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Officer like Qualities and How to Develop those

January 15,2021

Are you thinking of becoming an officer in the defence force and trying to figure out the qualities required in the personality to crack the service selection board (SSB), then wait, this the article which will help you in doing so. SSB is a personality based test, candidates are judged on the basis of their personality traits and their selection and rejection depend upon presence/ absence of some fifteen personality traits/ qualities. These fifteen qualities are called officer like qualities and are must in a candidate to become an officer.

There are three different assessors in SSB who assess you on these 15 officer like qualities.  Your recommendation totally depends on how well you perform in the tasks that are assigned to you in five days of the selection procedure in SSB. Our personality totally depends on our upbringing and the environment that we have lived in. We tend to learn from our surrounding. Personality refers to individual’s pattern of thinking, feeling, and behaviour. By the time we reach the age of sixteen we already have developed most part of our personality but still we can continue improving/ shaping it every day.

In this article we will give you information about officer like qualities and how can those be developed for clearing the SSB interview and for becoming an officer in the defence forces.

Officer Like Qualities

These are 15 Officer Like Qualities which can be put into four different buckets as under:

  1. Factor I ( Planning & Organising)
    1. Effective Intelligence
    2. Reasoning Ability
    3. Organizing Ability
    4. Power of Expression
  2. Factor II (Social Adjustment)
    1. Social Adaptability
    2. Sense of Responsibility
    3. Co-operation
  3. Factor III (Social Effectiveness)
    1. Self Confidence
    2. Initiative
    3. Ability to Influence the Group
    4. Speed of making Decision
    5. Liveliness
  4. Factor IV (Dynamic)
    1. Determination
    2. Courage
    3. Stamina

How to Develop OLQs in Personality

Effective Intelligence

We all have basic intelligence but what we need is effective intelligence which includes practical intelligence and resourcefulness and this can be gained/ improved by exercising the brain optimally on regular basis. Solving normal verbal and nonverbal test series, puzzles can help raising the effective intelligence. To inculcate this quality, you must start observing things and think in a practical manner. Try to find solution to every situation easy or difficult in a very practical way without seeking help from others. Meditation, solving puzzles and mind games can help you in developing this quality to an acceptable level.

Reasoning Ability

This is also very important quality that SSB looks for. It is the ability to grasp the essentials well and to arrive at conclusions by rational and logical thinking. It includes receptivity, inquiring attitude, logical reasoning and seeing essentials of a problem. You must have logical reason to whatever you say or do.  Reading editorials in Newspapers and listening to opinions of senior Journalists, discussion panelists and Army Officers on TV shows will help you in forming your own logical opinion. Develop more and more reading habit and reasoning out the things by asking yourself questions on what, how and why of the things. The best answer comes when you remain true to yourself and be honest in your approach.

Organising Ability

It is the ability to arrange the resources in a systematic way so as to produce effective results. It can also be defined as the ability to put to the best use of the available means for attainment of a desired objective. It is this quality in an individual which makes him capable of organizing events like social event, sports event, training event or visit of dignitaries by making optimum use of available material and manpower resources. This quality again can be developed by observation, reading, practical handling and learning from experience of others. Taking part in college fests, becoming members of college clubs, taking part in organizing committees and helping elders at home in organizing social functions and marriages will help developing this ability. Optimum utilization of resources or using minimum resources for maximum output is the sign of this quality.

Power of Expression

This is the most important tools of personality where his/her ability to put across ideas adequately with ease and clarity are assessed. Students with this quality are more eloquent, forceful, lucid, precise & effective in their expression. It is putting across one’s ideas, thoughts and feelings to others with clarity in crisp way. This quality can be developed by more and more practice in talking to your friends, workmates, family and siblings. Speaking in front of the mirror and reading newspaper loudly can help in developing this quality. Reading self-development books and interacting and conversing with others acquaintances/ strangers will instill confidence in you and that will enhance your power of expression. Power of expression is important for an officer as he is responsible for leading his men in battle where he has to pass clear orders to them and also keep his superiors updated of the situation.

Social Adaptability

A very important quality that SSB looks in the candidate is how well you can adapt to the new situation and new people. How well you can win the trust of the people. The ability of an individual to adapt himself to the social environment and adjust well with persons and social groups, with special reference to superiors, equal and subordinates. Social adaptability includes social intelligence, attitude towards others, tact, and adaptability. The sole reason behind this is that an officer has to move to a new place and to a new regiment after every two/ three years of tenure so he must have this quality to adapt to new people and new environment. To develop this quality you must open up to people, initiate a talk, start doing conversation and come out of your comfort zone and build your network.  This will also help you developing empathy and skill management.

Sense of Responsibility

It enable a person to be dependable and to willingly discharge his obligation. It includes sense of duty but much more comprehensive in meaning and scope. It implies sense of duty and discipline. Faithfully and firmly doing what one is ordered to do acting strictly in accordance with rules, regulations and conventions is the quality of sense of responsibility. This quality can be developed/ improved by taking responsibilities in home affairs, school and college activities and by doing community service.


Cooperation is the attitude of an individual to participate willingly in harmony with others in a group, in achieving the group goal. This implies a belief in the collective effort being more productive than the individual effort. Cooperation includes the element of joint effort and team spirit. Army is all about teamwork.  This quality can be developed by playing team games like football, basketball, taking part in team plays, dance. Thinking from team's perspective instead of being selfish is the hall mark of this quality. In Army it is team work only which can result in attainment of objectives and goals.

Self Confidence

It is the faith in one’s ability to meet stressful situations particularly those that are unfamiliar. People with higher self – confidence are totally composed, rationally active, have abundant faith in their abilities, self-reliant and constructive in difficulties. Leading men into war requires huge self-confidence. So this quality is very important in your personality. Whatever you do or speak have faith and confidence in yourself. This quality comes from within but can also be developed  by watching motivational videos and doing meditation and having faith in yourself.


Initiative is the ability to originate purposeful action. It has the aspects like ability to take the first steps in an unfamiliar situation, in the right direction and sustaining it till the goal is achieved.  Persons with higher initiative display plenty of originality in thoughts and actions. It is very important quality in a leader that he acts and not wait to react to the situation. Army officer as a leader must be intelligent rather than being a foolhardy as he has a responsibility of lives of the men he commands on his shoulders. To develop this quality one must practice taking initiative in one’s home affairs and participate in extracurricular activities.

Ability to Influence the Group

This is the ability that enables an individual to bring about willing effort from the group for achieving the objective desired by him. This influence is the prime cause of cooperative and willing effort of a group towards the achievement of a set objective. Persons with this quality are highly inspiring with magnetic charm. This quality though trainable is very important from SSB point of view. Power of expression of an individual has a direct bearing on his ability to influence the group. How well you can influence the group will help you emerging as a leader in group. Good content and ability to express it in effectively will help you influencing your group towards your point easily. Reading newspaper, listening to news and keeping updated on current affairs helps in developing this quality.

Speed of Decision

Speed of decision is the ability to arrive at workable decisions expeditiously. It comprises the appropriateness and cost effectiveness, feasibility and practicability and the quickness in arriving at the decision. The fear of going wrong and lack of information and knowledge makes decision making difficult. An army officer is required to take decision fast in a fog of war when information is limited and situation is uncertain. One can train mind in taking fast decisions by reasoning out the things logically and using intuition and gut feeling especially when information is scanty.


Liveliness is the capacity of an individual to keep himself buoyant when meeting problems and bringing about a cheerful atmosphere. Everyone loves a person who is cheerful and happy, instead of bored and depressed. An officer must be very cheerful and lively in any situation he is put in. He must understand the feeling of his subordinates and keep them cheerful by lightening up the situation by cracking occasional jokes. Liveliness increases the productivity and also keeps the individual in right frame of mind. It is an important quality in an officer that helps him taking right decisions even in a stressful situation. You can develop this quality by being natural and timing your sense of humour.


A sustained effort to achieve objectives in spite of obstacles and setbacks is the determination. It implies fixedness of purpose, mental concentration and strength of will. It includes application to work, drive. It is the capacity to force oneself along when under pressure and urgency, towards the achievement of the object. An officer is required to be determined to do whatever is assigned to him. He cannot have a casual behavior and keep putting up things for the next day but be determined and complete the assigned task on time. Determination comes from focus and dedication. To achieve results the things must come from heart and you need to be determined to work with discipline and focus. You can develop this quality by reading articles on success stories of business and military leaders and also by watching Army motivational videos and the war movies.


Courage is the ability to appreciate and take purposive/ calculated risks willingly. It includes ability to meet appreciated dangers, spirit of adventure, and enterprising spirit and capacity to keep oneself composed in adverse situations. Courage is the must quality that an army officer should possess. He must have both physical and mental courage. This is the quality that cannot be compromised at the time of selection of the candidate and left to be trainable. To develop this quality you need to take stand for what is right. Practice taking calculated risks in your day to day life.


Stamina is the capacity to withstand protracted physical and mental strain. It emphasizes endurance.  Person with stamina possesses herculean physical and mental capabilities and can withstand plenty of physical and mental stress. Army job being tough physically and mentally an officer is required have lot of stamina. Physical and mental stamina are interrelated, for short run one needs physical stamina and long distance run one needs physical and mental stamina both. Stamina can be built by regular exercise, running, yoga and meditation.

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Date: 03-12-2023