Michael Bluemling, Jr. | From the Front Lines to the Office
Michael Bluemling, Jr., is a former Sergeant of Soldiers and author of "Bridging the Gap from Soldier to Civilian," who overcame abuse to become a success story, after his transition from soldier to civilian. He shares his insight with fellow veterans, to help them through this arduous process, successfully.
veterans, business, conflict, "Michael Bluemling, Jr.", "Bridging the Gap from Soldier to Civilian"
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From the Front Lines to the Office


From the Front Lines to the Office

Let’s cut straight to the chase: when someone serves in the military and return to the work force, often they’re considered a threat to organizational continuity. Now why is this? There are several reasons, there isn’t enough space in this article to cover them all. However, I will go over the main reason – civilians don’t fully understand how to work with veterans.

The lapse between veterans and civilians is in the way each group communicates. Veterans are more direct. Civilians want to talk about everything before making a decision. When you have a conflict, there has to be compromise. When one group strongly believes in their perspective and the other group equally believes in theirs, there has to be a point where both parties are able to resolve the conflict.

This is where the problem lies, because each group doesn’t want to give. The power struggle begins and ends in a breakdown. Since veterans are the minority in the workplace, they lose. Having strong opinions makes it difficult for a veteran to fit in. It isn’t as if we do not want to – veterans want to be team players – so how can we coexist as one?

In order for people from diverse backgrounds to surpass industry standards, there has to be world-class expectations of excellence that are established internally by the organization. If the firm fails to lay the ground rules from the top, the bottom will never excel. An idea that is brought forward should be respected and valued for what it is, regardless of the origin. In business, egos really have no place.

Here are seven strategies to help both sides bridge this gap:

  1. There is more than enough credit to go around, regardless of the background of the decision maker.
  2. You don’t have to be the decision maker to have a great idea.
  3. Leaders know how to let others lead when necessary.
  4. The success of the mission is more important than the failures along the way.
  5. Just because it’s foreign, doesn’t mean it won’t work.
  6. When input is valued at all levels, information will flow in both directions smoothly.
  7. The results of the team are far more valuable than individual accolades.
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