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Patrol Leader Communications – The Dialog

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In the first part of this two-part series, we learned the Patrol Briefing is a cool tool for communicating with your Patrol as a group. A good patrol leader also takes the time to talk with Scouts individually.

Talking to a group is a monologue, talking to an individual is a dialogue.

Before we go any further, think about what would you like to hear from your Patrol Leader if you did a really good job. What kind of talk would help build a friendship? How would you want to be treated if you make a mistake?

Talking to Scouts Who Make Mistakes:
As a rule, don’t publicly reprimand a Scout; that’s embarrassing! We often respond negatively when we get embarrassed.

If a Scout makes a mistake or misbehaves, take him aside and talk to him one-on-one. You’ll have a better chance that he’ll pay attention to what you’ve got to say.

Once, when I was Patrol Leader, one of the guys in my Patrol just flat-out refused to wash dishes! Instead of losing my temper, I took him aside and we talked about responsibility and teamwork. I asked why he didn’t want to do his share. After we talked for a few minutes, he understood the importance of doing his duty for the Patrol. I didn’t have that problem with him again!

When A Scout Makes Good:
Praise a Scout for a job well done in front of the whole Patrol! A good patrol leader does this often. Make sure you have everyone’s attention so your words have the best impact.

When you have a chance to talk to that Scout individually, be sure to thank them for doing such a good job. That way they know you really do appreciate them!

Building Friendships:
One of the most important tasks of being a good leader is knowing your guys well! Take time to talk with your Scouts to get to know them better.

Good one-on-one communication comes from:

1. Being deliberate – Don’t just wait around for conversations to happen; make them happen!

2. Being genuinely interested – Learn as much as you can about your Scouts! If a dialogue is artificial, if you are just trying to get it over with, it shows.

3. Asking questions – Get the Scout to talk to you! It’s a dialogue, not a monologue!

Tell me about conversations you’ve had with Scouts in your Patrol. What were they about? Leave a comment below or join the discussion on the GreenBar Life Forum; I’d love to hear your experiences!