Is the baby ugly or pretty?

Chief Master Sgt. Anthony Brinkley, 19th Airlift Wing command chief

Chief Master Sgt. Anthony Brinkley, 19th Airlift Wing command chief

LITTLE ROCK AIR FORCE BASE, Ark. -- There's something many people have trouble doing, and that's giving honest and candid feedback. Sometimes we get frustrated with people because they aren't doing as well as we think they need to; yet often times we haven't given them sound feedback.

I'm sure some of are sitting there saying, "I always give useful and timely feedback." Okay then think about the person who always likes to get close to you when they talk, and they have morning breath no matter the time of day when they talk to you. Have you sat down with them and given them feedback or even offered them a breath mint? I use this humorous, yet real, example of human interaction to illustrate how important it is to be straight up with people.

One of the most valuable things we can do for those around us is to have the courage to give thoughtful and honest feedback. It takes courage, because typically people don't like to receive feedback on areas that they are not excelling in. Often you will find the person wasn't even aware of the issue being attributed to them. Whether it's your job or a personal relationship, being honest and open can increase understanding while positively developing the partnership.

If you are a leader, then you don't have a choice in giving honest or accurate feedback. We fail our people when we hold back because we aren't sure how to approach the issue. Seek counsel and use different approaches to communicating, but you must get in there and help those around you. Life is a learning continuum full of adjustments and we owe it to one another to be frank and honest always.

Combat Airlift!