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CAP Talk  |  Cadet Programs  |  Cadet Programs Management & Activities  |  Topic: Advice on helping a shy flight sergeant?
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Author Topic: Advice on helping a shy flight sergeant?  (Read 477 times)

Posts: 43

« on: April 23, 2019, 03:59:25 PM »

Hi all,

Currently in my unit, we have a flight sergeant (C/SSgt) who is not very confident.  He is very reluctant and hesitant to fix errors within the flight even though he knows what he is doing.  I even sat down with him and asked him what would you do if questions.  Sometimes he handles them even better than I would.

However when he puts it into practice, hes hesitant to show command presence.  He has been in this position for about 4 months.

This could be because some of the cadets in the flight used to be in the same flight with him or another reason I do not know about.

Any advice on how to bring him out of the shell?  Id really want to see him improve and be able to apply to and accept positions outside of the squadron.
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1st Lt Politician

Posts: 12

« Reply #1 on: April 23, 2019, 04:43:02 PM »

When I was first made a flight sergeant, I was also not very confident, and didn't really correct anyone or address problems unless they were really bad (management by exception). This was a really bad habit I was aware of, but lacked the self confidence to fix it.

Looking back, the main reason why I wasn't very confident was not because I was afraid about what the cadets in the flight would think, but what my superiors would think. With them always hovering around, I was afraid that they would judge me or my corrections - or how I called commands. In fact, when I had the flight all to myself, I found that I was a lot more confident.

What helped me overcome this, was a staff training that my Cadet Commander held one weekend. At this training I was drilling a flight, and was forced to correct a flight filled with all of my superiors messing up on purpose. This really broke up the ice and created a cadre. I also was able to interact and talk to the staff for the first time - despite being a FS for several weeks already and being in the program for quite a while. This made me feel as an equal, and as if they were my friends. Finally, they had a class on how to be a staff member, including command presence. These were skills I wasn't really taught before, and just assumed were right. Afraid that these assumptions were incorrect, I was afraid to act on them. With these formally taught to me, I wasn't afraid to use these tools. Suddenly, I wasn't afraid about what they would think of me.

It's also important to note that this will go away with time. I personally didn't start getting really confident until I was a first sergeant. It also might be worth just talking to him and asking how you can help him find his voice.

C/Maj ...
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Posts: 74

« Reply #2 on: April 25, 2019, 04:11:45 AM »

Try finding what in CAP that he's comfortable with IE Sounding off. put him in his element, have him practice it with his flight for 30 minutes. You might find that by the end of that he'd be entirely into it, then you can talk to him about how comfortable he was and how he could use that same confidence all of the time.
Sometimes it comes down to taking a breath or two before he dives into it.
I remember when I got my Wright Brother's. I didn't realise that I was responsible for helping everyone. It sounds like you did it already but if not make sure he know that.

- C/2dLt ...
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C/1st Lt

Mitchell # 69847

Squadron Cadet Leadership officer

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Posts: 1,916

« Reply #3 on: April 25, 2019, 02:14:00 PM »

Try a one-on-one, or even a three person group, in practicing leading PT. Make him sound off the stretches and call cadence during exercises. Try some scenarios of "imaginary" cadets screwing around during PT; make him deal with it.

Usually, activities where a command voice is more appropriately used will help break that shell. Forcing them to sound-off and get louder pulls them out of that isolation zone and gives them a little bit more authority.
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CAP Talk  |  Cadet Programs  |  Cadet Programs Management & Activities  |  Topic: Advice on helping a shy flight sergeant?

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