Dear Conflict and Complaint Management Services: Compassionate Leave Request Quandary

February 16, 2022 - Defence Stories

Dear CCMS,

A family member’s health has deteriorated, so I’ve put in a memo requesting compassionate leave.  My memo came back because the format was not correct, so I’ve had to re-submit. Our unit is preparing for a major exercise and it has been two weeks without a response to my memo. I checked with my supervisor where the memo was at and he still hasn’t got back to me. I don’t feel supported by my unit at all. I’m really stressed and can’t focus on my job. What next?

Your family member’s health is of real concern to you. Leadership’s response to your request for compassionate leave is affecting your well-being and your ability to do your work. Using the DESC model might help you to share the impact of leadership’s response to your request for leave and to effectively communicate your needs. The DESC model is an assertive communication tool that allows us to express positive and negative ideas and feelings in an open, honest and direct way.

D Describe: What you are seeing, hearing, the situation

E  Express: Your response, what is going on for you emotionally, or to check out assumptions

S  Specify: Your needs

C  Consequence: Define the positive results for both of you

In this case you might say something like:

D:  When I do not receive timely responses to my memos or inquiries for updates

E:  I feel unsupported, concerned, frustrated and distracted at work

S:  I need to know the chain of command understands my current personal situation and supports me in productively managing it

C:  So that I can take care of the people who are important to me and return to work well, contribute positively to operational effectiveness and as soon as possible



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