Perception impacts recognition

by Chief Master Sgt. JPE Dunbar
786th Civil Engineer Squadron

Many people think they can show up, do their job and that’s enough to get them recognized. Most people do their work, but only those who do it exceptionally will get noticed.

We can put on the best performance, but if no one sees it, to most people, it never happened. If we think we should be given special consideration solely by the nature of our work, we are wrong. We must prove ourselves for others to see us worthy of their support.

At times, certain members of an organization give the impression their circumstances are more unique than anyone else’s, therefore they should be given a pass to opt out of everything. The problem with this is, everyone else taking up the slack does not have the same understanding. Frankly, they see it as unacceptable. They do not care what the conditions are. All they see is a group of people getting out of things someone else has to do.

What resonates in people’s minds is the perception that this group or individual thinks they should be treated special and feels they are better than everyone else.

Just as with any other bad behavior, members of this group have a reputation that precedes them; they are held accountable for those actions in some way.

If there is a competition, they automatically get forfeited because they have a habit of not showing up. Whatever they do is scrutinized and discounted. No matter if they saved the world, others do not see them worthy of any recognition. They get a bad rap because others perceive them as selfish, unreliable and untrustworthy.

Known for being a “no show” is not a good reputation. Likewise, having a label of being self-serving is not good. To be deemed worthy of anything good, we’ve got to get the vote of everyone else. We do that by impressing them and showing we are dependable and willing to do what it takes to help the team succeed.
In people’s eyes, we’ve got to prove by action we are carrying just as much or more weight as they do.

First, when roll is called, we must be present and well represented. We can’t expect our voice to be heard if we are not there. In the same way, we’ve got to show up to the trough if we expect to eat. If we think we are too important to show up, we will get left out every time.

The thing people often resent is seeing someone pick and choose what they want to be a part of when everyone else has to do the same task. The perception is only when the harvest comes; some people show up to reap.

Folks see them as having no problem taking a leave of absence, time off, temporary duty and personal interest they deem important, but when it comes to helping or participating with the rest of the team, they are absent.

There is inconsistency in the message, and people find it hard to believe even when true. We can only use being busy or having too many commitments as an excuse for so long. After a while, people develop their own opinion of us, that we do not want to be part of the team. Therefore, we should not share in the benefits; no help, no support and no recognition. We paint the picture; they are looking at it.