If you were able to reach E-4 and above in the military, chances are you’ve supervised someone. While most troops are fairly easy to supervise, every once in a while you’ll come across one that seems to want to make your life a living hell, whether it’s showing up late, having a bad attitude, or trying to pass off a nose piercing as a pimple. Regardless of how good or bad of a troop they may be, it is your duty to lead them down the path of success. Here are some tips on how to deal with a troop from hell.
Set an Example
It’s hard to expect someone to stay out of trouble, volunteer 20 hours a month or exercise frequently when you can barely stay out of the commander’s office yourself. When you show up late to work, you’re essentially saying it’s okay for them to do the same. Show them how to be a good coworker and a good airman by being one yourself.
Try To Relate
Surely, you weren’t always the picture-perfect NCO you are today. Did you ever have a time of rebellion when didn’t fit in? You either wised-up after getting in trouble a few times or someone swooped in and took you under their wing. It’s easy to forget those times; they may seem like a lifetime ago.
Whether it’s good or bad, you should document everything that happens with your troop. Why? Because at some point you’ll try to plead your case on why she should get a 3 EPR or why he should be kicked out and, if you don’t have any proof, you won’t stand a chance. Decisions like this cannot be made without evidence. This can be a difficult thing to do because you don’t want to be seen as “coming down hard” on someone. But with documentation, it’s better safe than sorry.
Call In Back Up
There comes a point when you need to call in a higher authority. There is no shame in reaching out to other supervisors or upper management to deal with an issue. It’s also not worth the stress it can cause you to take on a problem by yourself. An experienced supervisor can bring in a new perspective and fresh ideas.
I made this mistake with my first troop. I kept threatening to take action, but I never did. I never saw anyone else do it, so I didn’t think I had the actual power to do anything. But, troops are just like children. They will test you and once they find out you’ll never actually take away their phone or prevent them from seeing their friends, they’ll continue to push you.
This tip is easier said than done, especially in specific career fields. My previous career field thrived on exchanging information, so gossip easily slipped in and out of work conversations. If you talk badly about your difficult troop in front of others, the word will get back to them. This makes you look unprofessional and will give your troop no reason to try to work harder for you. Keep discussions of your troop between trusted coworkers and upper management.
It’s never easy to supervise someone who is on a destructive path or who isn’t meeting his or her full potential. Sometimes additional duties, like supervising, can be more difficult and more time consuming than our actual jobs. It’s something we sign up for when we become NCOs.
Disclaimer: The content in this article is the opinion of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the policies or opinions of US Patriot Tactical.