Communication is key to success

  • Published
  • By Maj. Cathy Anderson
  • 512th Mission Support Squadron commander
The key to success in your organization is communication. Do you communicate effectively within your squadron by keeping communication simple but crystal clear? I'm a huge fan of communicating too much information as opposed to communicating too little.

Anyone who works for me would confirm they hear this in every mentoring session. Whether you're a traditional reservist, an air reserve technician or a civilian working within the 512th Airlift Wing, I bet you would rate direct communication with your supervisor as a top priority to keep you engaged. We all want to be informed.

Being a parent has kicked up my communication skills more than just a notch. If you have kids, you've probably done the mad dash to a rescheduled soccer game, band practice or parent-teacher conference that your child forgot to tell you about until the last minute. Luckily, with children's schedules, the mix-ups in communication are more funny than harmful, like when I go to the Youth Center to pick up my son only to find out my husband picked him up earlier.

In the 512th Mission Support Squadron, we deal with miscommunication daily. Most official inquiries for wing reservists involve a remarkable amount of lack of communications, both written and verbal, within our squadrons. From Inspector General complaints to Congressional inquiries, miscommunication is a common theme; and, these items could've been resolved at a lower level if the issue had been caught early and addressed appropriately.

For a belated New Year's resolution, focus your squadron leadership, supervisors and fellow reservists on face-to-face communications. E-mail is not a substitute for sitting down with your folks for annual feedback and mentoring. Send an e-mail to someone down the hall or in the next office when necessary due to an official suspense; but, talk with them first, so they understand what is needed, when and why.

Ineffective communications cause confusion and lead to frustration. Get out there and start communicating in your unit today.