Speaking Directly With A Cadet
Consider these suggestion for a direct conversation with a cadet:
- Ask the cadet if you can schedule a one-on-one meeting.
- Let someone else in your department or office know about the scheduled meeting so they can be available if necessary.
- Tell the cadet what behaviors you have noticed that have you concerned, and express concern about them. ("I've noticed you've missed class three times in the past two weeks.")
- Avoid "why" questions, which may be perceived as judgmental.
- Ask open-ended questions. ("Tell me a bit more about how things are going for you this semester: What's been difficult? Satisfying...")
- Listen to the cadet's response. You need not be scared off by an emotional response. Talking about a problem, or labeling a crisis, does not make it worse. It is the first step toward resolving it. Be patient. Don't give up if the cadet doesn't talk easily.
- Allow the cadet to tell his/her story. Allow silences if they occur. Sometimes what follows can be especially productive.
- Restate what you have heard so that the cadet will know you understand.
- Know your own boundaries and limitations and if necessary, get help determining a course of action. Say something like, "I know (name) in (department/office) who has helped other cadets with similar circumstances. I'd like to call him/her right now to get input/advice about this. Will you please stay here while I call?" (If the answer is no, respect the cadet's decision, invite him/her to reconnect with you as needed. If you have lingering concerns, call the CCC, 540-464-7667.
- Suggest resources and offer hope
- Encourage the cadet to utilize available resources (dyke, Cadet Peer Educators (CPE), academic advisor, chaplain services, etc.)
- Convey to the cadet that asking for help is a sign of strength.
- Suggest a "one time" visit to speak with a counselor at the CCC.
- Call the CCC, 540-464-7667, for consultation and advice about next steps.