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Distance does not deter Airmen learning to communicate, connect

Tia Locklear, 88th Force Support Squadron process manager, speaks about her experience after completing the Masterminds course during a ceremony in which she received a completion certificate and a coin, Oct. 14, 2021, at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio. The course is based on John C. Maxwell’s book “Everyone Communicates, Few Connect” and teaches strategies to ensure effective communication. (U.S. Air Force photo by Jaima Fogg)

Tia Locklear, 88th Force Support Squadron process manager, speaks about her experience after completing the Masterminds course during a ceremony in which she received a completion certificate and a coin, Oct. 14, 2021, at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio. The course is based on John C. Maxwell’s book “Everyone Communicates, Few Connect” and teaches strategies to ensure effective communication. (U.S. Air Force photo by Jaima Fogg)

Mary Moore (left), Air Force Materiel Command alternate master process officer, presents Tia Locklear, 88th Force Support Squadron process manager, with a certificate and coin, Oct. 14, 2021 for her completion of the Masterminds course based on John C. Maxwell’s book “Everyone Communicates, Few Connect” at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio. The course teaches strategies to ensure communication is effective. (U.S. Air Force photo by Jaima Fogg)

Mary Moore (left), Air Force Materiel Command alternate master process officer, presents Tia Locklear, 88th Force Support Squadron process manager, with a certificate and coin, Oct. 14, 2021 for her completion of the Masterminds course based on John C. Maxwell’s book “Everyone Communicates, Few Connect” at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio. The course teaches strategies to ensure communication is effective. (U.S. Air Force photo by Jaima Fogg)

WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio -- Seven civilian personnel completed a John C. Maxwell Mastermind communication course facilitated by Air Force Materiel Command in September.

The course, based on Maxwell’s book, “Everyone Communicates, Few Connect,” was led by Mary Moore, an alternate master process officer for AFMC. She was challenged with removing barriers and improving communication among process managers and practitioners.

As a certified John C. Maxwell coach, trainer and speaker, she thought the course would be a great opportunity to reinvest her knowledge and skills in others.

“As we’re looking at improving and innovating in the Air Force, we also need to make sure that we are communicating and connecting with our Airmen,” Moore said. “It’s all about making sure that you are connecting and communicating and ensuring that your influence is effective.”

Participants from Wright-Patterson, Tinker, Edwards, Eglin, Holloman and Hill Air Force bases virtually attended nine weekly sessions. Each hourlong class focused on one area of communication that built on the previous week’s lessons.

“It was pretty amazing that we have people from everywhere joining us. And the great thing is that we got to learn from their experiences,” Moore said.

Tia Locklear, a process manager for the 88th Force Support Squadron, was one of the seven who completed the course. Initially, she enrolled to improve her public-speaking skills but realized it was more about connecting with the people she was speaking to.

She said she is now more mindful of her mannerisms and tone.

“You can start using what you learn the day that you start the class,” Locklear said “You get a chance to actually self-reflect and practice the things that you learn, and it makes you more mindful than you were before about certain things that you do.”

Locklear said she learned to be more aware of her communication style and focus on meeting people where they are and not assuming her audience “should just know” what she is talking about. It’s important for speakers to be able to identify if the audience is not receiving the message and give them the attention where it’s needed, not just spit the message out and hope they get it, she added.

“This is a skill set,” she said of the course. “It’s a great foundation for communicating, and if people get the opportunity to take the course, it’s worth it.”

Locklear received a completion certificate and coin. The others were:

  • Larry Fisher, Tinker AFB, Oklahoma
  • Irene Lyte-Haven, Holloman AFB, New Mexico
  • Tony Parenzin, Hill AFB, Utah
  • Britney Reed, Edwards AFB, California
  • Kathy Reid, Eglin AFB, Florida
  • David Sparks, Tinker AFB

Focused Mastermind training for commanders, supervisors and Airmen will be offered in upcoming sessions. Email AFMC.CDX.Workflow@us.af.mil for more information.