Friday, February 6, 2009

View From The Top>>Communication, an airpower essential

By Chief Master Sgt. Anthony Brinkley
19th Airlift Wing command chief

How many times in the last week have you had to stop what you were doing to re-address something that you thought you had clearly communicated. Whether itís on the job, or with our friends or even in our homes, miscommunication can lead to wasted time and other frustrations. On the other hand, good communication pays huge dividends to our professional and personal lives.

When I joined the Air Force 25 years ago, the preferred form of communication was actually talking to people. What a concept. Of course back then most of my work was done on a typewriter; Iím sure I just lost the younger generation with that reference. Fast forward to 2009 and people use e-mail or text messaging versus looking a person in the eyes. These are great forms of reaching out, but I believe nothing can replace the human touch. You ever notice that people will say things over e-mail that they would have trouble saying face to face?

Yet, I submit to you that with advances in technology and a robust mission, effective dialogue is the difference between good and great results. We cannot solely rely on Web based training, e-mail, text messaging or manuals to develop our Airmen. Lt. Col. Ken Walters, 19th Airlift Wing director of staff, put it in perspective for me today. His point was interpersonal communication establishes and solidifies healthy working relationships.

Wherever our Airmen are, supervision should be visible and actively communicating. No better sight is there than a supervisor doing over-the-shoulder training with a new Airman ensuring safety and checklist discipline. Good leadership understands communication is a bridge builder and uses it to develop the best team possible. My question to you is, are you an automated wizard or a hands-on leader? Automation is a tool, yet hands-on leadership brings vision to life. Talk to you soon.
Combat Airlift!

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