“I really do need to get out of this company,” lamented Sergeant Michael O’Shea to Sergeant Jack Ransom, another squad leader. “I think the First Sergeant just doesn’t know what he is doing. You know I just don’t like working with a First Sergeant who is all over the darn map.”
“Mike, he’s only been fifteen days. How ‘bout giving him a chance,’ Sergeant Ransom urged. “The members of my squad thought he wasn’t too bad. I was the only one who was scared. All it took was a few words to straighten out my squad’s problems. Maybe he’ll do the same for the company.”
“Straighten out a problem…? “In my view, he makes problems,” responded Sergeant O’Shea.
“You heard me right, Mike. As you know I’m no soft touch when it comes to training. I work my squad time and time again with regards to tactical movements. Top came in and gave my squad some pointers that worked. I’ve been in the Army for six years and I learned from some really good squad leaders and platoon sergeants. What he suggested and taught the squad about a week ago was impressive. I’m using it now.”
“Okay! Okay! Jack! I’ll give him a break. But do not expect a miracle,” Sergeant O’Shea said.
What Sergeant Ransom said to Sergeant O’Shea made him re-think about the First Sergeant. Sergeant O’Shea’s anger for the First Sergeant softened. Sergeant Ransom smiled, “Maybe you ought to invite the First Sergeant over to your squad. Ask him about some aspect of training. Try it and see what happens, Mike.”
Sergeant O’Shea took Sergeant Ransom’s advice. He invited the First Sergeant with words of welcome and respect. Like good seed sown in good ground, in due time those, Sergeant O’Shea was able to develop respect, a friendship and an understanding with the First Sergeant to the benefit of his unit.
Many times opportunities arise in life when one is called upon to turn a difficult, unpleasant situation around. All it might take is to convince someone with words of kindness as well as challenges to their thinking to look for the best in others and to bring it out.