Showing posts from April, 2020

Corona Burnout

Corona Burnout We are all trying to figure out what our ‘new normal’ is going to look like. Initially, we thought that this was just temporary, but a lot of businesses have transitioned to operating remotely, so working from home may become the new norm. The unintended consequence is our homes are no longer a sanctuary and have also become our office, daycare, school, and gym. This intensifies the stress we feel because of the loss of our usual coping mechanisms and causes mental burnout. “Mental health is not a destination, but a process. It’s about how you drive, not where you are going.” – Noam Shpancer, PhD  Mental burnout is real. I know someone who works night shifts, but has to take care of his kids during the day because his spouse is busy working remotely from home. Therefore, he sleeps very little which causes fatigue both at work and home. No amount of advice will completely remove his stress, but there are some techniques that can help relieve some

Not Satisfied? -- The Good, Bad & Ugly

Not Satisfied? - The Good, Bad & Ugly THE GOOD – A Source of Motivation Not satisfied? If channeled correctly, dissatisfaction can be used as motivation to improve as an officer, father, spouse, athlete, or person. No one is perfect and it is healthy to continually strive to improve. However, it can be unhealthy if you only dwell on the negative. Instead of focusing on the negative parts of myself, I try to imagine the person I should be and work to bridge that gap. THE BAD – Can Kill Opportunities Not satisfied with your performance report? This can happen because our perception of ourselves does not align with how others perceive us. The key is to openly communicate with your rater or supervisor, so that you are never surprised by your rating. Good supervisors should let their subordinates know when they are not meeting expectations as soon as possible and allow time to improve.  “Check your ego a

Listen to Gen Holmes - Building Cultural Change

Listen to Gen Holmes - Building Cultural Change Please listen to Gen Holmes in LaaD Podcast #9.    There is a lot of good advice in the podcast, but this article will focus only on one part ‐‐ the discussion about building lasting change. I believe the only way to build lasting change is to anchor it within the organization’s culture. This is because ‘culture’ encompasses the behavior and norms of the organization. Thus, lasting change can only be achieved by making it the new ‘norm’. Here are some key points to keep in mind: Cultural change is a difficult and long process Officers change position often, so typically you can only hope to affect incremental change The larger the change, the more time it takes because humans are creatures of habit and generally resist change Start as early as possible and temper your ambition relative to the time available If your vision is not attainable within your time in leadership, you have t

Punch in the Face - The Ultimate Feedback

Punch in the Face - The Ultimate Feedback In a previous article, ‘Work yourself out of a job,’ I mentioned that it is important to understand your subordinates through feedback.  However, if you have low Emotional Intelligence (EQ) like me, then sometimes a punch in the face is the only feedback that is understood. Unfortunately, the majority of feedback is subtle or indirect. It is debatable whether or not EQ can be taught (believe me my wife has tried), but if you have low EQ there are techniques that will help: The key is communication Tell everyone you lack EQ up front – if you set expectations, here is what a lack of EQ looks like: Example: I did not notice one of my Airmen was overloaded due to personal reasons, but my MSgt pulled me aside to explain the situation. This allowed us to create time for the Airman to get his personal life in order. Conduct regular feedback sessions with dir

Failing at Balance

Failing at Balance Has anyone told you that you should have balance in life? I think it is impossible to achieve balance on a daily basis. Instead, you should ask yourself, “What is my purpose?” The key is to understand what is important in your life and prioritize. TECHNIQUES: The three‐legged stool model (see picture in article below) is useful to illustrate the need for balance, but in reality we often spend most of our time on ‘career.’ CAREER – This is important and the mission may require that we spend long hours at work, but when there are opportunities to break away you should spend it with your family. One of the best wing commanders I worked for would always go home by 1630 so that his staff did not stay late. He understood that we would not accomplish everything, no matter how many hours we worked, so prioritizing and communicating the tasks that won’t be completed was more important. FAMILY – To me this is the most important, but often sacrif