I was honoured to present to Her Majesty’s Royal Air Force’s education division recently about Emotional Intelligence and how they could use Emotional Intelligence to enable more effective learning.
Did you know that the number of new recruits who chose to sign up for a career in the Royal Air Force, then decide to leave following their compulsory 16 week sign up period is increasing? Why? Well, there are many reasons, but one reason identified by this group was that recruits can’t take, or get used to the command and control culture which represents the RAF’s standards.
Command and Control management people management, training, and communication are often criticised as being ‘harsh’ or ‘unfair’ or ‘ego driven’. Whilst this may be the case for some recipients of this style, without command and control in some situations, bedlam would ensue. Without a clear, communicated, understood boundary, a group, team or population wouldn’t perhaps understand what was right, what was wrong, what was fair, what was unfair, and really, what is unacceptable and why.
Command and Control is best served with prior notice and be partnered with a more collaborative approach. Balance is vital. But with such numbers of new recruits who actually chose to sign up for this culture, for this environment, deciding that enough is enough, perhaps informing or warning recruits of what the boundaries, standards, expectations are…and why, might go some way to enabling recruits to understand that some time, perhaps even most of the time, feedback isn’t an attack even though it is personal, it is meaningful. Maybe with this context, more recruits will understand and appreciate the command and control serves a purpose. A commendable purpose, when they get through it.