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Back to Basics: OLQs How to Develop Them

Written by The Trooper on May 20, 2017

Check out officer like qualities OLQs the SSB interview assessors are looking for in you as a potential officer and also know how to develop officer like qualities. If you want to pass SSB interview you must know what OLQs are and how to improve OLQ.

What are Officer Like Qualities and best way to develop

In the previous article, we have discussed the introduction to SSB and have seen the overview of how an SSB interview is held across five days followed by medicals for the recommended candidates.

In this article, we shall see the qualities the assessors are looking for in you as a potential candidate and how to develop those qualities. These qualities are also known as Officer Like Qualities.

Through the five-day SSB process, the assessors are looking for candidates who have the potential to be in the armed forces. They are looking for certain set minimum qualities and criteria that a candidate must meet to be in the armed forces. In words of a JCO working at an SSB centre, “the recommended candidates are zeroes from the negatives. The academies will make them positives”.

Such is the selection process that every one of the candidates can be recommended at the same time and it is also possible that none of them is recommended at all! It is very important to note that SSB is not a competition between you and others, it is a platform to showcase the best of you in front of the assessors.

So, here are the 15 Officer Like Qualities (OLQs) that an SSB is looking for in a potential candidate and how to develop them:

#1. Effective Intelligence

Effective intelligent is utilised in coping the practical challenges.

How to Cultivate:

  • Do some social activity
  • Read a newspaper and try to think about solutions to the problems.

#2. Reasoning Ability

Here, you need to apply rational and logical thinking to reason a solution to a problem.

How to Cultivate:

  • Take reasoning tests online.
  • Be a good listener and grasp as much information as possible from the data available.

#3. The power of Expression

It is the ability to express your ideas and thoughts to others.

How to Cultivate:

  • Be social.
  • Talk to others in English.
  • Take part in debates, seminars and other such events.

#4. Self Confidence

Here, you need to self-introspect yourself, your qualities and come to a conclusion as on which qualities you are confident and what qualities you need to develop.

How to Cultivate:

  • Self-introspection.
  • Practise on your weakness.

#5. Determination

It is the dynamism required to be determined towards a task and achieve it till the end.

How to Cultivate:

  • Set short term goals and try to achieve it with maximum efforts.

#6. Organising Ability

This is the ability to organise events with the efficient use of resources.

How to Cultivate:

  • Try to organise events in school, college, society, etc.

#7. Initiative

It is your first call to something, to originate a meaningful action.

How to Cultivate:

  • Take the first step in any assigned task to you.
  • Volunteer to do tasks set out in public.

#8. Courage

The ability to face new challenges- both mental and physical.

How to Cultivate:

  • Always challenge yourself with new opportunities.
  • Try to push your limits.
  • Come out of your comfort zone.

#9. Cooperation

It is the ability to work in a team upholding the team spirit.

How to Cultivate:

  • Play team games like basketball, football, etc. and volunteer to be the team’s captain.

#10. A sense of Responsibility

It is how responsible you are with your assignments.

How to Cultivate:

  • Start with taking responsibilities from your home. The tasks assigned to you by your parents, your responsibility towards them and so on.

#11. Stamina

Again, stamina is not just physical but mental too. It the power of how much can you endure.

How to Cultivate:

  • Start by exercising regularly and pushing your limits.

#12. Liveliness

It is the ability to uphold the spirit and maintain a cheerful atmosphere around himself.

How to Cultivate:

  • Try to think in a positive manner.
  • A fake smile goes a long way in cultivating this OLQ.

#13. Social Adaptability

This OLQ reflects your adaptability to a new social environment and how good can you blend in the atmosphere.

How to Cultivate:

  • Try to talk to strangers and make new friends.

#14. The speed of Decision

This counts on as a very important OLQ as the quickness of decision can decide the lives of soldiers during the war.

How to Cultivate:

  • Play mind games that put a focus on developing this OLQ.

#15. Influencing Ability

This will be the ability to influence people around you or a group.

How to Cultivate:

  • Make valid points whenever in a group.
  • Take into consideration everyone’s comfort and point of view.

With these 15 top officer like qualities and the easiest way around you to cultivate them, you can be the next officer in the armed forces.

The 16th Unclassified OLQ:

Apart from these 15 OLQs, there is a 16th Officier Like Quality that is not documented but is as important as any other OLQ in the list. It is - 'The Urge and Motivation to Join the Armed Forces'. This OLQ is implicitly tested by every selector at SSB. This OLQ shows your will and eagerness to join the armed forces and your determination towards it. This is a quality that cannot be developed by any practice or so. It purely comes from within. So, for developing this quality, you are on your own.


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