We need to get back to basics with our communication

  • Published
  • By Senior Master Sgt. Chad Heilman
  • 62nd Maintenance Group
Have you ever been blindsided by your boss wanting to know why you didn't get something done that he or she sent to you via email? Have you ever blindsided one of your Airmen? How effective was the communication?

In today's day and age, it is easier to send an e-mail request than it is to pick up the phone or go to the person directly. Or is it? How much time would have been saved if the message had been delivered effectively and confusion clarified the first time?

We have become so dependent on computers and electronic communication that in some instances we are losing the ability to interact socially. Would we ask Airman Snuffy how her family is doing via email? Of course not. So why would we tell her to replace a part, fix a member's military pay, or prescribe the right medication to a patient via email?

We hear it all the time: Get out from behind your desk and see how our Airmen are doing. If we do not establish a rapport with our Airmen, how do we expect that they will be comfortable to come to leadership for help when they need it the most, or to do the right thing when no one is looking? How do we know that our "virtual" taskers will get accomplished right the first time?

In taking the time to have face-to-face communication with each other, we build a solid working relationship with our subordinates and our leaders. We cannot see if Airman Snuffy is having a bad day, and leadership cannot see that our plate is too full via email or even over the phone. If it's that important, get up find the person and deliver the message personally. Getting back to basics is a term we hear all the time. Well it's time we get back to the basics of communication - face-to-face communication!