As a commander, there wasn’t any joy on the days when I had an appointment on the calendar for someone to come visit my office, dressed in their Service Dress, accompanied by their supervisor, ready to receive some sort of paperwork or lecture from me for an action they had taken…was never fun. Many of those visits resulted in reduction in ranks, separation from the service, loss of money…or a mix of all. With the exception of a couple that may have had multiple visits and just weren’t getting it, most of the visits didn’t end in a negative way…I typically gave them an option of which way they could go from there. One road led to a negative result and the other leading to a positive direction and a way for them to move forward from this current situation. I’d usually throw in “when you’re in a hole, quit digging”.

I’ll caveat like many posts and say my way doesn’t work for everyone and isn’t necessarily the “right” way but this worked for me. What really made my day was when I would see someone that had previously visited my office doing something positive, growing and learning from their experience. It’s up to us (leaders) to give folks an opportunity to grow after they’ve had a negative experience. Not everyone will take advantage and you’ll have to cut ties with some, but for the ones that do take advantage…they’ll probably be some of your best performers. Have a great day!

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