Emotional Intelligence class enhances unit cohesion
By Senior Airman Jesenia Landaverde, 92nd Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs
/ Published February 20, 2019
FAIRCHILD AIR FORCE BASE, Wash. -- Technical skills can be learned in school, from books and be defined, measured and listed on a resume. In contrast, emotional skills are often learned by trial and error and shape a person’s ability to interact effectively in social situations.
Fairchild provides installation employees the opportunity to enhance their emotional skills in a bimonthly Emotional Intelligence (EQ) resiliency class, an off-the-shelf course developed by TalentSmart. EQ teaches people how to recognize and manage their emotions.
“Everyone has emotions,” said Dawn Altmaier, 92nd Air Refueling Wing installation resiliency specialist. “EQ can help you understand your emotions and how they manifest. We sometimes think our emotions take over but there are always warning signs, whether it’s in your gut, hands, head or throat.”
The EQ model contains four parts: self-awareness, self-management, social awareness and relationship management. These four parts are based upon a connection between personal and social competence.
Airmen participating in the class must perform an online Emotional Intelligence Appraisal before attending. The appraisal reveals the individual’s EQ skill levels and suggests what areas can be improved.
“This class can help students understand how their emotions affect their relationships, no matter where they scored in the survey,” Altmaier said. “It’s not about getting along with everyone - rainbows and sunshine. All emotions are valid. You have a right to be angry, but you’re not right to belittle someone because you’re angry. Take action to manage your emotions for a positive outcome.”
Government employees and Airmen from all ranks and Air Force Specialty Codes can attend the class. Instructors strategically assign students their seats to add diversity to class discussions. Also, no student wears their military uniform to create a more comfortable class environment between enlisted and commissioned Airmen.
“This provides Airmen the opportunity to talk about emotions. There’s a thought that if the military wanted you to have emotions they would have issued them to you,” Altmaier said. “This class is a chance to be real. It allows everyone to learn from each other and share experiences.”
Air Mobility Command Headquarters performed an evaluation to rate the effectiveness of the EQ course at Fairchild. Over 100 students volunteered to perform a three-month post-class assessment in 2018 . The study indicated students had an increase of 5.87 points on their overall EQ score, indicating an increase of EQ in their behavior in and outside of work.
“The air mobility mission involves teams,” said Col. J. Scot Heathman, 92nd ARW vice commander. “There is not one individual job that gets the mission done. We need Airmen from all ranks to be effective at the unit level, and that starts with having a good relationship with their coworkers.”
Nearly 680 Airman have completed the Emotional Intelligence class since it made its debut at Fairchild in April 2016. Team Fairchild encourages a culture of resilient Airmen who are strong in emotional skills to promote an environment of professional Airmanship and ensure success in executing Rapid Global Mobility.