I keep relating experiences that happen at work to my blog posts, but most often they are relevant and pertinent to the topic. Often times these experiences fuel my ideas for posts. The following situation definitely sparked the subject and relevancy today.

Yesterday, I took a record PT test for my Company. With me taking the test was the Battalion Command Sergeant Major and I was being graded by a Sergeant First Class (That part is neither here not there, just some background information to help you better understand the environment and situation). I pride myself as any other passionate officer to do my very best on the PT test, and in turn beat the score I got from my last test. During the test this time I completed 100 sit-ups, a milestone for any officer os soldier. After getting up, and high fiving those around me, I was feeling a strong personal high. My Commander immediately pulled me aside saying she wanted to talk. She told me that my sit-ups were not to standard and would not pass in the Army School House. She told me I needed to work on it and that none of my sit-ups on this test would have passed.

Now, I immediately went from being on a personal high to an all time low after reaching a benchmark in my personal fitness goals. I was pulled aside and basically slapped int he face for my achievement.

Don’t get me wrong, I am always open to advice and will in turn evaluate my sit-up posture, but I don;t feel my Commander exercised tact and timing. She could have approached this issue wildly differently. Instead of using timing and tact to develop me, and find a later time to mentor me, she used it against herself. Her timing was de-motiviation and her choice of words were poor. She expressed disappointment at a time that was meant to be congratulatory.

Often I’ve come across this leadership miscoming. Many leaders are so quick to impart advice and wisdom that they sometimes don’t evaluate the other person’s environment at the time. Take a moment to evaluate the situation in this sense:
1. How would I come across if I say this at this immediate moment?
2. What setting am I in?
3. Who else is around us?
4. Is there a better time to discuss this?

In my situation, the timing made her presentation seem a little vindictive and highly de-motivating. I had just reached a milestone and instead o congratulating me, she in turn embarrassed me in front of all my subordinates by telling me my form was poor immediately following my sit-ups.

Secondly, always be aware of your tone of voice. The way you speak and the way you project is 100% reflective of your emotion at the time. When you come across as biting and aggressive at an inappropriate time, you will not achieve your desired effect.

GIRLS IN GREEN, I heed you to find good ways to motivate each other instead of beating each other down!