News | Oct. 23, 2018

DLA Aviation offers employees tools to better cope with workplace misunderstandings

By Dominique J. Shelton DLA Aviation Public Affairs Office

Workplace friction is bound to happen anytime you join together individuals with different backgrounds from different walks of life.

 

In an effort to provide employees with techniques to help combat workplace differences, the Defense Logistics Agency Aviation’s American Federation of Government Employees Union along with the Command Support Directorate, hosted a self-help seminar Oct. 3 at the Frank B. Lotts Conference Center, Defense Supply Center Richmond.

 

“We set up this event to equip DLA employees with tools to help them cope with workplace disagreements,” said Victoria Hull, AFGE Local 1992 vice president of membership and programs. “We can’t protect employees from every situation one might encounter, but if we can do something positive and uplifting to help, we will, because ultimately that’s what it’s all about.”

 

The seminar featured guest speaker Vernon Brown, self-proclaimed happiness and success coach and founder of whatsyourhappi LLC based out of Richmond.

 

According to whatsyourhappi.com, the LLC is an initiative-based organization that specializes in equipping individuals with life-changing tools and resources through a hands-on approach, if used properly, Brown believes these tools and resources can help one achieve fulfillment and happiness in life.

 

“While I don’t consider myself a motivational speaker, I feel like I am able to motivate others as a result of the things I’ve seen and the things I’ve been through,” said Brown. “I’ve learned that problems wear you out but solutions energize you, so I try to offer these solutions through shared experiences.”

 

Conflict can occur within any organization especially when you have different types of people with different personalities coming together with one goal in mind.

 

“Oftentimes it’s just a matter of not knowing how to be happy and overlooking the small stuff. It’s about shared experiences and letting people know ‘Hey you’re not alone, I’m dealing with some of the same issues you’re dealing with,’ we are all living life together as a collective,” said Brown. “So often we practice the wrong things; we practice being frustrated; we practice being upset, but rarely do we ever practice being happy or positive or just being great at living life one day at a time. Nobody got good at shooting 3-point shots in basketball without practicing. So in order to be happy, you are going to have to practice.”  

 

According to the Society for Human Resource Management, “Conflict can be expressed in a number of ways such as insults, noncooperation, bullying, personality clashes and misunderstood communication. These conflicts can have negative effects on the workplace which can include work disruptions, decreased productivity, project failure, absenteeism, turnover and termination.

 

“Events like this seminar are great because perception is reality, so if somebody feels like they are being harassed; bullied or misunderstood then that’s their reality and we just want people to have the tools in their toolbox to be able to cope with these issues,” said Hull. “We don’t want people suffering in silence, we want them to know that there are resources available to them as well as people to talk to. Anything we can do to promote a better working environment is what we are willing to do.”

 

For anyone who may be going through something or dealing with workplace confrontation and would like more information on available resources, please contact the DLA Aviation Equal Employment Office or one of the AFGE Local 1992 representatives.