Focusing, Inspiring, Motivating and Developing Airmen

Chief Master Sgt. Stuart Allison is the command chief of the 509th Mission Support Group at Whiteman Air Force Base, Mo. He is currently deployed with the 407th Air Expeditionary Group as its superintendent. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Keenan Berry/Released)

Chief Master Sgt. Stuart Allison is the superintendent of the 509th Mission Support Group at Whiteman Air Force Base, Mo.(U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Keenan Berry/Released)

WHITEMAN AIR FORCE BASE, Mo. -- We all know the importance of feedback. Feedback facilitates a meaningful and purposeful dialogue between supervisors and the Airmen they lead. Feedback forces supervisors to get to know their subordinates by asking deeper questions about finances, relationships and other things that can impact an Airman's career.

I want to highlight an additional strategy to focus, inspire, motivate and develop Airmen -- if you want to get better results then have to ask better questions.

Asking your Airmen powerful questions will prompt them to evaluate their actions and motivations. From there, they will gain insight not just into what to improve but how to improve. You
will also learn more about your Airman and gain a deeper understanding of who they are. An example of questions could be:

- What do you treasure most about the Air Force?
- What is interesting about the Air Force?
- What are you excited about in the Air Force?
- How can you add value to the Air Force daily?
- How can you innovate and improve mission effectiveness?
- How can you inspire, motivate, and develop others?
- How can you grow and develop daily?
- How can you enjoy the Air Force?
- What is your outcome today/right now?
- Why are you so lucky to get to do this?
- How can you enjoy today fully?
- How can you feel even more amazing right now?

Our lives move fast in the Air Force. A week or a month goes by in a blur. When we stop to reflect, everything slows down and comes back into focus. Asking your Airmen these questions will allow them to slow down, reflect and refocus.

Your Airmen's answers will provide a deeper understanding and dialogue that will enhance the feedback you give.