Counseling on SHARP

I am counseling on this topic not because anyone did anything wrong but because we need to be reminded every so often of the importance of maintaining good working relationships within the unit. If we ever get to the point where we harbor grudges against each other or choose sides or avoid talking to each other, we have crippled our unit's effectiveness. And that's the topic of this counseling: maintaining good working relationships.

As you may know from personal experience, it is often hard to determine what bothers some people. A comment made to one person may be appreciated or laughed off while someone else might find it extremely offensive. And when someone is offended, relationships are affected, sometimes for a long time. And when we can't get along, we can't work together very well and we all suffer.

We need to make an effort to monitor our behavior and avoid saying anything that might insult or harass our coworkers, male or female. A general rule of thumb is to avoid the topic of a person's appearance or weight, especially of the opposite sex. You can probably think of other topics that should be avoided. Think about what you say before you say it. And it goes without saying that we need to respect each other's personal space. Above all, show respect to all your coworkers.

I want to make two main points. First is that we all have to work together. I think we all agree with that. And second, every member of this unit is valuable and must be respected.

But I know that sometimes, in our daily, busy day-to-day work, we get carried away and say or do things that aren't quite right, that are questionable and possibly offensive or damaging to our working relationships. If that happens we need to try to repair the damage as soon as possible. Don't let resentment smolder and affect you or our mission. Speak up and let someone know. If you see it happen to someone else, you need to speak up. We are a team that looks out for each other.

I want you to know that I respect you as a Soldier and that, if anything happens that affects your well-being, including how you are treated or how others relate to you, you can talk to me about it. Or, if you're not comfortable talking to me, you can talk to SSG Shale or MSG Karuso.

I believe everyone in this unit is a mature, disciplined Soldier and would not knowingly insult or harass anyone but we all, men and women, have to watch our behavior. Although I don't believe anyone from our unit would intentionally harass or assault a coworker, if it does happen, make no mistake, I will document it and report it immediately. It's my responsibility to the unit and to you.

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