At a recent tactics class I saw a major issue that boils my blood. People trying to do everything under the sun, which basically means you do everything half ass.
Team tactics to be successful need team cohesion and you need trust to build team cohesion. When you don’t trust your teammates to do their job you somehow feel compelled to do their job for them, which means you do a shitty job of actually doing your job. Where I see it the most is when assignments have you somewhat out of the action. You feel like you are missing out and instead of staying focused on your assignment and doing it to the best of your ability you get caught up in everything else going on. It’s a vicious cycle and one that must be broken right away before it’s damage is so bad it takes a major intervention to remedy.
Failure to do Right
Now I’m not saying to blindly trust, you have to build trust and you do so by first doing your job to the best of your ability. This is where “rep’ing” out your tactics over and over make a big difference. Yes, it is about getting better at your job, but it is in a big way showing your team you are good to and can be trusted to do the right thing. We have safety violation appropriately titled “failure to do right” and it means instead of performing your assignment flawlessly you got wrapped up in other things outside of your assignment. When you make a mistake, you own up to it, exam what happened and why. If you eliminate the issue of total screw up a lot of the reasoning behind mistakes are because you were taking on too much and you failed to stay focused on your task or assignment. Trust begins with you, doing your job to the best of your ability. Setting the example for others to follow and being consistent. The more you do your job well, the better environment you create for others to follow.
If your assignment is to cover a door and the dangers presented from said door then that’s it, that’s your sole reason for taking in oxygen at that moment. Your team is relying on you to execute that one task flawlessly, to the best of your ability. Not to worry about this or that, but the door until you are assigned a new task or your presence is requested elsewhere. I see folks who have splatter vision, which as a poster child for splatter vision I can speak from experience. You’ve got to rein it in and focus on your assignment, you have to put the needs of the team over your own.
Stay Away from the Light
If for whatever reason you feel compelled to deviate from your assignment first decide if it’s a “need” or a “want”. I’ll bet more times than not, it’s a want (individual) and not a need (team). If you decide it is a need, then by all means execute said task, swiftly and surgically. If it’s more of a want, trust your teammate to remedy the fault. As trust erodes I see teams break down in their ability to execute, they begin “talking” their way through the mission bogging down their progress and decreasing their safety.
I’ve found that initiative based tactics are the most flexible, but don’t confuse them with just doing your own thing. When that happens you have just become a bunch of individuals responding to the same location and not a team executing a mission.