After the Webinar: Career Survival within the Administrative Ranks of Policing (Part 2). Q&A with Dennis Nayor

Webinar presenter Dennis Nayor answered a number of your questions after his presentation, Career Survival within the Administrative Ranks of Policing (part 2).  Here are just a few of his responses.


Audience Question: A few slides ago, you had an acronym. What does CHAT stand for again? 

Dennis Nayor: It’s an acronym that I just came up with. Acronyms, you want them to be relatable, and I wanted them to be Communicative, Honest, Approachable, and Transparent, and I use that acronym when working with the media. Because the media, I said, when the agency image component, and how we connect with the media, is that we always want to make sure that we communicate, that we have honesty and that we’re approachable and we’re transparent, not only when things are good, but when things maybe didn’t go so well. And the same thing I said for a chief, that they want their staff, officers, and support staff to know that they’re communicating with them, and they’re not operating in a bubble, and they’re honest with what they’re doing, what they tell the department is the truth. They’re approachable, that they’re not so important that they’re better than people. And that they’re transparent, again, “Hey, we’re making this change. We know maybe, it’s not everyone’s favorite outcome. But here’s why we’re doing it”, and just be transparent. So, CHAT is, communicative, honest, approachable, and transparent.


Audience Question: You know, you talked about the importance of wellness and getting mental health. What do you think as a chief, would it be important to lead by example? And even set up counseling sessions for yourself, and talk about that, and the importance of it? What are your thoughts on that? 

Dennis Nayor:  Yeah, I think if a chief is struggling, and the chief has any issues that are affecting their abilities to do the job correctly, then they should definitely do it because they’re the leader, and if the leader of the organization isn’t doing well, it’s going to affect the rest of the organization. It’s going to be a chief’s personal choice, as to, if they want to share that, but if they did a good job of de-stigmatizing it within their organization, then they can put that information forward and say that they’ve sought counseling and it helped them and maybe share their experiences. I like to think that that’s something that would be individual-based. I think that all chiefs should do their best to present the value of it. But if a chief for someone at the command level knows that the stresses are getting to them or that they’re not functioning well, sort of affecting their personal life or their physical health, then by all means they should do it and not think that it’s just for the officers because it applies to them as well.


Audience Question:  You talked a lot about EQ or emotional intelligence during today’s session. How do you hire for EQ? 

Dennis Nayor: Well, I think there might be tests that they could do to analyze someone’s EQ level. But some things I think that as an interviewer if you’re in the interview stage to look for, and that’s the person’s effect. Are they comfortable in their communication styles? Do they have a manner about them that they’re easy to be around? You can ask them questions about how they are in with their flaws. And if they have a good level of self-awareness, they’ll be able to say, “Well, I could do better at this, or that,” they won’t say they don’t have any. So, you can look at what those components of emotional intelligence are and then try to bait them into your process of when you hire, look for those qualities. And they may, and I’m not sure on this, you’d have to do a little research if maybe in the psychological assessment, if there’s some sort of testing for that, because I’m sure it would be somehow infused within that component.


Audience Question: If you could provide advice to your younger self, what advice about leadership and being a chief, would you give, knowing what you know now? 

Dennis Nayor: I think I would make it more of a point to just remember that the role of a chief is different responsibilities. But ultimately, everything you do as a chief has to be geared toward helping those who carry out the mission on the front lines. Do that job as effectively and efficiently as possible, and also to know that as a chief, that there’s so much burden and stress that you have to know going in. Because going in, you don’t know what you don’t know, and to know that you really want to make it a clear point in which you’re going to stay and then know it’s not sustainable and be more prepared. It allows that we’re prepared in thinking of my next chapters. And that’s why I got my master’s degree, and that’s why I was always looking at things up, where I might transition once I retire. But I think I would just, it would be good knowing that a little bit more because doing the job at a high level is just not sustainable because of the constant pace you have to keep, and you don’t set the pace. The pace is set for you. You just have to keep up, and I think knowing that in advance would have been good because it would have just maybe helped me in my plan for the future.


Click Here to Watch a Recording of Career Survival within the Administrative Ranks of Policing (part 2). 



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