Session #7 - December 18, 2002, 1400-1600 hrs, Richmond City Hall Room
Preparing to Write a Multiple Choice Exam - Sgt Dave Olson - 1st hour
2. Making the "Right" Choice - Getting Back to Basics (6 Core
Competencies) - Ward Clapham - 2nd hour
Preparing to Write
a Multiple Choice Exam handout
Acrobat 4.0 PDF Format)
Making the "Right" Choice - Getting Back to Basics (6 Core Competencies) -
Microsoft Powerpoint Presentation
This session was video taped. Contact Cpl. Robert Manchip, Richmond
Detachment for a copy of the video tape.
Making the "Right" Choice
Getting Back to Basics
6 Core Competencies
(Text Slide Show and Speaker Notes of Study Session #7)
We are getting close to the wire now.
This session is all about … Making the "Right" choice at exam time.
For those of you that have been with the study sessions since the beginning, you
have a huge advantage.
If you have been studying leadership principles, paying attention to "mountie
rules" and mentally preparing yourself, you can now focus on the little things.
The "little things" are really the big things now. One or two extra marks make
all the difference in the world.
We are now getting into the finer details…the "little things". But these little
things are really the big things.
For those of you just recently arriving, not to worry. Hopefully you have been
living or been immersed within an "excellent" leadership environment. You too
can then move forward within this presentation
Your Exam Will Draw On
6 Core Competencies
Planning and Organizing (Action Management)
Personal Effectiveness and Flexibility
Thinking Skills (CAPRA)
(Communication and Continuous Learning NOT assessed in JSE)
Ladies and Gentlemen…we are going back to basics.
I said this in Sept of 2002. The force gives you all the information, all the
answers. They are in the core competencies. Well, it is now January 2003 and we
are coming back to these.
This is really, really important!!!!!!
What we have done from September is try to explain and operationalize in
different ways the core competencies.
Remember when I read the core competencies to you…mumble jumble. Also, so much
detail, it was overwhelming.
Well, I bet it is not mumble jumble now. I bet you now have dozens of examples
and "rules" for each of these competencies now.
So, use this as a confidence builder. You know it…I sure hope you are living it.
What I mean is practicing these principles in your daily routine, your habits.
Now, it is about drawing on 6 of the eight core competencies during the JSE.
(One Month Before JSE)
Bringing It All Together
Don't try to memorize Core Competencies
DO try to deeply understand and operationalize.
Write down each of the 6 core competencies to the "Supervises a Unit of Work"
level and analyze the words and each sentence.
Ask yourself "What does this mean? How will it become an exam question and how
will the responses differ? Write down "notes to yourself"
Today is all about details…
But, before I get into details, I want to share with you some preparation tips.
We are basically 3 weeks before the exam. So, these are things that might help
you in your "almost" final preparation. Note, almost final prep. We will get
into final preparation at our next study session.
Don't memorize, deeply understand the core competencies. We have gone over them
from so many angles, it will really start to make sense now.
When you analyze each word and sentence, write down notes to yourself. Take the
details that you are reading and put them into a "package" or "framework" that
you …YOU will understand. Again, don't memorize.
You will hear this at the last study session, but I do NOT want you over
analyzing or trying to second guess the core competency at exam writing time.
You are going to "let this go" at exam time. You will be focusing on the…
"Right" things. And how will you know it…because you took the time to teach
yourself, in your words and thought pattern, what the RCMP right things are.
Again, the core competency definitions are the answers. Many of us just don't
get it. The answers are before us. Some of us overlook the obvious. It is not
until AFTER the JSE that we realize that "all the time, the path…the answers
were right in front of us".
A Few More Ideas
After you "Micro" the core competencies, then begin to transition to "Macro"
The JSE is all about…Situations that are similar to the actual work performed at
the NCO Ranks. What is being measured is HOW you respond to issues and problems.
Capture the Mountie rules…"our leadership principles" in an "Executive Summary"
So, Micro the 6 core competencies first…get into how you can understand and
remember the details without memorizing. Go over them in paper and your mind. Do
whatever it takes to intrinsically "know" what the right things are.
Then, slowly transition to "macro'. About 2 weeks to a week before the exam,
start going more macro. Again, if you OVER analyze details, you may miss the
obvious. Remember how the JSE questions and responses were developed…real
Ok, so the JSE is all about situations NCO's face. What is being measured is
your response to these issues and problems. So, get your head into this big
time. Remember this…you have been shown/taught, dissected from the exam, read or
whatever…. dozens of Mountie responses ( leadership principles) that are
We have dug deep into principles…you have read about them, the core competencies
detail them, we have Police Leaders that we can point to and say…they live them.
Capture all these in bullet form and start bringing it together.
Consider an "Executive Summary"…a cheat sheet bringing all these principles to
basic detail to help you focus during the last weeks. Maybe these you want to
consider memorizing if it helps you focus??
The JSE is all about Problem Solving
Once you have the leadership principles fully understood, then you need to think
about the "problem solving" within the exam framework.
So, we just wrap our minds around this!
Use past exams as a "guideline" only. Don't get hung up on past exams…You will
NOT see those exact questions again.
The JSE is all about problem solving. Just the problem is at the supervisor rank
and it is listed on paper, not in real life. Some mounties have real problems
with this because we have never been formally trained to problem solve this way.
So, this is where some "tips" can help you cut through the "red herrings" and
get to the root of the problem and make the most appropriate response on what is
Approaching Each Problem
Who are you …and
What is your position
See Hand-Out #1 for detailed discussion
Cpl's Exam Q. 27 (Cycle 3)
This is the "C" for Clients in CAPRA
(Will talk more on this in a while)
-Cannot Put Exam Questions or Rationale/Scoring Key on the Web Site - Protected
We will talk a lot more in study session #9 about how important your reading and
comprehension is during the 4 hour exam time period. For right now, lets just
talk about your approach.
First, you must pay attention to your role and your position in each question.
This is really important as it changes in each question.
Question 27 Version A
Response "a" is the best…why?
Note the subtle difference between "a" and "b". Recognizing your role in advance
has you ensuring your Constable understands the decision.
The situation is set up in such a way you are NOT told you are a Corporal - a
But your project was with a Constable…You are the supervisor in this situation.
Who are you?
What is your role?
What is your position?
As we read over question 27 and the rationale…bingo. The subtle difference
stands out loud and clear.
As a supervisor, part of your role is to explain decisions and reasons to your
Q. 27 Some Examples of Principles in Action
When a decision is made, get on board!
Listen to opposing points of view, explain your decision to subordinates. Be
You don't challenge your leader's decision by ganging up or going over their
You have a supervisory responsibility to explain decisions made by superiors.
Always build in an Assessment component into your decision. (things may change!)
Sgt's Exam Question
Question 35 Version A Response "b"
See Hand-Out #2
Here is another example of Recognizing your Role…You are the NCO i/c of a
Detachment…A Sgt. You have a Cpl i/c of a Traffic Unit.
This is an example of proper "empowerment"
Principles in Action
Leadership is about "letting go" of power…not doing it all yourself!
Manage expectations…when you "empower", attach the appropriate authority,
accountability and responsibility
Keep informed…this is the Assessment phase that a leader must ensure
What is the "Root" of the problem or situation?
Get to the Root! What is the "bottom-line"?
It is easy to get mixed up, lost, confused and a big head-ache in some of the
questions and responses.
Quickly and sequentially use CAPRA to help get to "what is being asked". Note:
Sequential…because you may only get to Clients and Acquire/Analyze as the best
And, are they asking for the…Best or Initial response?
Quickly and sequentially try to dissect the problem using CAPRA
Clients..Who am I? What is my position? What is my role? Who is directly
affected by me?
Who is indirectly affected by me or the problem?
Acquire and Analyze - Digging to the root of the problem
Acquire and Analyze
Ok, so all we have done is identify who we are and we our role/position is.
Now, we want to dig deep - quickly and thoroughly.
Hand-Out #3 - Q.38 Cpl's, Version A
This is an excellent example to show how IF you quickly applying CAPRA in YOUR
approach on dissecting the question
What ever the question is…it will never be the one we are just reviewing, but
using CAPRA to help you problem solve…works.
Let me show you!
Who are you? What is your role? Who is your direct internal client? Are they
asking for Best or Initial response?
(you are a supervisor and you have a Cst. reporting to you)
As you start to dissect (acquire and analyze) to the root of the problem - look
what we find…you were part of the problem. You allowed him to work on his own
without close supervision…by accepting his own word only.
I don't want to confuse you, but what worked for me is always approaching a real
life problem with
And then CAPRA
There is one more very crucial clue in this question…you have already ONCE met
with the Constable to discuss his deficiencies.
If you are ROOT problem solving the question, in the acquire and analyze stage,
this jumps out at you!
Now, Switch Gears
We got to the root in Question using CAPRA
So, now we are switching gears. Solutions have already been given to you. This
is really important! So you have to modify your approach somewhat now. Now you
have to apply the leadership principles - the core competency principles to
prioritize the best response.
Remember the rules…the principles we talked about and how they roll out in a
In direct reporting relationships with subordinates - deal with deficiencies in
person and private
Listen - Don't just tell
Lay out expectations = Be up front with what you expect for performance.
Notch up to next level if problem still exists - Work on working on deficiencies
(which in this case is a Sr. Cst helping in development}
Regularly review - Assess!
At the end of this slide, if you applied CAPRA again…in harmony with leadership
principles, it all fits.
Clients - you and the cst
Acquire and Analyze - You met once and you are meeting again to get more details
Partnerships - Utilizing a Senior Cst is a good way to develop both of them
Response - You laid out expectations, this is not a situation yet that requires
a notice of shortcomings, you are holding person very accountable and not
letting him on his own. You are using senior expertise as a coach and mentor.
Assessment. In this case you are the line nco…You are a Cpl with a Cst reporting
to you on your unit. It is appropriate in this situation for YOU to be
A Sergeant's Perspective
In the last example…the Cpl was expected to review, provide guidance, monitor
the problem and the members.
Lets say you are faced with a situation where you have a Cpl (or maybe even a
Sr. Cst.) in between you.
What do you do? When do you "let go"?
Go Back to Hand-Out #2 for an example
Use past exams and rationale as a guideline only.
Do NOT rely to heavily on them
Go back to the core competencies and deeply operationalize
WHY? If you have an individualized template or approach, you can tackle any
question. Here is an example…
A Tough Question
Hand-Out #4 - Sgt's Exam Question 25 Version A Response "e"
Lets walk through applying an example of a framework…ST-CAPRA on the question
onlyl What is the situation, the task?
Who are the clients, internal and external?
When you get to the "root"…it is lack of focus and deadline approaching
Get Focused and Meet Deadline.
Don't be afraid to take action to put something back on track. Being a
supervisor includes being a director. And the buck stops with the "director"
You can still encourage "teamwork" and get the job done
Take some time later and look at the details of Planning and Organizing (Action
Management). Word for word the reasons jump out at you!
Reviewing the Responses
There is no magic formula to reviewing the responses. But here are a few
Keep asking yourself throughout review of each of the 4 responses…what is my
role, my responsibility, first or initial response and what is the root of the
The first few words of the response set the stage.
Pay attention…the sequence, the order of events are set into play with the first
Get Back to Basics
CAPRA can set the sequential order in each response
But, it gets deeper than that.
The tougher responses all follow the right sequence. They play with the
And we have talk and talked about principles…they are outlined in the core
So For Now
Just focus on operationalizing the 6 core competencies so they are second nature
So the "right" principles jump out at you
Then, remember to use common sense. We are in a risky business and there is a
time and a place for everything.
You are an expert "Risk Manager"
Do NOT sell yourself short on this. You multi-task and prioritize all the time.
Our Final Study Session
At Study Session #9, we are going to tie everything into a custom designed
planned, focused, organized, analytical and structured approach during the 4
This is so key…This will give you the edge.
It is really important to get mentally focused for the 4 hours. All you need to
do is "drop the ball" in your structured approach on a few questions and you may
miss the cut.
First of Equals
You are aspiring to be a leader.
In other words *** First of Equals ***
First to listen, first to coach and mentor
First to stand up for yourself, your people and your community
First to share recognition, first to care
First…but of equals.
Never forget this in both "word and deed" At the end of the day, this is what
leadership is all about
Team Leader, Richmond Detachment