CA commanders introduced to Real Life Management
HORSESHOE BAY, Texas – Since the start of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, the Army has developed many programs to assist Soldiers and Families to cope with the challenges of life off the battlefield. Resiliency training, Family Advocacy and Chaplain programs continue to improve the quality of life for many Soldiers.
One civilian program, Real Life Management, was introduced to more than 50 leaders from the 85th Civil Affairs Brigade officers and senior NCO Corps during a Strong Bonds retreat in Marble Falls Oct. 28-30. The retreat was to allow Commanders and senior leaders an opportunity to understand how to use RLM techniques when communicating with seniors, peers and subordinates.
“These aren’t an end all, be all solution,” said Ch (Capt.) Dan Cook, a chaplain with III Corps Chaplain’s Office. “This program simply becomes a tool. Using the 3-minute survey, we as leaders can accurately identify Soldiers, who are most likely to have difficulties pertaining to financial, emotional or with relationships.”
Real Life Management is a program that utilizes simplified personality surveys easily understandable and instantly usable as an assessment tool. A scenario presented during the retreat recommended newly assigned Soldiers complete the 3-minute survey during their inprocessing as a way to provide a quick snapshot to leaders.
According to Cook, Real Life Management is a program still in the testing phases and is not in regular practice Army wide. Using mobile RLM-trained teams, Cook is developing a program approved by III Corps command that will train multiple units across Fort Hood using Soldiers trained and certified within RLM.
Sgt. 1st Class Michael Knowlton, a platoon sergeant with 62nd Engineer Support Battalion, explained the importance of leaders knowing their Soldiers. Following the loss of multiple Soldiers in a matter of months, the former drill sergeant Knowlton was introduced to RLM.
“It’s not as hard as people make it out to be,” Knowlton said. “One of the first things I did was have my squad leaders and team leaders complete the survey and then we talked about the results.”
Knowlton highlighted an ability to communicate and understand as more of a focus instead of creating teams simply based on the results of the surveys.
“A young NCO that would counsel his Soldier without any real direction now has expectations,” said Knowlton. “Now, that NCO can counsel his Soldiers with an understanding of the responses those Soldiers give, based on what that leader knows from Real Life. It doesn’t solve all the problems, but facilitates communication.”
Some members of the command groups participating in the retreat saw the upside of Real Life. Capt. Scott Cummings, commander, 82nd Civil Affairs Battalion, 85th Civil Affairs Brigade, sees RLM as yet another tool for leaders.
“It can be a quick, easy tool. This is something that we can do; at a minimum have Soldiers complete the survey,” said Cummings. “We still have to really know our Soldiers, but this provides a framework of understanding them.”
Real Life Management seeks to assist leaders with making better decisions. Utilizing surveys, downloadable content, and coaching seminars, RLM can be utilized by anyone willing to improve themselves and their units. To find out more information about the Real Life program, simply go to the following website at www.reallifemanagement.com.
Pvt. 1st Class Hughes, a chaplain’s assistant with 81st Civil Affairs Battalion, 85th Civil Affairs Brigade, assists Lt. Col. DeniseCook with registration at Horshoebay Resort prior to the start of a Strong Bonds retreat Sunday, Oct. 28. (Photo by Army Staff Sgt. Gregory Sanders, 85th CA Bde. Public Affairs)
Capt. (Ch) Rob Cook discusses some triggers of stress during a Strong Bonds retreat Sunday Oct. 28 in Horseshoe Bay. As a Real Life Management coach, Cook was invited to present RLM principles to members of the 85th Civil Affairs Brigade command teams, so as to provide an additional tool in communicating with Soldiers assigned to the unit. (Photo by Army Staff Sgt. Gregory Sanders, 85th CA Bde. Public Affairs.)
Participants from across the 85th Civil Affairs Brigade share survey results and discuss how they match up with their peers during a Strong Bonds retreat at Horseshoe Bay Oct 28-30. (Photo by Army Staff Sgt. Gregory Sanders, 85th CA Bde. Public Affairs.)
Sgt. 1st Class Michael Knowlton discusses Real Life Management and the importance of communicating with Soldiers. Knowlton was introduced to RLM following the loss of multiple Soldiers within his unit and explained that although Real Life is not a complete solution, but provides an effective tool of communication. (Photo by Army Staff Sgt. Gregory Sanders, 85th CA Bde. Public Affairs.)
85th Civil Affairs Brigade
Fort Hood, TX 76544