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Mentoring with a twist

SCHRIEVER AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- In its own creative way, Team Schriever recently introduced an Airmen professional development opportunity with a twist --Speed Mentoring.

"Through Speed Mentoring, we are augmenting professional development by deliberately mentoring Airmen," said Master Sgt. Heather Abney, Schriever career assistance advisor. "This provides our Airmen an opportunity to interact with our chief master sergeants. Sometimes, they are hard to track down because they are busy so we are bringing them into one location to be able to answer people's questions directly."

In a method that is similar to speed dating, Schriever chiefs serve as mentors with one chief per table and answer Airmen's prepared questions. After approximately five minutes, a chime will sound and the chiefs rotate tables. This goes on until the end of the session.

"The Airmen can ask any Air Force-related issues including the mission, issues, professional development as well as Schriever topics," Abney said. "And the chiefs provide a candid answer as well as their perspective."

During the first Speed Mentoring session in June, the participants asked various questions such as "How did you become a chief?" "How do you relate to the current Air Force Command Chief Master Sergeant's views on the Air Force?" and "How do you think the new enlisted performance report is going to take effect?"

"There were some good questions," said Abney. "I think our Airmen like honest answers coming straight from the chiefs. They definitely have the knowledge and experience. A lot of people want to hear what the chiefs have to say. They are at the highest enlisted rank and they have been around the service a lot longer than the attendees."

One of the attendees during the session was Master Sgt. Jeffrey Brown, first sergeant for the 50th Mission Support Group and 50th Space Wing staff agency. Brown said it was a good mentoring experience.

"All I can say is Speed Mentoring was great," he said. "It was a perfect way to get face-to-face mentorship with your senior enlisted leaders. This will go well with all Airmen across all ranks."

The next Speed Mentoring session is noon to 1 p.m. Aug. 7 at the Satellite Dish Dining Facility. Airmen must sign up at https://cs3.eis.af.mil/sites/OO-ED-SP-14/default.aspx. All enlisted Airmen are highly encouraged to attend.

According to Abney, enlisted leaders plan to expand the Speed Mentorship session to include all Airmen on base. Senior NCOs are also conducting another session for staff and technical sergeants, who will then in turn provide mentorship opportunities to junior enlisted Airmen.

"This is really important for Airmen's professional development," Abney said. "It gives them a different perspective and it can start a mentoring chain. I think everybody needs at least one mentor in their life. It could be a cross mentor, or somebody that is above them in rank. I think it's good to have a mentor to be able to bounce ideas off each other."

For more information, call Abney at 567-5927.
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