OC-ALC Partnership Council hosts training seminar

James Schmidt, American Federation of Government Employees Local 916 president, left, and John Over, Oklahoma City Air Logistics Center executive director, discuss new ideas for continuing successful communication during a break in recent leadership training held off base Monday and Tuesday.  Kathy Kelley was one of two instructors who led union and Tinker attendees through lessons that included focused listening, respectful resolution and conflict management. (Air Force photo by Margo Wright)

James Schmidt, American Federation of Government Employees Local 916 president, left, and John Over, Oklahoma City Air Logistics Center executive director, discuss new ideas for continuing successful communication during a break in recent leadership training held off base Monday and Tuesday. Kathy Kelley was one of two instructors who led union and Tinker attendees through lessons that included focused listening, respectful resolution and conflict management. (Air Force photo by Margo Wright)

TINKER AIR FORCE BASE -- Twenty Tinker and union officials attended a two-day Oklahoma City Air Logistics Center Partnership Council training seminar Monday and Tuesday at Rose State College.
   Held at the Professional Training and Education Center, a two-woman team from Colorado-based Introspect International taught students the mindset of the Leadership program. The seminar is based on a concept of personal leadership to better aid the relationship between Tinker Air Force Base and two groups that represent Tinker bargaining unit employees: American Federation of Government Employees Local 916 and the International Association of Firefighters Local F-211.
   "It's really challenging people to look at themselves and how they interact with one another," said Kathy Kelley, Introspect International chief executive officer. "It's a very high-level of living because instead of being a victim to anything that has gone on in the past, it's 'in this moment I'm going to choose to behave in a certain kind of way.'"
   Ten Tinker officials including John Over, OC-ALC executive director, and Col. Mona Lisa D. Tucker, 72nd Air Base Wing vice commander, attended the seminar. Ten senior union officials also attended.
   "I think it's an incredible exercise and partnership that teaches people to break down their barriers and break down their walls to come together and realize the goals they have instead of the objects in the way," said James Schmidt, AFGE Local 916 president, who attended a similar class in November 2006.
   To break down barriers and better communicate with one another, the two groups intertwined into smaller teams and exercised newly-taught lessons including focused listening.
   Ms. Kelley said they talked about the lesson and then tested the plan of action on each other.
   "The real value of this program, for this group or any group, is the common language," Ms. Kelley said. "They have, in two days, gone through a common experience and in the class they have learned formulas, processes and models."
   The Mindset of the Leadership program within AFMC began approximately two years ago when the AFMC Partnership Council held a similar seminar at Kirtland AFB, N.M., for council members.
   After receiving rave reviews, AFMC officials gained a contract and offered the course to other bases, said Clayton Stastny, OC-ALC Labor Relations officer.