Leadership Ideas, Information and News

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Nurturing relationships and a culture of caring

By Deborah Hall, 436th Medical Operations Squadron’s Family Advocacy Program outreach manager / Published October 15, 2014

DOVER AIR FORCE BASE, Del. (AFNS) -- When life gets challenging, stressors can build and conflicts can escalate, sometimes leading to abuse. Preventing domestic abuse is fundamental to basic relationship maintenance. Partners in healthy relationships work together every day to nurture their relationship, taking care to address issues and concerns when they occur. Healthy relationships should be safe, respectful and positive.

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month across the country and throughout the Department of Defense. Domestic violence is in direct conflict with the culture of dignity and respect fostered by the professional values of the armed forces. Unfortunately, almost 9,000 cases of the more than 18,000 incidents reported to the Family Advocacy Program in 2013 met DOD criteria for domestic abuse or intimate partner violence.

Relationships should be safe. Feeling safe in a relationship, both physically and emotionally, is essential. Individual and family stress can escalate and sometimes lead to domestic abuse. Abuse is never acceptable. Trusting your partner and committing to your relationship completely helps build a safe environment for both of you. "Fighting fair" through the use of nonviolent conflict resolution and being kind to one another are essential ingredients of a safe relationship. Learning to forgive, owning your mistakes, and apologizing also contributes to a healthy bond.

Relationships should be respectful. Respecting your partner is one of the fundamental ways to show love. Trust, mutual respect, and open communication are the foundations of a fulfilling and safe relationship. Healthy relationships must be nurtured and they require motivation, commitment, and ongoing work by both partners. Every couple faces challenges at some point. Working through those problems together in a healthy way can strengthen the relationship.

Relationships should be positive. For you, your partner, and your children -- put effort into your relationships. Supporting your partner and working together as a team toward a common goal contributes to an enjoyable relationship. Encouraging those you love and being a good example for your children pays great dividends. Children learn about relationships by watching the people they know best. Set an example by practicing healthy relationship skills with your partner. Most importantly, enjoy life together!

We all have a role in preventing domestic violence. In our roles as wingmen, military members, military spouses, and DOD civilians, look out for each other and act to promote the safety and well-being of all. Be alert to risk factors for domestic violence, such as: family discord, extreme jealousy, and behavioral health concerns; and encourage early intervention. Being an observant and caring wingman may help a military member preserve their family, health and career.

As a good wingman, how can you help? Good wingmen know that seeking help is a sign of strength. There are a significant number of resources available to Airmen that support healthy, nurturing relationships. By knowing these resources and encouraging your fellow Airmen to seek assistance during times of need, you are creating a wingman culture of caring. We are all members of the Air Force Family -- a relationship to be nourished, resulting in a culture of caring.

Monday, October 06, 2014

Second Survey on Enlisted Leadership Courses Open for Fleet Feedback

By Susan D. Henson, Center for Personal and Professional Development Public Affairs

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (NNS) -- Sailors who have not yet submitted their opinions or ideas for improving leadership training of petty officers have a second chance to do so beginning Oct. 6.

The Center for Personal and Professional Development (CPPD) is conducting the Enlisted Leadership Requirements Review (ELRR) project, which is a fleet-wide review of petty officer selectee leadership courses. The project's purpose is to assess the current courses' value and effectiveness, according to Don Squibb, outcome and assessment manager for CPPD's Requirements Directorate and the project's leader. CPPD is the curriculum control authority for the courses.

The ELRR project consists of focus groups and online surveys.

"The ELRR project has been underway since Aug. 11, when a facilitator team visited Groton, Connecticut, to conduct focus groups with Sailors based there. More than 85 focus groups have been completed in numerous fleet concentration areas, during which we've gathered input from almost 800 fleet Sailors in paygrades E-4 through E-6," said Squibb.

"We also launched the first online survey Sept. 8, which asks for input on how much time Sailors spent on technical, management, and leadership tasking," he said. "So far, more than 1,000 Sailors from every paygrade from E-1 to O-6 have responded. That's a great response for a voluntary survey."

The second survey opened Oct. 6, and its 20 questions focus on the leadership skills and behaviors seen in and used by superior enlisted leaders. Survey respondents are asked to rank the importance and value of key leadership competencies.

"A good number of respondents - between 500 and 750 - should give us a good sample of assessments on all 120 leadership competencies being evaluated," said Squibb.

The online surveys are open to E-1 through O-6 Active or Reserve component Sailors. All feedback will remain anonymous. Narrative comments will be aggregated and quantified for analysis, which CPPD will use to develop course revision recommendations.

"So far the project has exceeded our expectations for quantity and quality of fleet participation, which is an indication of the importance of this training to Sailors," CPPD Commanding Officer, Capt. Ferdinand Reid said. "We're receiving high-quality data that will enable CPPD to build recommendations based on real-time fleet feedback for revisions to existing enlisted leadership training courses. This, in turn, will help CPPD enable Sailors to maximize their leadership potential and meet any mission."