Leadership Ideas, Information and News

Friday, October 05, 2012

My newly issued resilience

By Staff Sgt. Charles R. Hensen
Platoon sergeant, Recruiting and Retention NCO    

Editor’s note: Wisconsin Soldiers and Airmen deploy around the globe every year. When they return, there are many services available, including resiliency training. The following is a story of a Wisconsin Soldier who has deployed and experienced the benefits of going through resiliency training.

 If something happened, I flipped the switch — I went straight into anger.  

As an infantry squad leader and platoon sergeant I operated with the switch on.  After my deployment to Afghanistan, the switch rarely turned off.  

 I tried to fix it, to calm down and rationally look at things. But if something took more than three seconds to fix or deal with, the switch came back on.

 My command signed me up for resilient training, and I was less than thrilled.  I thought “I have this figured out. I may be a bit abrasive, but who cares? I get the job done.”  

 I was close — minded and thought resilience training would be a joke.  

 As you can imagine I showed up for the first day of resilience training very skeptical.  I thought we would be hugging and singing songs together.  

 But as the course continued my opinion drastically changed.

 Resilience is not about anger management. It will not change you, it won’t fix everything, but I guarantee it will open your eyes to a whole new way of thinking.  

 I began to practice resilience skills in my everyday life.  I am an infantry Solider, turned recruiter — I needed this. 

 Before the resilient training, the simple ring of the phone or an e-mail could set me off. The training has helped me to communicate which helps a lot at home. I can now handle simple situations without blowing up. I am calmer and more productive than ever. I recognized what I was doing wasn’t working and I and changed the cycle.  

 Since I took the class, I have not had an unproductive or angry moment. I am less stressed and have mended old grudges. I am the happiest I have ever been. 

 I now know resilience training can be a real life changing experience.  

 To me, resilience training is like wood working. Wood working is a hobby of mine — to build something out of nothing is an amazing.  When you put the finishing touches on a chair you built, you need to sand it.  All my life I have used a power sander — it got the job done fast.  

 Resilience training was my circuit breaker.  It tripped something and forced me to use a hand sander.  Although it takes a bit more time to get to the end, I can tell you the results are much smoother and rewarding.  When the chair is done, there are no flaws, nothing was rushed, and there is a greater sense of accomplishment.

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