Airmen from Dyess Air Force Base, Texas, and Yokota Air Base, Japan, came together to participate in an Evolved Communication Workshop at Dyess AFB, Sept. 20 to 24, 2021.
With a focus on experiential learning, the workshop offers leaders compelling insight into the importance of communicating with emotional agility to build healthy, productive relationships.
“This workshop is a great time to get together with other leaders and focus on how effective communication teaches a person to become a better leader,” said Tech. Sgt. Dave Looby, 436th Training Squadron occupational safety instructor. “It’s important because a lot of times when people leave the Air Force, it’s due to their interactions with people in the Air Force. This workshop will help people a person to identify communication areas they may struggle with and help guide Airmen through any struggles as well.”
During the course, the students engaged in discussions, activities and gamified immersion to build confidence in their ability to communicate with, and secure, our next generation of leaders.
Areas that were focused on throughout the workshop are self-awareness and governance, social awareness and agility, empath, trust building, listening to understand, crucial conversations, working with Airmen with diverse backgrounds, four flawed emotional responses (catastrophizing, personalizing, over-analyzing and memorializing), and organizational dysfunction.
“This was a great interactive course which is really beneficial because I feel people can learn better when you are communicating through a course like this,” said Senior Airman Kaitlyn Allen, 730th Air Mobility Squadron passenger services specialist. “Communication is the key to successful leadership, and I do want to have these tools so that I can be the best version of a supervisor for my Airmen while being the kind of leader that people want to follow.”
Having personnel from Dyess AFB and Yokota AB work together throughout the course and share experiences has helped each student improve their personal and interpersonal skill sets.
“This course was great because it helps bridge the gap throughout the Air Force by bringing Airmen from various bases and career fields to improve our understanding from different perspectives while improving our skill sets,” Looby said. “This course is very important because it helps bridge the gap between the top and bottom, but mostly for first line supervisors and their Airmen through communication.”
This course has helped prepare the students to embrace the adaptive communication skills they’ve learned and how to use their new skill sets to produce prosperous relationships and positive results within their units.
“I’ve learned how to better hold myself accountable, how to better communicate and how to have my emotions work for me instead of against myself,” Allen said. “It’s been really eye opening to hear other peoples experiences and learn from those who are of a different rank and work in different career fields. They have helped build me up to become a better supervisor than if I was just learning from people who have had the same view as I have so far during my career.”