A Manchester Police Department captain completed all four levels of leadership training offered through the University of Tennessee Law Enforcement Innovation Center (LEIC). In November, Chris Patterson completed the five-week training course at the Southeastern Leadership Academy (SELA) at the University of Tennessee in Chattanooga.
Completing SELA, which spans five months, meant Patterson is eligible to receive the LEIC’s Certification of Law Enforcement Leadership for his accomplishments.
Being a good leader is a goal Patterson has had for a while. Attending SELA, a program he called “the best,” is one more step in improving and affirming his work.
“I strive for working to be the a good mentor for officers and younger officers and have good morals and ethics,” he said.
During the course, he and his classmates used the Myers-Briggs instrument. Myers-Briggs is a popular personality inventory that breaks down a person’s personality into four specific attributes, as well as breaks down how much the person fits into those core attributes. There are 16 personality types a person can get, some more rare than others, and follow the INFJ or ESTP format. The first letter, I and E, stand for introvert or extrovert to describe how a person prefers social interactions; N or S are intuition and sensing to break down how people gather information; F or T to indicate feeling or thinking, based on how a person makes decisions; and J or P being judging or perceiving to see how a person deals with the outside world. For a breakdown on the full meanings and to find out what how you fall, visit www.16personalities.com/free-personality-test.
Patterson is an ISTJ, also known as “the inspector,” meaning he tends to be more reserved, quiet and practical while enjoying order and organization. A popular career for this personality type is police officer or detective.
At first, Patterson was apprehensive about taking another personality test and using the Myers-Briggs instrument, but he was pleasantly surprised.
“As far as it goes, you learn a lot about yourself,” Patterson said.
The class divided into groups of conflicting personalities and they all learned how to work with one another, despite being different. Back in MPD, Patterson began taking note of similar behaviors he learned during this segment of the course and it became clearer to him why one of his fellow officers would act a certain way or why two officers struggled more to work together than others.
“Biggest thing is learning more about yourself is learning how to deal with others that have a different personality than you,” he said.
In the course, he received a book titled, “Leadership Challenge.” Inside were five practices of exemplary leadership. Of the five, Patterson really connected with “Good, quality, honest and trustworthy,” and “Encouraging the heart.” These are what makes a good leader to him – someone who officers can look up to and trust, as well as someone who encourages strong interpersonal relations within the department.
These qualities are things Patterson tries to embody in his role as captain.
“I feel like I have a little, but, to be honest, I feel like I already do a lot of those things,” he said. “I try to work well with others, have strong morals and values, and being a mentor to other officers and a confidant, someone they can trust.”
Other things he had to do in the class included studying historical leaders and doing a presentation on them, learning how to handle family medical emergencies, mental disabilities, budgeting, stress management, emotional survival and emotional intelligence, and how to deal with the media. Of those, he really enjoyed the emotional intelligence class, as it was all about being in control of your emotions and handling them in a way expected of a good leader.
The media class was taught by one of his classmates who was a public information officer. It centered about being transparent and honest with the media for all content, good or bad.
Patterson, who has been in law enforcement for 19 years and has been captain for two years, was able to attend SELA through department funds.
“Rewarding, educational, and I’m honored to be able to have the opportunity to go,” he said. “Hopefully this will help me become a better leader and mentor to those who look up to me so they can fill my shoes in the future and that’s really what it’s all about.”
He thanked Manchester Police Chief Mark Yother for allowing him to attend.