National Mentoring Month: Important Thoughts and Advice to Know as We Look Forward to 2022

  • Published
  • By Col. Chad Biehl, 932nd Airlift Wing vice commander
  • 932nd Airlift Wing

Looking forward to 2022, I want to share some discussion topics and general comments for your consideration. Please find innovative ways to have these conversations with your Airmen, peers and supervisors alike:

Leadership.  Be the type of leader you would want to be led by.

Emotional Intelligence.  Model the five key elements of an emotionally intelligent leader:  self-awareness, self-regulation, motivation, empathy and social skills.

Inspiration.  Inspiring others is great, but don't lose your ability to be inspired.

Professional Development Training.  Participate in professional development training.  If you don’t know where to start, begin by talking with your unit senior enlisted leadership about these training opportunities.

Get Outside Your Lane.  There are an abundance of wing boards, committees, councils, and programs to participate. As one resource, the Scott Bulletin, sent out regularly via your work e-mail, outlines various ways to participate in these groups and events.  Discuss with your supervisors ways to engage in these opportunities. 

The Smartest Person in the Room. Do you think you're the smartest person in the room? Think again! Embrace the talents of others and empower their strengths while problem solving.

Green Belt Certification Anyone? This internationally recognized certification allows participants to use Six Sigma tools to eliminate variation and standardize a process and lean initiatives designed to eliminate waste or non-value added steps from a process.  It will not only fulfill military requirements but also advance your civilian resume. Discuss with your commander and your unit Continuous Process Improvement (CPI) manager if pursuing this certification is right for you and your squadron. 

Other Certification and Education Opportunities.  There are many other certification and education opportunities if you reach out your supervisor or the Scott AFB Education office.  Some examples include Project Management Professional (PMP) and various undergraduate and graduate-level certificates and degrees.

Professional Military Education (PME).  Complete rank appropriate PME. There will never be an easy season to accomplish so just bite the bullet and jump in head first.

Police Yourself. How do you look in your uniform? Fitness is part of the military culture; embrace it, practice it, model it!

Model the Mentoring Triad. Be a mentor, have a mentor, grow and learn with your peers.

These are just a few things that are on my mind and I'm sure you could add to the list as well. Let's continue to be humble, engage with each other, improve our communication strategies with those we lead, and be intentional in our mentoring opportunities.