledged are equally important. So, make sure everyone has equal opportunity to express their views. Also, realizing their opinions are not neglected, they will be more receptive to other opinions.

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Example: A little trick can played here: Invite others to talk first. It is an easy way to let others feel involved and ,more importantly, know their voices are heard. Also, we can show that we are actively listening to them by giving direct eye-contact and nodding. One important to note is that never interrupt anyone. Always let them finish first beforeanother one begins.

Step 4: Listen Comes First, Talk Follows

How? Ensure everyone has listened to one another points of view. It can be done by taking turn to speak and leaving the discussion part at last. State once again the problem is nothing personal and no accusation should be made.

Why? By turn-taking, everyone can finish talking and voices of all sides can be heard indiscriminantly. This can promote willingness to listen to opposing opinions.

Example: We can prepare pieces of paper with different numbers written on them. Then, ask different members to pick one and talk according to the sequence of the number. After everyone’s finished, advise everyone to use “I” more than “You” in the discussion period to avoid others thinking that it is an accusation.

Step 5: Understand the Facts, Then Address the Problem

How? List out ALL the facts first. Ask everyone to tell what they know about the problems.

Why? Sometimes your facts are unknown to the others while they may know something we don’t. Missing out on these facts could possibly lead to inaccurate capture of the problem. Also, different known facts can lead to different perception of the matter. It also helps everyone better understand the problem and can eventually help reach a solution.

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Example: While everyone is expressing their own views, ask them to write down everything they know that is true to the problem. As soon as everyone has finished, all facts can be noted and everyone’s understanding of the problem is raised.

Step 6: Solve the Problem Together

How? Knowing what everyone’s thinking, it is now time to resolve the conflict. Up to this point, everyone should have understood the problem better. So, it is everyone’s time to suggest some solutions. It is important not to have one giving all the solutions.

Why? Having everyone suggesting their solutions is important as they will not feel excluded and their opinions are considered. Besides, it may also generate more solutions that can better resolve the conflicts. Everyone will more likely be satisfied with the result.

Example: After discussion, ask all members to suggest any possible solutions and stress that all solutions are welcomed. State clearly that we are looking for the best outcomes for everyone’s sake rather than battling to win over one another. Then, evaluate all the solutions and pick the one that is in favor of everyone.

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