The power of a smile: Airmen receive training on communication and relationships

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Rito Smith
  • 6th Air Mobility Wing Public Affairs

The 6th Medical Group invited Rich Castellano, an author and double-board certified facial, plastic, and reconstruction surgeon out to MacDill Air Force Base, Florida, Mar. 26, 2018 to talk about effective communications skills and more specifically the power of a smile.

Castellano identifies himself as a doctor for doctors. He focused on one buzzword: emotional literacy.

“One thing I harp on is if you want to communicate effectively, then the relationship has to come first,” said Castellano. “When you have that good emotional literacy, people understand you are there for them and you care.

They can feel that, which makes your communication more accurate and better received.”

For the medical group, this training was to help them gain a different perspective and greater knowledge of verbal and non-verbal communication skills.

“I came into this not knowing what to expect,” said Master Sgt. Terrence Raybon, a flight chief of the clinical lab assigned to the 6th MDG. “For our career field, communication is how we get everything done between Airmen and the patients.”

During training, they focused on concepts like “it’s not what you say, but how you say it” and the ability to measure your non-verbal communication.

“How many times in your workplace do you hear ‘well I told them to do that and nothing got done,’ well that’s an example of what you say versus how you say it,” said Castellano. “What I’m teaching these Airmen is to build that relationship to know who is communicating effectively and whoever you are talking to is receiving what you’re saying.”

Airmen practiced many different exercises that allowed them to see first-hand how their non-verbal and verbal communication impacted the relationships they were trying to build.

“Our entire intent for this was not for customer service, but to facilitate communication training and make the customer interactions more pleasant all around,” said Col. Kevin Wright, the commander of the 6th MDG. “I am hoping these Airmen take the tools Castellano talked about and bring them back to their work sections to improve the interpersonal dynamic between themselves and the patients.”