Commentary

July 26, 2013

Mentoring happens on daily basis

Senior Master Sgt. DONNA FOWLER
56th Logistics Readiness Squadron

What do teaching, coaching and mentoring all have in common? They all require communication and interaction. Teaching and coaching typically involve a controlled environment with determined settings, timeframes and performance centered on improvement in a specific skill area. Mentoring, on the other hand, is open, continues to evolve over time and allows nurturing of the “whole person.” Mentoring should not be a scheduled event, briefing or setting. It naturally happens every day. How it is delivered and accepted is what makes all the difference.

There is no doubt, mentoring has become a significant part of our Air Force culture. It is important that we cultivate future leaders and develop a path for young Airmen to follow. All Airmen (regardless of rank), need leadership, guidance and support throughout their career – personal and professional. Airmen are encouraged to become “well-rounded,” so where and how do we teach this lesson? Basic military and technical training schools continue to teach Airman fundamentals and basic skills. So what happens after training?

Everyday Airmen are placed in squadrons all over the world with no idea what they’re supposed to do next. Their training prepares them to follow a structured set of rules, but never taught them how to properly seek out a mentor. In general, Airmen are apprehensive when it comes to confiding or seeking guidance in other members of higher rank. As leaders, at any grade or rank, it is our responsibility to ensure we are approachable and available. We are here to help, lead, mold and mentor young Airmen on a constant basis, to help them become successful and reach true potential, remembering that one day not so long ago, we too were those young Airmen.

Mentoring has many positive effects. It allows individuals to gain insight into the organization and can increase commitment to its goals. It can also improve communication and change culture for the better.

Mentoring promotes improved levels of professional success. Lastly, mentoring gives members the opportunity to meet people and promotes social networking.

Mentoring helps Airmen develop insight through guidance and support. A mentor asks the right questions to promote greater self-awareness and informed decision making. Airmen also receive feedback on performance, potential, career progression and future plans. The role of mentors is not to solve problems, but to question how the best solutions might be found.

Mentoring is a great opportunity to show interest in others and get involved. Mentors also benefit from this relationship by getting to know the mentee, learning what is relevant to him, gaining experience and ultimately, could be changed by the relationship.

I truly believe, the earlier we take an active interest in our young Airmen, the stronger we make our Air Force.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

Lightning II debrief …

Staff Sgt. Staci Miller Senior Airman Roger Combs, 61st Aircraft Maintenance Squadron crew chief, downloads information from an F-35 Lightning II engine at Luke Air Force Base. Since 2010, more than 1,800 maintainers have been trained on the F-35. The first production F-35A rolled out of assembly in February 2006 in Fort Worth, Texas. Later...
 
 
Courtesy graphic

Commons provides ‘crib’ for Airmen

Courtesy graphic The Community Commons concept design. Renovation has begun and will be completed in May 2016. The Luke Air Force Base Community Center, Bldg. 700, where the 56th Aerospace Medicine Squadron Wellness Center resi...
 
 

How do you stack up?

With upcoming changes to the enlisted performance report and Air Force promotion system, it’s important to understand how you stack up against your peers, not only within your job, but within your unit as well. The days of receiving time in grade and time in service points are numbered. They are being replaced with a...
 

 

CCAF offers jump on education

The Community College of the Air Force was established in 1972 to recognize academic achievements for technical training by Air Force schools. It awards an associate in applied science degree to enlisted members of the active-duty Air Force, Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve Command who have completed the course work. Degree programs are...
 
 
Johnny Saldivar

Roberson takes command of AETC

Johnny Saldivar Lt. Gen Darryl Roberson, Air Education and Training Command commander, speaks during the AETC change of command ceremony Tuesday at Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph, Texas. Roberson is a command pilot who has mor...
 
 
4_150710-F-NQ441-5x7-036

Salutes and Awards

FWSA announce awards The following individuals are quarterly awards winners: 56th Fighter Wing Staff Agencies Airman: Senior Airman Leanne Mathews NCO: Staff Sgt. Natalie Nelson Senior NCO: Master Sgt. Deanna Commack Company gr...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>