A fire incident can be chaotic, confusing and complex. Most certainly it is dynamic, with change ever occurring, sometimes at a rapid and unexpected pace. The successful leader is able to make sense of the chaos and develop a credible plan. He or she is then able to communicate that plan, win support from others and thus the ability to implement.
Leadership is influencing people-by providing purpose, direction and motivation-while operating to accomplish the mission and improve the organization.
One of the key factors in directing and communicating any plan is to conduct a Briefing. Briefings are required when a change in the incident environment, assignment or personnel occurs. The beginning of an operational shift, a change in tactics or procedures, or orientation for a newly-assigned resource-these are a few examples of when a briefing would be necessary. At the heart of every briefing is Leader's Intent, or what the goal is.
In this portion of the Leadership Toolbox you will find some useful information and techniques to help you become a better communicator. "Affect Them with Intent" expounds on the role and purpose of Leader's Intent. There is a link to an article by U.S. Army Lieutenant Colonel Lawrence Shattuck on intent and command presence. "What a Good Briefing Will Cover" details the briefing checklist found on the back of the Incident Response Pocket Guide. "Tips for the Timid and the Bold" offers some helpful suggestions on improving your briefing skill. Finally, the "Ten Commandments of Good Listening" offers some principles to improve listening skills.