NTOA Forums Tactical Leadership General Leadership Discuss the Most Common leadership Problems in Law Enforcement. Reply To: Discuss the Most Common leadership Problems in Law Enforcement.

David Allen

I believe the two common leadership problems in law enforcement today are lack of emotional intelligence and failing to communicate appropriately. In articles and in leadership courses I’ve learned that this is the first time ever that four generations are in the work force. This creates a problem for leadership because some leaders are not patient nor flexible enough to deal with this many different personalities. Each of these generations require to be handled in different ways. For example, the “Millennial’ s” require more positive feedback than generations before them don’t require much feedback at all. Giving constant feedback can be exhausting and some leaders are not willing to adjust their mentality to different generations even if it means they lose production out of their people. Having strong emotional intelligence would help leaders find what motivates each individual in order to maximize there individual potential. I believe you have to treat everyone the same when it comes to respecting others, staying within legal guidelines, and agency policy but a leader must find and exploit each individuals strengths and work on their weaknesses.

I believe strong communication skills are also very important. Communicating effectively with subordinates and with the public is the primary job of a leader and supervisor. An instructor I had for a leadership course said that “the higher rank you become the better the communicator you have to be.” I believe this is true because if you are leading people but your communication is abrasive or offensive to people than goals are not met because people don’t want to listen. It’s the same with the public. Leaders have to be able to communicate politely and professionally with the public in order to help them understand the reason why we do the things we do. There are times that we cannot give nor do we owe an explanation for what we do but any opportunity we can take to explain something to a citizen we serve that helps them better understand only helps build that relationship with the public. Even if they don’t like what we have to say they might not tell us at the time but they will respect our professionalism and forthcoming.