Criticism a leader’s best test of maturity

THE EDITOR: “If a climate is intemperate, its temperatures may be extreme. If a person is intemperate, his moods might be extreme. Being intemperate is all about avoiding moderation.”

The Commissioner of Police (CoP) has a penchant for using intemperate language when he is criticised or finds himself in a situation. It is my view that inclination of the CoP does not bode well for his office.

The commissioner may be right, within the legal remit, for his officers’s action or lack of action with the Bayside Towers partygoers, but one must question his manner of communicating his justifications.

Firstly, the CoP must see it fit to modulate his tone of voice. (It is not so much what you say but how you say it). He then has to treat with criticism professionally. Lastly, he need not react or respond to every minute criticism, particularly those on social media.

The CoP must certainly be aware of the enormity of his role and responsibility and that spending useful time to deal with those perceived to be against him is a burden and can be stressful. But more importantly, it takes away his attention to detail for other pressing, more important matters.

He must be made aware that to be desirous to be an effective leader one must gain experience over time and must understand that one has to earn the trust and confidence of others.

I am of the view that Gary Griffith’s heart and soul are in his job, and I duly compliment him for his above-average assessment/appraisal in his first two years in the job. Griffith, though, must know that when you are ready for criticism, you are ready for leadership.

He must be able to reconcile opposing viewpoints without giving offence and without compromising principle. Leaders must be more concerned with expressing themselves than with proving themselves.

The CoP must now give priority to active listening. He must seek to understand before seeking to be understood. He must use silence effectively. He must give an ear to all stakeholders. When the commissioner listens to requests, feedback, and gains insight from the people that matter, there is a higher likelihood that those stakeholders will buy in to the desired outcomes.

I end as I started, with two quotes:

“Our attitude is not determined by circumstances, but by how we respond to circumstances.”

“Criticism is the leader’s greatest test of maturity, conviction and commitment to his vision.”


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"Criticism a leader’s best test of maturity"

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