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Military Coaching Transcript


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How can coaching keep teams strong during the absence of an armed forces member in wartime?

When the serviceman or woman returns from overseas deployment, how can coaching help the individual and the organization adapt to the changes and remain successful?

How are the armed forces using coaching? Do they use it for generals and other military leaders?

How is this different than business coaching?

What lessons can the business world take from this?


* Richard Halbrook, Executive Vice President of Administration, Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group Inc.

* Richard Strozzi-Heckler, Founder, Strozzi Institute, Author

* John O'Connor, President, Career Pro Inc.

* Bill Offutt, Veterans' Employment & Training Service Special Assistant, U.S. Department of Labor.


According to the United States Army, there are currently 189,000 people in the Army Reserve who can be rapidly mobilized when their skills are needed in times of national emergency or global conflict. However in serving their country, the departure of an employee in the reserves can have a significant impact on both the individual and their employer.

Legislation like the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act ensure that members of the uniformed services are returned to their civilian employment upon completion of their service at the same seniority, status, and rate of pay before they left.

How then, according to the September 2006 issue of Inc. Magazine, did over 3,845 complaints arise in 2006 from reservists related to returning to work, pay rates, or allegations of discrimination?

Our panel of experts address these scenarios, and discuss how coaches are working with reservists to ease them back into the working world.

Additionally, guests explain how somatic coaching in particular can be helpful in developing leadership abilities in both the armed forces and the workplace, as well as how serving in the armed forces can foster valuable experience and skills in employees that can benefit their organizations back at the office.

Published in: Business, News & Politics
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Military Coaching Transcript

  1. 1. Insight on Coaching Military Coaching: Coaching Armed Forces Members and Their Teams Transcript Prepared for: Prepared by: Insight Educational Consulting Ubiqus Reporting (IEC)
  2. 2. Time Speaker Transcript 0:31 Tom Floyd Hello everyone and welcome to Insight on Coaching. Insight on Coaching explores the many facets, flavors and sides of the emerging professional coaching field. I'm Tom Floyd, I'm the CEO of Insight Educational Consulting and your host for today's show. This week our topic is Military Coaching, Coaching Armed Forces Members and Their Teams. We'll talk about the challenges that corporate members of the Reserves face when they are deployed. We'll talk about some of the challenges they can experience when they return. We'll talk about how employers are supporting both employees who are in the Reserves as well as those left back in the office. And most importantly, we will talk about the role coaching can play in developing leadership in the Armed Forces in general as well as helping employers and employees prepare when team mates leave for active duty. With me to explore this topic are four guests, and let me give you a quick overview of who we have with us today. Our first guest, Rich Halbrook, is a seasoned HR professional with over 25 years of experience. He currently oversees the Human Resources, Employee Education, Properties, Airport Concession and other administrative functions of Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group. Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group was recently honored with the 2007 Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award. The award is the highest in a series of Department of Defense awards celebrating employers who have made a significant commitment to employees serving in the Guard and Reserve. Welcome to the show, Rich. 1:51 Rich Halbrook Thank you very much Tom. 2 | Confidential May 21, 2008 Page 2 Military Coaching: Coaching Armed Forces Members and Their Teams Transcript
  3. 3. Time Speaker Transcript 1:53 Tom Floyd Our second guest, Richard Strozzi-Heckler PhD, is the author of The Leadership Dojo: Build Your Foundation as an Exemplary Leader and In Search of the Warrior Spirit: Teaching Awareness Disciplines to the Green Berets, which was featured in a Wall Street Journal cover story. The founder of the Strozzi Institute, a leadership and team building training ground, Richard is a former marine and martial arts expert who holds a black belt in Aikido. A nationally known speaker and consultant on leadership and mastery, Richard has spent decades researching, developing, and teaching the practical application of Somatics (the unity of language, action, and meaning). Welcome to the show, Richard. 2:28 Richard Thank you, Tom. Strozzi-Heckler 2:30 Tom Floyd Our next guest, John O'Connor, is the president of Career Pro Inc. His background includes more than 15 years service to transitioning military personnel from active duty, reserve and guard status to productive, fulfilling federal or civilian employment opportunities. He is himself a former US Army officer. John frequently works with officers from Fort Bragg, Seymour Johnson, Camp Lejeune and other bases across the nation. Welcome to the show, John. 2:55 John O'Connor Thank you, Tom. 2:57 Tom Floyd And our fourth guest, Bill Offutt, is the Veterans' Employment and Training Service (VETS) Special Assistant at the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL). At the U.S. Department of Labor, Bill works to help companies understand their rights and responsibilities under the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act. He is also largely responsible for the national HireVetsFirst campaign, a marketing outreach program to reach America’s employers about hiring veterans. Prior to working for the government, Bill worked in the private sector for over 20 years and served with distinction in Vietnam. Welcome to the show, Bill. 3 | Confidential May 21, 2008 Page 3 Military Coaching: Coaching Armed Forces Members and Their Teams Transcript
  4. 4. Time Speaker Transcript 3:28 Bill Offutt Thank you, Tom. I look forward to our discussion. 3:30 Tom Floyd Great to have you. As always, I wanted to set the stage by sharing some data that our research team pulled together. A • According to the United States Army, there are currently 189,000 people in the Army Reserve, who can be rapidly mobilized when their skills are needed in times of national emergency or global conflict. • From the January 6th, 2006 NFIB Legal Foundation; The Voice of Small Business, Beth Gaudio writes: “The United States currently has the largest group of mobilized National Guard and reserve members since World War II. According to U.S. Secretary of Labor Elaine L. Chao, more than 525,000 members of the National Guard and reserve units have been mobilized for military action in Iraq and Afghanistan since Sept. 11, 2001, and more than 390,000 have been released from active duty.” • According to the September 2006 issue of Inc. Magazine, Stephanie Clifford writes, “The Department of Defense received 3,845 complaints from reservists last year, most of them related to disputes between employers and soldiers concerning returning to work, pay rate, or an allegation of discrimination.” Now Bill, I would like to start with you with a big picture question: How is this data landing on you? For example, why does the U.S. currently have the largest group of mobilized National Guard and Reserve members since World War II? What are some of the things that are driving this? 5:06 Bill Offutt What's driving this, Tom, is the fact that our Guard and Reserve is really an operational force and no longer a strategic force due to the demands of global war on terror. So we are supplementing them with their active duties troops due to the demands of worldwide armed services. They are performing magnificently and everybody's very proud of the service they are giving their country. 5:32 Tom Floyd The increase in the overall number, has it been pretty gradual since World War II, has it really been rapid since September 11, 2001? 4 | Confidential May 21, 2008 Page 4 Military Coaching: Coaching Armed Forces Members and Their Teams Transcript
  5. 5. Time Speaker Transcript 5:43 Bill Offutt Tom, there was a big roll up when they pulled the Guard and Reserve in due to post 9-11 up through January of 2004. Usually what happens is the Guard and Reserve are called for one year to several months plus of deployment. So, yes, there was a big roll up right away and our numbers reflect that. 6:04 Tom Floyd Okay. Can you tell us a little bit more about what the Uniform Service Employment and Re- Employment Rights Act is? 6:13 Bill Offutt USERRA, as we call it in the government - every thing has an acronym - has five major thrusts. First of all it applies to every employer operating within the United States and its territories. Secondly, employers must provide reasonable accommodation for the re- employment needs of the service members. Third, returning service members are to be re-employed immediately and reinstated with full benefits. Fourth, the discrimination against anyone due to military affiliation is prohibited by law. Fifth, and most importantly, reprisal against anyone for not complying with USERRA or associating with USERRA investigations is prohibited by law. Just recently, we published regulations that outlined USERRA, which was passed into law in 1994 as a result of the Gulf War. 7:03 Tom Floyd Were there some specific pain points or examples from the Gulf War in general that really drove the need to get this legislation in place? 5 | Confidential May 21, 2008 Page 5 Military Coaching: Coaching Armed Forces Members and Their Teams Transcript
  6. 6. Time Speaker Transcript 7:12 Bill Offutt Tom, today employment is not just about a job, it's also about benefits and the little nuances of benefits. The reasons for the law and the rules and regulations is to smooth out the understanding as to what is feasible under re-employment and to restoring his rights. A good example is if a gentleman were a sergeant in the local police force and the sergeant exam came up but he was on active duty. The sergeant exam is only given two or three times a year and he missed his. They then have to reopen the exam for him to let him take the exam so he stays in the same class as his peers and suffers no economic loss. 8:00 Tom Floyd Okay. Now, Rich, I would like to turn to you next. What was your reaction to the Ink magazine article in terms of the number of complaints that the Department of Defense received related to disputes between employers and soldiers returning to work? 8:13 Rich Halbrook Tom, thanks, I see that number is alarming large at 3,045 complaints. Here at Dollar Thrifty we are kind of humbled by the award that we received from the Secretary of Defense in that we are just doing the right thing. We rent cars, it's kind of a simple business. We rent Dollar cars and Thrifty cars. When someone has to go on military leave we try to transition them out, help them out, give them some time off and when they have to come back, we bring them back to where they were. In the meantime, if their pay is lower with the military than it was with us then we will make up the difference and they can continue their benefits while they are out. We thought those were common sense, easy things and it's just not very complicated. I'm not sure what all of the complaints are about. But I imagine Bill has a lot more insight into that. 9:01 Bill Offutt Tom, if I might add. 9:03 Tom Floyd Sure. 6 | Confidential May 21, 2008 Page 6 Military Coaching: Coaching Armed Forces Members and Their Teams Transcript
  7. 7. Time Speaker Transcript 9:04 Bill Offutt The complaints really deal with misunderstandings between the employer and the employee as to what his reemployment rights are. And of those 3,800 complaints, roughly only about 1,200 of them really went into a formal investigation. So we feel that number really was cut down by one-third in terms of people who really couldn't get their complaints resolved through arbitration or just understanding. 9:31 Tom Floyd Got it. Well that is certainly good to hear. John, I would like to turn to you next. From your perspective, just in general, why is it important for companies to support their military employees? 7 | Confidential May 21, 2008 Page 7 Military Coaching: Coaching Armed Forces Members and Their Teams Transcript
  8. 8. Time Speaker Transcript 9:43 John O'Connor It's just an outstanding investment in their own future. I have found and have been literally front and center at awards ceremonies in the state of North Carolina and heard about those great companies across the country. Companies like Dollar and many others that are listed on sites like ESGR site that go over this. One of the key things that I hear from everybody here is that it's just good business. Dollar is a very big company and well-known throughout the United States and gets a lot of respect amongst a lot of service members and there are many companies like that, but sometimes it's the small companies that are hurt the most when a key employee is deployed. But the victories I have seen there are when that company and that individual make that commitment to communications; now they can communicate a lot of times overseas via the internet, phone, care packages and all of these things that you hear about. When that commitment is made to that person, loyalty and a relationship is established and built, even during that time away. It can be a completely unifying experience for that company. I am just reminded of the testimonials I have heard in this state of staff and other great companies here that talk about how important that person was, even when they were away, to the people there. They felt a part of something greater than themselves and that is one of the great things about it. There are complaints out there and they should be resolved and many of us in ESGR and those who associate with that work earnestly to take care of and resolve those complaints. For the most part, it's the smaller businesses that are hurt the most and take the most pain. The last thing I will say is that I have found that the investment into that person makes all of the difference. 11:35 Tom Floyd Got it. So how— 11:36 Richard Tom, this is Richard, can I kick in here for a minute? Strozzi-Heckler 11:39 Tom Floyd Sure. Definitely. 8 | Confidential May 21, 2008 Page 8 Military Coaching: Coaching Armed Forces Members and Their Teams Transcript
  9. 9. Time Speaker Transcript 11:41 Richard In this conversation, one of the things that occurs to me is a quote from George Strozzi-Heckler Washington, who said way back when that “the future of our Armed Services and the future of this country will be integrally linked with how we take care of our veterans.” There is something very pressing about it, not only for a man on the ground who then became our first man in chief. I think that this conversation plus that really points to a larger question that could be in some kind of national debate which is how do we take care of those people that put themselves in harm's way and how do we take care of them not only in employment, but also as we are seeing what happened at Walter Reid and these other places. A number of veterans that have come back that I have spoken with, not all of them, in just going through the red tape of the institution makes it very, very painful for them. So this is less of a complaint about that, but I think the conversation begs something that it could be elevated to a higher platform in some way. 12:44 Rich Halbrook This is Rich. I appreciate your comment Richard and Bill, both, because the small examples that we have had here at Dollar Thrifty is that we have departments that put up the pictures from our employees that are serving, they have emails back and forth and they will have contests. One of our employee's son was serving over there, when he came back we flew him here in Tulsa for a surprise visit to the mother downstairs and had roses. But everyone of our employees share in those moments and they share in that good cheer and that welcoming back so that we think it pulls our whole population together as part of our culture. 13:24 Bill Offutt Tom, if I might add following on to what Dollar Thrifty did. The award they received from the Department of Defense really is an award where they were nominated by the Guard and Reservists, it's not something that they applied for nor did they seek. So I think it goes a long way to say that Dollar Thrifty is doing a wonderful job for those employees who are in the Guard and Reserve in protecting their rights. 13:46 Tom Floyd Absolutely. I hear the music for our first commercial break. I hate to jump in here, but let's go ahead and go on pause. Stay tuned everyone, there is more from Insight on Coaching when we return. 9 | Confidential May 21, 2008 Page 9 Military Coaching: Coaching Armed Forces Members and Their Teams Transcript
  10. 10. Time Speaker Transcript 16:27 Tom Floyd Welcome back to Insight on Coaching, I'm Tom Floyd. Today's topic is Military Coaching, Coaching Armed Forces Members and their teams. With me are Rich Halbrook, Executive Vice President, Administration, Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group, Inc., Richard Strozzi-Heckler, Founder of The Strozzi Institute and author of The Leadership Dojo: Build Your Foundation as an Exemplary Leader, John O’Connor, President and CEO, CareerPro, Inc, and Bill Offutt, Veterans Employment and Training Service Special Assistant, U.S. Department of Labor. In this segment of the show I would like to focus on how employers handle it when employers are sent for military duty, how they are able to support them and all of those good things. Some more data to set the stage in terms of how other companies have coped with the loss of an employee to the military or in cases where employees have been sent for active duty. • A recent survey by the Society for Human Resource Management ( found that over 80 percent of companies with deployed workers assigned added responsibilities to other employees. Nearly 50 percent hired temporary help. And a relatively small percentage (about 15 percent) hired full-time employees to take up the slack. Surprisingly, about 10 percent of the companies surveyed allowed some work to remain unfinished. • According to SHRM: It is increasingly uncertain how long any employee's deployment will last. Therefore, employers need to find solutions that last not just for a number of months, but perhaps for several years or longer. Because federal laws state that employees returning from service must be offered their former jobs or comparable jobs, at comparable salaries, simply hiring new workers to fill in the void is not always an option – especially for a small company with only a few employees. Rich, I would like to start with you. In general, in terms of the policies that your company has implemented and the success that you have had and all of that, I have just some basic questions first to get started. How many of your current corporate employees are actively serving in the military? 18:36 Rich Halbrook I just pulled that data, I think we currently have five that are out on their military active service, though we have a number of National Guard members who go off for other reasons for shorter periods of time. 10 | Confidential May 21, 2008 Page 10 Military Coaching: Coaching Armed Forces Members and Their Teams Transcript
  11. 11. Time Speaker Transcript 18:51 Tom Floyd Typically, what kind of impact does an employee's absence have on your company. In terms of some of the issues that SHRM, the Society of Human Resource Management brought up, are you finding that you had to hire additional help to make up for folks when they are gone or are other members of the team absorbing some of their responsibilities, what has been the situation there? 19:12 Rich Halbrook I believe the SHRM information parallels our experience quite well. We have 8,500 employees so we are a large company so it's a little easier for us than for a small company. Most of the time we do assign their duties to others because it gives an opportunities for those others to learn some new skills and possibly advance through the corporation. Much like your show, we'll look at it like a coaching opportunity for those who get these additional assignments. If it's very specialized, we will have and have had to hire a full time person to take on that role. But being a large company, we feel we have enough opportunities in the company that we can then rotate that person out to some other assignment when our military employee returns to work and we put them back in their job. Though, we will also be looking to find ways to take advantage of that military experience and find some promotional opportunities for that individual once they have come back and have their feet back on the ground. Within our location, we can look to find something else for them to do because they are a couple of years older and they are a couple of years more experienced with their military background. 20:16 Tom Floyd In general in terms of what the policy itself you used looks like, what is the formal policy for employees who are in the Armed Forces and called to duty? 20:26 Rich Halbrook We do differentiate between those that are out for two weeks on a National Guard assignment versus a more lengthy assignment. Our cutoff is 30 days, if their military assignment is 30 days or longer than we have policies that kick in regarding pay and benefits. Essentially we will make up the difference between military pay and pay here at Dollar Thrifty. They just send us proof of that and we can make up the difference if the military pay is less than what they would have been making here at Dollar Thrifty. 11 | Confidential May 21, 2008 Page 11 Military Coaching: Coaching Armed Forces Members and Their Teams Transcript
  12. 12. Time Speaker Transcript 20:54 Tom Floyd So that difference continues? Even though they are gone and overseas, for example in Iraq, they still continue to receive that difference through direct deposit and things like that? 21:04 Rich Halbrook Right. We would make whatever arrangements they need with check or direct deposit. Our purpose of that policy is that if they have a family here that is still dependent on that level of income, we don't think the family should suffer because the employee is now on an overseas assignment. So we will make up that difference for them. Similarly, we do the same thing with the benefits, if they were under a family health care plan and then they go off on military service. While they are covered, their family may have had doctor situation that they wanted to retain in the benefits plan that we offer so we let them continue to purchase the benefits at the employee rate, which is a pretty good rate, it's less than $200 for total family coverage. 21:47 Tom Floyd Got it. And what has been the reaction of your employees in terms of the policy? Has it been fairly supportive? 21:56 Rich Halbrook Those who have seen the policy are thankful of it. We even have those who have not taken advantage of it because their military pay allowed them to make roughly the same or even more than they made with us or their benefits coverage didn't need to be part of it, they were just thankful that the policy was there in the first place. And they appreciated that we were wanting to do the right thing by them. I think it carries over to how we-- we give them some time off quite often before their assignment overseas and we give them a few weeks before they need to show back up for work in order to get re-adjusted to the State side environment. When they do come back, we offer employee assistance program that they can reach out to if they want to get any coaching or counseling advice through that program. 22:41 Tom Floyd Can you tell us a little bit more about the Freedom Award and why your company won it? 12 | Confidential May 21, 2008 Page 12 Military Coaching: Coaching Armed Forces Members and Their Teams Transcript
  13. 13. Time Speaker Transcript 22:48 Rich Halbrook The Freedom Award, like you said, is where the employee nominates us and fills out the application. T hen we were just so humbled to be one of the 27 finalists out of 1,500 companies that were nominated. We feel that we are just doing the right thing and to be recognized for doing the right thing-- I'm sure it was a little bit humbling for our CEO Gary Paxton to go up to Washington and receive the award and be with our employee as the award was presented. There are so many badges around at the time. I think our CEO was starting to remember his days as a Marine when he saw all of the shiny badges and probably started saluting before the end of the night. But it was very humbling. And, like I said, we feel like we are just doing the right thing. It kind of feels somewhat odd to be recognized for doing something that seems kind of simple and the right thing to do. I would like to hear more about coaching and getting them back into the workforce. 23:50 Tom Floyd We are definitely going to focus on that, I promise you. 23:52 John O'Connor Tom, this is John. Can I jump in? 23:53 Tom Floyd Sure. Absolutely. 13 | Confidential May 21, 2008 Page 13 Military Coaching: Coaching Armed Forces Members and Their Teams Transcript
  14. 14. Time Speaker Transcript 23:54 John O'Connor One of the things that these companies face is when the individual service member is coming back is that they have really changed; they have grown, they have experienced something, they could have been injured, even in that situation. All we have to look back at, I suppose Bill could talk to this, is how not always were our service members welcomed back during a time of some non-volunteer service, specifically the draft in Vietnam and how we welcomed them. This is really a sea change. Many employers, and I think the government, the Department of Defense and the Department of Labor and all of those realize that if it weren't for these employers doing the things that USERRA law does not require them to do; the things like they embrace the family and they embrace the service member. That makes that person more willing to come back and fit into the community. Not everyone will be because their lives have turned over in some senses and some don't make it back in reality. Even, many of the Guard and Reserve are part of that casualty list, we have to face that. But at the same time, when there is that commitment up front it is a softer blow when they get back and often times that builds so much loyalty to the corporation, even though some soldiers move on to different things. So I just wanted to point that out. 25:19 Tom Floyd Excellent. 25:20 Bill Offutt Tom, I might point out, too, that since 9/11 many Guard and Reservists are going out on second tours and some are even going on third tours. So, for the companies who continue to support them, this is really a wonderful effort and I think a shunning example of how we can work with our citizen soldiers. Unlike when I got back from Vietnam, but that was another story. 25:48 John O'Connor But relevant to today, though. This is John. 25:51 Bill Offutt Yes, very relevant. 14 | Confidential May 21, 2008 Page 14 Military Coaching: Coaching Armed Forces Members and Their Teams Transcript
  15. 15. Time Speaker Transcript 25:54 Richard This is Richard, let me just throw in here. Strozzi-Heckler I think it's also important to look at that while from our view it's very obvious that these young men and women have grown, they have matured and they had a whole new set of skills. It's often when they are living in a big squad, they are in a big gymnasium on cots and they are going out every day on patrol that they can easily fall into-- what am I actually learning here is relevant to the skills needed when I get back to the States, when I get back to the U.S? I think one of the jobs that we can do is really help sift out what those skills that they learned and that can affect their self esteem very, very positively. 26:37 Tom Floyd So skills they have learned that they are able to bring back that are actually very relevant and useful skills that can be applied in the workforce for example? 26:45 Bill Offutt Tom, we call those soft skills. Really it's very difficult, particularly from a coaching point of view to put those on a resume. But it's very important for employers to understand that soft skills really go a long way for veteran service to helping a company in their workforce. 27:00 Tom Floyd Absolutely. 27:01 John O'Connor Tom, this is John. One of the things that we recommend to both the service member returning and to the employer when we consult with employers, is that they have a lot of - I agree with the entire panel - those transferable skills and to really write those down and to talk about what they have done. And often it becomes a lot of stories of what happened and it's also very good for them to get that out. Once they do, some of the employers I have seen recognized abilities and capabilities that they didn't know that that service member had. They find better ways to deploy them. 15 | Confidential May 21, 2008 Page 15 Military Coaching: Coaching Armed Forces Members and Their Teams Transcript
  16. 16. Time Speaker Transcript 27:36 Tom Floyd Got it. I hear the music for our next commercial break. Let's go on and go on pause. Stay tuned everyone, more from Insight on Coaching when we return. 30:21 Tom Floyd Welcome back to Insight on Coaching, I'm Tom Floyd. Today the topic is Military Coaching, Coaching Armed Forces Members and Their Teams. With me are Rich Halbrook, Richard Strozzi-Heckler, John O'Connor and Bill Offutt. In the last segment of our show we were in the middle of a conversation talking about some of the soft skills that folks in active duty have typically learned or do learn that they can really bring back to the workforce. I wanted to open up the conversation to the entire group and talk more about that. We were also just talking more about that during our break. The first question I would have is, can you give some examples of some of the typical soft skills that folks in military duty can typically learn that are really fantastic skills that they can bring back and use in the workplace? 31:10 John O'Connor Let me just go with a couple of real fast ones. One is leadership, of course, which everybody likes. The other is teamwork; learning how to work with people in a group environment. Two is working under pressure; there is nothing more difficult than working under pressure in a war zone which many of our veterans have done. Also they can get updated on technology while they are in there, they can respect organizational structure, and integrity, too. A veteran will give an employer an honest day's work and they learn to triumph over adversity. These are kind of very difficult to measure, but are skills which a veteran I think brings to the workforce and brings to an employer's team. 16 | Confidential May 21, 2008 Page 16 Military Coaching: Coaching Armed Forces Members and Their Teams Transcript
  17. 17. Time Speaker Transcript 31:53 Rich Halbrook This is John. One thing to remember about all of the folks that are deployed, the Guard, the Reserve, even the full time military, not everyone is a political person. In fact, they are asked not to use their views to decide on employment. So one of the things I think that we all have to respect about those folks over there is that no matter what their agreement or disagreement with the war, no matter what someone listening to this and their disagreement or non-disagreement with the War on Terror, for example, they go and serve no matter what. And when they come back, they have had to overcome even their own personal agenda, many times to overlook that and they still perform excellently; show up on time, are drug free and have a global perspective. Anyone who has traveled the world probably has a different perspective and appreciation of history that they have never had. So when they come back they are changed people and they are ready for new assignments, new leadership and really new challenges. The challenge of coaching is often times finding out what that is and finding the best way for the win-win within that organization. 33:01 Richard What I would add in here among these other trades is that they returning vets have a Strozzi-Heckler really strong sense of mission that is very easily translatable into the organizational world. Having an objective and a mission that they come back and they have the ability to receive feedback and to give feedback. Even if you are a fire team leader and there are three guys underneath you, you make sure that you tell them very clearly and directly that they are moving to the right action. And then I would also add in that the come back with a sense of discipline and the kind of discipline where they can put something aside so they can get the job done. I think that we don't do a service to these kind of skills by calling them soft skills because what they are, are human skills. Basically, where ever you are working you are actually going to be working with another human being or human beings at some point. And the military and being in those kinds of environments usually develops that kind of human side of things. 17 | Confidential May 21, 2008 Page 17 Military Coaching: Coaching Armed Forces Members and Their Teams Transcript
  18. 18. Time Speaker Transcript 34:03 Tom Floyd Richard, a lot of the work you do is very centered around somatics. We have had Mark Mooney from Strozzi on the show before and he has spoken about that. We have had Suzanne Zeman on the show and she has just added amazing insight into what somatics is in general. But just as a refresher for everybody, can you tell us more about the type of coaching that you do and that the Strozzi Institute does in terms of somatic coaching? 34:29 Richard Thanks, Tom. Strozzi-Heckler Somatics is an early Greek word and it basically mans the living body and its wholeness. What that did is that predated what is conventionally called now mind, body and sprit. But even when people work with mind, body and spirit, they put them in these different smoke stacks and keep them separate. So what we do is we work with the whole person somatically. In other words, we look at their actions, their moods, how they learn, how they coordinate with other people and how they perform with dignity. Our claim is that like training an athlete, you train somebody's nervous system in the same way through somebody's body in terms of how they develop in leadership or whatever role that they want to be in. It has to do with conversations. We put people in practices over and over again. We put people in practices and our primary concern is the learning means that they are able to take actions that they previously couldn't take, so it's all centered around action. It's not just that they are smarter or have more data or more information, but they can actually show up as a different self in some way. 35:44 Tom Floyd One of the things that Strozzi does-- I just have to sing your praises because I love working with you guys. Reframing my perspective is what really helped me a lot; that message and changing the story that we have with ourselves. It has been so powerful for me personally. From your perspective, why is the body so important in leadership? 18 | Confidential May 21, 2008 Page 18 Military Coaching: Coaching Armed Forces Members and Their Teams Transcript
  19. 19. Time Speaker Transcript 36:06 Richard First of all, we reinterpret the body. Strozzi-Heckler When you say body to someone, usually they think of the guy on the cover of Men's Health or hitting the golf ball or the swimsuit version of Sports Illustrated. Really we mean body in that it is a domain in which we take which attitude our mood occurs. Mood really isn't a mental phenomena; it is a whole body phenomena. And the same if we assess somebody's health and if they can take action or not, fulfill on commitments or watching how their bodies move. So it's really the domains of action, mood, learning, how you coordinate with other people and then dignity. For my PhD I wrote on the relationship between the mind and the body. I was looking at how do people achieve excellence and how do these people in mastery actually form strong teams. So I did a lot of work around the nervous system, the Asian traditions of mind and body, plus I have been doing martial arts. This is a little scary when I say it now, but I have been doing martial arts for 50 years. So bringing a lot of those practices and a lot of those disciplines to bear on somebody saying that I'm at A and now I want to get to B. What we do know, all of the research in [unintelligible] cities is now showing this, in order to do that we have to basically reframe our stories and reframe how we take action. Our claim is that you can do that through practices and practices to your body. 37:36 Tom Floyd And can you share some examples of how you brought somatic coaching to the military? 19 | Confidential May 21, 2008 Page 19 Military Coaching: Coaching Armed Forces Members and Their Teams Transcript
  20. 20. Time Speaker Transcript 37:42 Richard I have been over in Afghanistan and Iraq a number of times. Strozzi-Heckler For one of the reasons is that I helped create the Marine Corps martial arts program which is really the vision and genius of General Jones who was commenaut [phonetic] at that time and later became saccraw [phonetic]. Really what he was looking at was the leadership program for these young men and women not only for in the Marine Corps, but so that when they came back into society they would be better citizens and they would have more effective leadership skills. What we did is we used the martial arts, which is 99.9% of all young people find that very, very attractive. We used the martial arts as a delivery system for teaching leadership values, how to be centered under pressure, how to be focused, how to be disciplined, how to work on a team with somebody else, how to be a listener when somebody else is in action or talking, all of those kinds of skills are learned through the martial arts. So they learn the specific skill of non-lethal combat, hand to hand combat and restraining somebody and at the same time, they begin to learn these actions. I was asked by NATO to explore the idea of doing this with the ANA, the Afghan National Army. The Marine Corps martial arts program has been institutionalized and it is more and more a great recruitment tool and when these kids come out of that, they find that they are actually better prepared as citizens. 39:14 Tom Floyd In terms of who typically has gotten this coaching from you, and you just answered part of that, is it typically the younger members of the Force, the Reserves team members themselves? Is this something that you have also done with people that are higher up like Generals and military leaders? And if so, how does that change? Can you speak a little bit to that? 20 | Confidential May 21, 2008 Page 20 Military Coaching: Coaching Armed Forces Members and Their Teams Transcript
  21. 21. Time Speaker Transcript 39:34 Richard Tom, basically it has been two audiences. Strozzi-Heckler One has been with the level of the E4 and E5, the Corporal or the Sergeant. That level where they have really made a commitment to their service, they have been in there for a while. And then people in between, but also when we start to get at the flag level. So the people who are one or two star generals and the colonel who may be in transition via brigatory [phonetic] elect. We work with a group in between, but it seems like that is the highest demographic. It's really with that demographic because those people are going through some transition of some order, they feel like they need some kind of reflection and feedback and new training and we have built enough trust with them to do that. 40:18 Tom Floyd Got it. Now Bill, I want to turn to you. In general from a big picture perspective, how are you seeing the Armed Forces in general using coaching? Or have you seen cases where coaching has been used? 40:29 Bill Offutt Yes. Tom, thank you. What we do is for Guard and Reservists who come back is we make sure that they are aware of their reemployment rights and we coach them on that, both before they are deployed and after they are deployed. When they come back, and I think Richard and John will know this, it's very difficult to reach them because they have been separated from their community and family for over a year and in some case a year and an half. The longest serving unit was 22 months. So they are more interested in leave and getting home to their loved ones, so we are working on innovative ways now to help them once they get back in the community and settle back in, to reach back out to them to work on their transition back into civilian life among other things. Reaching out to them and preparing them for transition because many people that come back, as we pointed out earlier, want to change their lives so we are working with them on finding new employment opportunities. 21 | Confidential May 21, 2008 Page 21 Military Coaching: Coaching Armed Forces Members and Their Teams Transcript
  22. 22. Time Speaker Transcript 41:29 Tom Floyd And it sounds like this from what you are saying, but is coming back almost a shock for some people. When they are coming back from duty it's almost like being plunged into a cold pool; it's like whoa I just need some time to adapt alone? 41:41 Bill Offutt Yes it is, really. And under USERRA law, a person usually gets back in the country and gets about a week to stay in uniform and get reintegrated. Then they are allowed two weeks off before they have to show up for work again and establish their re-employment rights. So there is a little bit of time there, but for some folks it takes longer-- 42:08 Rich Halbrook Hey Bill, this is Rich— 42:10 Bill Offutt It takes longer; it might take a month up to a year. But again we hear about some of the readjustment issues that are out there and they certainly are real. 42:20 John O'Connor This is John. So it's important to have that coaching and really a good communication established as that service member, man or woman, is deployed. Sometimes when you hear stories of companies like Conway and Dollar and others that pick up and build a fence for the family or go to their house and fix something and stay in touch with that service member, it really softens the blow. Even if they are changed when they come back, they are more open to coaching. They don't just need a two week break as governed by USERRA law, they want to come back and engage because the relationship has not been severed. I have even seen companies that didn't really believe in the mission, but believed in that soldier and that commitment was still made - that is very admirable. Those are some of the stories that you don't hear about all of the time. 43:13 Tom Floyd Rich, it sounded like you had a question as well. 22 | Confidential May 21, 2008 Page 22 Military Coaching: Coaching Armed Forces Members and Their Teams Transcript
  23. 23. Time Speaker Transcript 43:16 Rich Halbrook I just wondered, as an employer if we wanted to direct one of our returning military folks to a military providing coaching service or reintegration service, is there a website or a resource that we can find to help us have that conversation? 43:32 Bill Offutt There are several, but the U.S. Department of Labor and the Veteran's Administration work together on reintegration. If you want to work with us, we would be happy to do that. Generally speaking we have veterans employment representatives all across America who work with and help with the returning Guard and Reservists. It's called Career One Stops and there are about 2,000 veterans appointment representatives at these locations that can help with some coaching. 44:06 Rich Halbrook Great. 44:07 Tom Floyd Let's go on here and go on pause, I hear the music for our next commercial break. Stay tuned everybody, more Insight on Coaching when we return. 46:43 Tom Floyd Welcome back to Insight on Coaching. I'm Tom Floyd. Today the topic is Today the topic is Military Coaching, Coaching Armed Forces Members and Their Teams. With me are Rich Halbrook, Richard Strozzi-Heckler, John O'Connor and Bill Offutt. We were just having some dialogue during the break that I wanted to make sure that we share from the end of our last segment. We were talking a little bit about what some of the resources are that are available to employers who are looking for more information on how to help folks coming back from active duty integrate, some coaching resources that are available and things like that. Bill, you shared a web site during the break. Do you want to go ahead and repeat that and tell us a little bit more about that as well? 23 | Confidential May 21, 2008 Page 23 Military Coaching: Coaching Armed Forces Members and Their Teams Transcript
  24. 24. Time Speaker Transcript 47:21 Bill Offutt Yes, Tom. The Veteran's Administration has a series of what they call Vet Centers. They provide a wide range of services for combat veterans in an effort to make a satisfying transition from military to civilian life. Even though it is the government, most of these folks are in the communities and they understand some of the issues that are going through people's minds as they the roll back. A good example is the wife has kept the check book for a year while the husband is gone. Now what role does the husband have in terms of reasserting his role, if he handled the check book before he left? Or the other way around, if the wife was deployed and the husband handled the check book. Sometimes it takes these coaching responsibilities and carrying them forward just to people can reintegrate successfully and enjoy their lives as normal human beings having returned from deployment. 48:17 Tom Floyd ...mentioned during the break was the importance of career coaching and life coaching as well. Can you talk to us in terms of resources that you would recommend? Specifically, do you know overall career coaching and life coaching, when they are returning? 48:30 Bill Offutt John I think can answer that question real well, Tom. I'm not familiar with that; I'm not totally into the demobilization effort. I would like John to take that question if he would. 24 | Confidential May 21, 2008 Page 24 Military Coaching: Coaching Armed Forces Members and Their Teams Transcript
  25. 25. Time Speaker Transcript 48:40 John O'Connor Certainly, there are a number of coaches through the Association of Career Professionals International and Career Masters Institute through Kennedy Publications, Kennedy Info that will have a lot of resources. We certainly do a lot of that. It's just one of the interesting issues. One of the things that I wanted to throw out if it's all right, Tom, is maybe a quick question that I earnestly have. Some of these folks come back and they are not only changed mentally but Richard talked about physical changes, some of them have been hurt. The accommodations for people with some disabilities, even mental, brain injuries, others. Some of the quiet incredible stories are of employers small and large and how they have accommodated and anticipated and got information about that. How would employers find out more about that? Because we can talk about the theories of coaching and sometimes it does come down to those mental and physical changes that they have gone through. How do we help them? 49:41 Tom Floyd Any examples that anybody can share, specific to that? 49:43 Richard This is Richard, here. Strozzi-Heckler One of the things that we are doing at the Strozzi Institute is we are starting to work with some of the vets that have become disabled at Walter Reid. Coming in and showing them, working with the PT people there, but also mostly at an emotional level; what it means to come back with this kind of changed body, changed perspective, changed world view. And not only the specific things that you can work with, but it's a huge emotional change that these young men and women go through and it doesn't happen overnight. They have to feel like there is somebody there that not only has a professional empathy, but really deeply understands the situation. We actually have a couple of people that we have trained who are disabled in the sense of lost an arm or lost an eye, that immediately bonds them to them. They can see the successes they have done and how they can compensate appropriately to come back and be effective and successful. 50:44 John O'Connor This is John. Just quick— 25 | Confidential May 21, 2008 Page 25 Military Coaching: Coaching Armed Forces Members and Their Teams Transcript
  26. 26. Time Speaker Transcript 50:45 Tom Floyd What are some of the things that the people back in the office who when folks are returning from active duty, what are some of the things that their team mates and co- workers can do that really help, in terms of demonstrating support, helping them integrate and things like that? 51:01 Bill Offutt Let me give you four suggestions, please. One is to set aside time to bring the veteran up to date on the business. I think that is number one. Number two, is allow time for the veteran to settle back into his or her civilian life and adjust to changes that have occurred in the work place. Number three, allow more flexible time in his or her life to get back in order. Really, I think one of the key points here which is coaching, is to help make a staff member or someone available to mentor or buddy them. Another thing, too, as we talked about earlier, make an assessment of what he or she has learned while on active duty and see how it can be utilized when they reintegrate and return to work. Maybe you will find a different opportunity for them that will take advantage of their active duty time. 51:48 Tom Floyd Excellent 51:50 John O'Connor Tom, can I make a quick visual example of what goes on at work for a company? 51:54 Tom Floyd Absolutely. 51:55 John O'Connor I suppose anyone who is listening to this has seen the show Extreme Makeover: Home Edition. 52:02 Tom Floyd I love that show personally. 26 | Confidential May 21, 2008 Page 26 Military Coaching: Coaching Armed Forces Members and Their Teams Transcript
  27. 27. Time Speaker Transcript 52:03 John O'Connor I think when you see the bus pull away and that house, the companies that really have the most success and the people that integrate more, they understand. Dealing with that individual and what they have gone through and have been intimately involved, if they rally that company like a community and look at it that way, that's the best example of the companies who have had the win-win with folks coming back. Even if they move on, even if they change companies, embracing them when they come back makes all of the difference. 52:33 Tom Floyd Got it. Any other examples anybody would like to share? Or for that matter, any other success stories? 52:39 Richard This is Richard. Strozzi-Heckler We had a Staff Sergeant in the Reserves that-- one of the things that we do is we teach Aikido at our school, too. And the Aikido dojo has never done Aikido before, but we adopted him because one of our members knew him quite well. We would send things to his unit: food, magazines, books, et cetera. So we began to build that relationship with them then. We had his picture there and show pictures of the people in the dojo. When he came back, his integration into the community and us inviting him to the dojo to train with us, was more seamless in the sense that there was already something that was being built. We really tried to walk that line between giving him a lot of appreciation for what he did and at the same time enough space so that what had to emerge out of him about his experience. That was his second deployment and what emerged out of him was natural for him. Everybody wasn't back slapping and glad handing but just treating him with a lot of dignity and respect. The more that occurred and the more we trained together, he was able to open up with the beerers [phonetic] after class and began to talk about those things [crosstalk] back into an existing community. 27 | Confidential May 21, 2008 Page 27 Military Coaching: Coaching Armed Forces Members and Their Teams Transcript
  28. 28. Time Speaker Transcript 53:59 Tom Floyd Got it. Well a huge thank you to the four of you for being on the show today. We are unfortunately at the end. As always a huge thank you for our listeners as well. For more information about our show, you can look us up on the Voice America business channel, you can visit our web site at or you can of course drop me an email at . Don't forget that you can also access the podcast version of this show as well, just go to Apple iTunes, open up the iTunes store, click podcasts on the left side of the screen and enter Insight on Coaching in the search field. Thank you everyone, we’ll see you next week. 28 | Confidential May 21, 2008 Page 28 Military Coaching: Coaching Armed Forces Members and Their Teams Transcript