Posted on Apr 2, 2014
SFC Platoon Sergeant
14.2K
25
6
7
7
0
Have any Senior Leaders here dealt with this before? Lets say for example, you are the lowest ranking SFC in a company. During meetings and discussions, you have input, but are constantly cut off in the middle of what you have to say. Not that the input is outlandish, but seems more to you like others just don't care what you have to say. Speaking at a company level. How did you handle your situation and not lose your mind?
Avatar_feed
Responses: 6
SFC James Baber
7
7
0
Edited >1 y ago

SFC S.


Dealt with this twice in my career, well more times than that, but for this discussion will focus on 2 in particular.


I was an E6 PLT SGT in a C&S meeting with all E7s and above, I had many viable inputs, but every time I attempted to give one, I was cut off by one of the SFCs, it was very frustrating, I just let it go for then and talked to the CDR offline and he liked much of what I had to say and asked me why I didn't speak about it during the meeting, I told him I tried to, but was stomped on by the other PLT SGTs as they felt I didn't have enough rank to be interjecting, needless to say the next meeting went much differently as the 1SG had a "come to Jesus discussion" with some of the other PLT SGTs and the CDR directly ask me my thought on certain topics, no real issues from that point on.


2nd incident, I was the 1SG of a detachment as an E6, so you already can imagine where this is going whenever we had a 1SG meeting with the CSM at BN or BDE, I was shutdown real quick every time or told to at ease, luckily I had two very proactive CSMs in both levels that put a halt to that real quick as they told the other 1SGs with me present that if they didn't think I was capable of having any input or opinion why hadn't one of them stepped up when the position needed to be filled to begin with and that I was chosen for my capabilities, knowledge and foresight to handle and perform the job. I had gotten numerous nasty looks from a few in attendance, but after that many saw how my unit was run both in garrison and deployment and realized I was capable of doing the job and earned their respect in the process along the way.


Just hang tough and don't allow the arrogance deter or derail you in what you should be able to convey or accomplish.

(7)
Comment
(0)
Avatar_small
LTC Instructor
6
6
0
Edited >1 y ago
A company commander and First Sergeant who do not consider the input of their senior NCOs are not building a culture of inclusion and team-work. With that said, a commander and 1SG who defer wholesale to the other members of the team are not leaders.

To convince someone, you have to be convincing. That is obvious, but it means that one needs to analyze his/her method of engagement, and adjust it to get the point(s) across. On the other hand, if the chain of command is inflexible and resistant to inclusion, then I think the best course of action is to bring that inflexibility out into the open with one-on-one conferences.

Leaders, at all levels, are often guilty of thinking and planning in a vacuum. Sometimes we all just need to be reminded of this. We don't know what we don't know. I hope my response isn't too filled with truisms.

Outstanding question, by the way!
(6)
Comment
(0)
Avatar_small
SFC First Sergeant
3
3
0

As MAJ Kile stated, you need to make sure you are stating your opinions confidently, and if someone cuts you off, don't be afraid to point out that they interrupted you and then finish speaking. One of my favorites is "I'm sorry, did the middle of my sentence interrupt the beginning of yours?" Some people just interrupt EVERYONE (and don't mean to) and you might only notice it when it's happening to you. They might not even realizing they are doing it, especially if you aren't very outspoken.



In addition to what SFC Baber said about speaking to the higher leadership (if you really feel targeted), you might consider CALMLY pulling aside the person who is cutting you off, and calling them out on their behavior. Ask them if there is a particular reason they feel the need to interrupt you. It could be a personal conflict, but bringing it to the offender's attention might give them pause to reflect on their lack of tact and professionalism. If there are multiple people cutting you off, address them individually. Either way, addressing the person committing the wrongdoing is usually a more effective first step than the higher-ups.

(3)
Comment
(0)
Avatar_small

Join nearly 2 million former and current members of the US military, just like you.

close
Seg?add=7750261&t=2