2018 SAAPM 5k Color Run/Walk Event

Yesterday I had the honor of co-hosting our 3rd annual Sexual Assault Awareness & Prevention Month (SAAPM) 5k Color Run/Walk Event at Rickenbacker (Columbus), Ohio. This was a joint operation that involved four branches of services.

Reference my post: SAAPM 2018 for additional information about Sexual Assault Awareness & Prevention Month.

This event was designed to bring awareness to sexual assault survivors, sexual harassment, and prevention/bystander intervention. I want to personally thank the victim advocates, chain of command, volunteers, the participants (100+), and most importantly, my friend and mentor, Captain J. Green (121 ARW SARC).

Sexual Assault Response Coordinator (SARC)

Defintions:

  1. Sexual Assault
  2. Sexual Harassment
  3. Bystander Intervention
Definition provided by RAINN
Definition provided by Google Dictionary
Definition provided by RAINN

This was a significant event for me because it will be my last SAAPM event for the military. Reference my post: Preparing for Life After the Military

Preparing for the 5k registration

I can honestly say, the entire month was a huge success. The In Their Honor event on the 20th was truly unique, we had tons of participation for National Denim Day on the 25th. The culminating event was the 5k Color Run/Walk Event on the 27th of April.

In Their Honor event – 20 April 2018
In Their Honor event – 20 April 2018
National Denim Day – 25 April 2018
5k Color/Walk Run Event – 27 April 2018

Again, I want to thank everyone for this amazing journey and I am positive the 2019 events will be even better.

“We are the force behind the fight to achieve culture change.”

Note: The photo used for the cover is from the 2017 5k Color/Walk Run Event. The official photos have not been published, yet.

For my information about the author, reference my post: About the Author

Preparing for Life After the Military

In May of 2019, I will retire from the military. This will be the conclusion to a very important chapter of my life that started on 30 July, 1997.

3 uniforms during this journey. BDUs will always be my favorite.

This journey has been an amazing experience, specifically due to the people I’ve had the honor of serving with. Without these people, my experiences would not be the same and more than likely, I would forget about them.

McClain High School – Greenfield, Ohio

I joined the U.S. Army at the age of 18 and if I’m being honest, I was very naive about the real world. I grew up in a very small community so my perception of the world was very limited. I always remind myself: where you came from is extremely important but it doesn’t have anything to do with where you’re going.

I would love to list all the courses I attended during my 20+ years but I don’t want to bore people with the names of 50-60 courses. Instead, I will focus on the 2 courses that had a major impact in my life:

  1. SHARP Foundation Course
  2. Master Resilience Trainer (MRT)

Sexual Assault Response Coordinator (SARC): Due to completing the SHARP Foundation Course, I eventually became the SARC for my Brigade, along with my role as a Victim Advocate (VA). I also perform advocacy for my Contingent SARN Advocate position (non-military). I’ve been working in this field for approximately 8 years. Equality is incredibly important to me and I hope to pass on this passion to my children.

2013 – Sexual Assault Awareness & Prevention Month (SAAPM)

Master Resilience Trainer (MRT): Without question, this is the best course I’ve ever completed. Because of this course (certification) I’ve had the pleasure of certifying over 150 Resilience Trainer Assistants (RTA).

2015 – RTA Course

This training is a huge contributing factor to how I managed to turn my life around. I can’t wait to share some new processes that I created for my upcoming book: The Best Version of You. It will be finished in 2018 and will be my 3rd book. This will be my first Self Help book.

In conclusion: I want to thank everyone that has helped me along this journey. I never deployed to support Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) or Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) so to some people, my 20+ years might not mean very much. I believed that for almost 10 years.

But that’s not true. As a leader, my job was to take care of people regardless of the location. Therefore, I still contributed to the Army’s mission. I do not regret anything about my career because everything contributed to the person I am today. For that, I love the military and I will truly miss it and the amazing people.

People Hire You | Not Your Resume

Spending most of your time preparing your resume does not compensate for your lack of social skills. A company wants you to tell them why you’re the best qualified person for the position, not read about it. Your bio does not illustrate your value, you do. Plus, companies buy paper, they don’t hire it. They hire you.

Is your resume important? Absolutely. It is a quick way for employers to categorize people they believe have the potential to fulfill the vacancy.

“This young lady has a history of public speaking, that is a plus for what we’re looking for.” (They will still require evidence of this skill.)

“This man hasn’t worked in over five months, this makes me question his work ethic so we’ll cross him off the list.” (Even if this not true, the perception tells a different story and the company is not willing to waste their time.)

You definitely want to make sure you annotate accurate information that can tell your story, without you being present. Remember, this is just the introduction. You must be prepared to verbally convey the next couple of chapters of your story during the interview process. “Sir, let me tell you about the course I facilitated for thirty-five people.”

Your social skills are the number one selling point for you during the interview process. If you annotate something on your resume and you’re not prepared to talk about it, why did you annotate it? If an employer asks you, “I see you were employed at XYZ company for five months. Can you tell me why you decided to leave that company after a short period of time?”

This is not an opportunity for you to say, “They didn’t see my full potential and I just couldn’t work for a company that doesn’t show me respect.” When you reference negativity to justify leaving a former position, you are telling this company you will do the same thing if you’re not happy with the environment, there. This will usually eliminate any possibility of you being hired for the position.

You need to learn how to respond to all forms of questions. In the same scenario, this would be a better response, “I really enjoyed working for that company but I was presented with an opportunity I couldn’t refuse.” Even if you were not happy in the position, there’s no reason to introduce it into the conversation. Employers want to know you’re professional and capable of adapting to adversity. Why? Because they are focused on the future of the company. When you’re not able to adapt to adversity, you don’t grow. When you don’t grow, the company you work for does not grow, either.

“Bob, your resume referenced that you have facilitated several courses for the ABC company. Can you tell us about your experience as a facilitator and how you prepare yourself?” (This is an opportunity for you to sell yourself.)

“Yes, being a facilitator is a passion of mine. I have been doing it for ten years and I feel that I’m very good at it. I could have easily stopped learning how to be an effective facilitator after completing my training. However, I have continued to sharpen my skills by reading, listening to, and watching videos on how to become a better facilitator. I recognize that how I led a course in 2017 might not be the most productive way to lead the same course in 2018. Why? People change and in order for me to be effective, I have to change with them.”

“Regardless of how many times I’ve led a particular course, I always prepare my notes, video presentations, PowerPoint slides, and breakout sessions at least two to three weeks out so I have plenty of time to rehearse. Money is time, and I don’t want to waste anyone’s time. If they are attending one of my courses, they deserve to get the best training possible.”

To some, this might be overselling yourself. Be honest though, would you rather undersell yourself? How is this company going to recognize your potential if you’re not telling them enough information? This example demonstrated you’re able to think outside of the box and you’re constantly adapting to change. This tells the interviewer, “I can adapt to whatever direction this company is going.”

It is also very important for you to make eye contact with the person asking you questions. Eye contact helps convey authenticity. If you’re not able to look at your potential employer, how can this company trust you’ll be able to look at its customers? Plus, looking away demonstrates self doubt and possible deception. Employers that are skilled in non-verbal cues will easily pick up on this.

Verbal-and-non-verbal-communication-during-job-interviews

Other Examples:

Leaning back in your chair – “I want out of this interview as fast as possible.”

Shifting your feet toward the exit – Again, “I want out of this room.”

Covering your mouth when you speak – “I’m not sure about my answer or I’m probably lying to you about my previous work history.”

Rubbing the back of your neck – “I’m uncomfortable with this question or topic.”

Crossing your arms across your chest – “I am guarding myself because I’m uncomfortable with my environment, I’m being deceitful, or I am arrogant and you’re wasting my time with these particular questions.”

Bottom line: Companies are looking for people that can produce results. Annotating your qualifications in a Microsoft Word document is only a small percentage of you landing a job. Double-down on your social skills and rehearse as much as possible. I can’t even count how many times people have told me, “I’m not good at speaking in front of people. I get too nervous and don’t know what to do.”

My response, “Do you actually get out and try it?”

“No, I’m not good at it.”

“That’s why you’re not good at it.”

People forget that nothing beats experience. You can read all day about how to do something but until you apply what you’ve learned via action, you’ll never be good at it. Steve Jobs was terrible at public speaking in his earlier years. But people forget about that because they just remember how skilled he was before he passed away. He could have landed any job he wanted based on his social skills. It takes patience and consistent action.

Good luck.

Your Past is your Advantage

Most of us want to be the person we needed as a child. By doing so, it helps us cope with the things we struggled with during a particular chapter in our life. It doesn’t erase it but does effectively use the pain as an instrument for change.

What you need to remind yourself: If the people in your life would have been what you wanted them to be, you would not be the person you are, today.

“I wish you would have been a better friend/sibling/parent.”

“I needed your help, and you weren’t there for me.”

“Why didn’t you warn me about life’s major obstacles?”

Don’t allow your mind to be your personal prison.

What you need to understand: Your past set you on a course for your present and your future. Meaning, your past is your advantage and you must learn to use it strategically. You can’t change the past but you can certainly write your future.

“History is being read but it’s also being written by people with imagination.”

– Les Brown

“Your absence helped me grow and begin to understand how to operate, independently.”

“Yes, I wish you would have been there to teach me; however, I learned a valuable skill that will set me up for success.”

“By not warning me, I developed situational awareness and now understand how to mitigate risks.”

Pay it forward.

Learning how to strategically use your past to your advantage, will ultimately set you up to win. Instead of running from your past, you must learn to embrace the skills and experience it facilitated.

Your perspective is the key. How you look at things, will always change the game.

Your words can be your prison

Every time you insult yourself, you are affirming those insults, emotions, and reactions. You are developing an agreement with things that will handcuff you and your potential.

“I’m not smart enough.”

“I don’t have what it takes.”

“She/he wouldn’t date someone like me.”

“I only have an Associates Degree.”

Your words can be your prison.

It doesn’t matter what people are telling you because you have what it takes. Your story has value and you are a vital piece to the puzzle.

Sexual Assault Awareness & Prevention Month (SAAPM) – 2018

As a long-time Victim Advocate (VA) and Sexual Assault Response Coordinator (SARC), I cannot begin to express how important this month is to the advocacy community. This is our opportunity to honor survivors and co-survivors of sexual assault, as well as victims of sexual harassment.

This field is extremely challenging due to the ongoing shift in our culture. But no matter what, we will not take our focus off the goal: eradicating sexual assault and sexual harassment. Yes, we realize this is an uphill battle. However, the obstacle is the path.

What are some obstacles?

  1. Misconceptions or lack of education in dealing with consent. No, does not mean yes. Consent is ongoing. A “yes” five minutes ago does not translate to a “yes,” now.
  2. Objectification of women and men, primarily in movies, music, and all social media platforms. (Sex sells…)
  3. Stereotypes, to include ones that jeopardize the welfare of the LGBTQI community.
Equality is incredibly important to me.

I will not lie, the fact that I’m a male Victim Advocate motivates me, daily. It motivates me to keep moving forward, every time I hear:

  • “But you’re a guy, why do you care?”
  • “Men don’t care about this issue.”
  • “All men are the same.”
  • “People will not take you serious.”
Picture taken in 2014

Although I respect people when they ask me these types of questions, I do remind them:

  • I care about people, regardless of their gender, age, religion, sexual orientation, and beliefs. People are people and their story matters to me.
  • Men do in fact, care. So do women. People always have the capacity to love.
  • No, not all men are the same. There are some incredible men and women on this planet. We must not blame an entire gender, based on the negative actions of the bad ones. My mentors are both men and women.
  • “I don’t take you serious,” is an opinion, not your reality. The best way to demonstrate your authenticity is to show people. Talking about what you’re capable and willing to do, is not enough.

At the end of the day, the focus must always be on empowering survivors. The recovery process is a long road and they do not deserve to take that journey without the right resources. I hope you can participate in a SAAPM event. (Color run, In Their Honor, Denim Day, etc.)

SAAPM: https://www.nsvrc.org/blogs/saam/announcing-2018-sexual-assault-awareness-month-theme

Denim Day: http://denimdayinfo.org/about/

How do you see the world?

Be honest with yourself: How do you see the world? Do you see the world through your eyes or do you see the world through the filter society has constructed for you?

How you see the world: Seeing the world through your eyes allows you to produce an opinion or interpretation based on your values. This is the: Eyesight vs Mindsight battle.

  1. Eyesight: Judging according to appearances. She is pretty. That car looks brand new. This building is huge. He is very tall.
  2. Mindsight: How you interpret what you see. She is pretty but doesn’t look very happy. I wonder if she is struggling with this class? That car looks brand new, I bet the owner takes extra care in all the little details that the average person doesn’t consider.

Example of how this works:

Friend 1: “Wow look, this conference is offering free food.”

Friend 2: “Yeah but look at that line.”

Friend 1: “Free food is worth it, though.”

Friend 2: “Nah, that line is way too long for me.”

Friend 1 was focused on the fact that the conference had free food. He wasn’t worried about the line, especially since it was free. Friend 2 had tunnel vision on the line of people and not the food. It makes you wonder, what else holds back Friend 2 based on his filter?

How you see the world through the filter society has constructed for you: We are a visual society, especially due to social media and advertisements. Social media will tell you, You should look like this woman. What they’re not telling you: someone took 50+ photos of her and used software to enhance her features. Now, she looks amazing. You think to yourself, She looks great and I don’t. What am I doing wrong?

How many filters are used to produce this image?

Social media, advertisements, the media, and people in general are programming us to see the world through filters. Why be authentic when there’s an app for that?

They are also programming you to conform to stereotypes. “We don’t like this particular group. Therefore, if you want to be like us, you need to share the same beliefs.” What happens next? When you see the particular group, you turn on the filter that’s been programmed. (A filter that you agreed to.)

Slow down and appreciate what’s real and not what you believe to be real.

At the end of the day, you are responsible for how you see the world. Before you judge, ask yourself these questions:

  1. What information do I have to support my judgement, based on what they eyes are seeing? Information changes the situation.
  2. Am I making assumptions?
  3. Am I fighting confirmation bias?
  4. Is this my opinion or am I judging him/her based on the filters I’ve adopted?
  5. Am I being authentic?
  6. Am I jealous or envious?