Ray Nash has 40 years of experience working in law enforcement. Ray was first appointed as a police chief at the age of 23, had 3 terms as a sheriff, and became the Criminal Justice Adviser for the US Embassy in Afghanistan. Currently, he is the Senior Vice President for training and development at the International Academy of Public Safety, the Commissioner of the National Command and Staff College, and the Director of the Sheriff’s Institute for Credible Leadership Development.
If there’s one thing that he sees as the key takeaway in his long and prolific career, it is that character ought to be the quality stressed in our workplaces, and our lives. However, it is apparent that most workplaces shine the spotlight on competency.
Today, he joins the Justice Clearinghouse webinars as the founder of Police Dynamics Institute, an agency that provides consulting services and leadership training for police officers, government officials and business leaders. He aims to teach the attendees a better approach towards success as leaders, followers, and humans, in general.
Some of the points he highlighted on the webinar are:
- Defining character as the motivation to do the right thing no matter the circumstance or cost, and competence as the knowledge and skills to get the job done well.
- Instances when competence was underscored in the workplace more than character.
- Understanding the law of harvest as an analogy where achievement is the fruit on tree and character is the seed that produces the fruit.
- How placing too much importance on success can result in bad character where people lie and cheat their way towards success.
- A real-life example/case study of an armored car hijacking.
- Using the case to illustrate how he was able to highlight character in his commendation to a sergeant who immensely contributed towards a successful conviction.
The three keys to building a culture of character by:
- Gaining a new vocabulary away from the usual practice of giving praises based on competency.
- Making the character connection by shifting the positioning of the competency-based commendation to one that underlines character qualities.
- Anticipating tests to your character through temptations, pressure, and challenges.
- A comprehensive list of character virtues to recognize and commend which can be used when dealing with peers, superiors, subordinates, and even family.
- A definition of some of the most common character virtues such as attentiveness, dependability, loyalty, and truthfulness.
- Gratitude as a virtue that encourages two-way character exchange where once you recognize someone's gratitude, you are also practicing gratitude.
- An example proving that recognizing character is a deeper connection when a near-retirement sergeant was extemporaneously given recognition by the participants of a leadership workshop the sergeant coordinated.
- Poll questions evaluated the attendee's workplace training as to whether their agencies are competency or character focused.
Questions mentioned in the Q&A part of the webinar encompassed:
- How character flaws may be the cause of slip-ups in the workplace when we often blame it on incompetency.
- Approaching correction or discipline by employing a reverse character connection that probes which virtue was not practiced that led to the issue or failure.
- Using positive positioning when trying to communicate the need for improving virtues and character through the five E’s – establish standards, embrace the standards, embody the standards, encourage the standards, and encourage the standards.
- A technique to ensure you’re hiring for character through a comprehensive background check encompassing past employers, finances, and even criminal history; and talking to references, and asking them for additional references who can paint a clearer picture of a person’s character.