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NCO workshop builds communication skills

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. David Owsianka
  • 7th Bomb Wing Public Affairs

Airmen completed the initial cadre training for an NCO Communication Workshop Development course at Dyess Air Force Base, Texas, July 8 and 9, 2021.

The course focused on providing Dyess leaders with the ability to understand how to employ emotional intelligence, provide direct feedback and be facilitators.

“This workshop was created to fill a need that we have in the Air Force,” said Master Sgt. Shena Ramnarine, 9th Bomb Squadron superintendent. “There seems to be a disconnect between supervisors and their Airmen when it comes to communicating or how to address some of the tougher issues on subjects that come up on a daily basis. This course was created to help bridge that gap and help develop our Airmen.”

During the course, the instructors taught the cadre’s how to use a TEACCH model and the foundation of emotional intelligence.

The TEACCH model focuses on time management, engaging learners, activity facilitation, checking, confirming and coaching the learner, and honoring the learners experience, ideas, time and participation.

For the emotional intelligence portion of the class, the supervisors learned the fundamental behaviors of adaptive communication. The non-commissioned officers also learned how to employ self-awareness, self-governance, social awareness, social agility and empathy with their Airmen.

“We’ve focused on setting up the training to help them do a better job of relating, communicating and managing the Airmen that report to them,” said Mark Evans, Bubo Learning Design president who helped Dyess develop the NCO workshop. “I think this course gives them the tools to hold people accountable and maintaining standards while not making critical mistakes that might hurt their career.”

According to Evans, first time enlisted Airmen are separating from the Air Force at a high enough rate that it’s very concerning. One of the key indicators in exit interviews was their relationship with their supervisors.

“We want to make sure the morale is high, but for the Airmen themselves I hope that they see that their supervisors really do care about them,” Evans said. “I would like to see things translated to where the Airmen understand at Dyess that the culture here is healthy, the dysfunctionality is minimal, and that the leadership is not only focused on completing the mission but meeting the needs of their Airmen as well.”

The workshop provided in-depth communication skills for the cadres to then share with future students of the course.

“This course is important for because we are losing Airmen due to conversations,” said Staff Sgt. Jordan Stricklin, 7th Force Support Squadron Airman Leadership School instructor. “We are losing Airmen across the Air Force, not just because of retention, but because of suicide as well, so it’s important that we as Air Force leaders are able to be willing to have hard conversations with our people. We need to be able to step up to the plate and be present with the individuals you are over and thoughtfully engage them with whatever situation they are dealing with on a personal and thoughtful level.”