Chaplains foster wing's communication skills

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Randall Moose
  • 301st Fighter Wing Public Affairs

Effective communication is essential to social, romantic, and professional relationships.

Within the armed forces, that same communication is just as critical. Mission success depends on clear and understandable information being sent and received. It is an art form military members must learn using tools and resources available to them to improve their communication skills.

 One such resource made available to 301st Fighter Wing Airmen, as well as their civilian counterparts, was The Five Love Languages class taught over the past two unit training assembly weekends here.

Attendees had the opportunity to learn their languages, as well as those of their peers in attendance. The class began with each person completing a self-evaluation through a series of 30 preference questions. Once totaled, the individual would see what languages they scored highest in of the five languages: words of affirmation, quality time, receiving gifts, acts of service, and physical touch.

“Communication is the basis of understanding and cooperation,” said Maj. Jonathan Farquhar, 301 FW deputy wing chaplain and class discussion leader. “As a chaplain, I have the opportunity to speak to people about many various types of issues.”

One of the more common forms of stress for many people come from the workplace, he added.

“In my experience, most of the interpersonal issues that come up in the office are simply miscommunication,” Farquhar said. “Most of us genuinely want to get along with our co-workers and find it incredibly frustrating, when despite our best efforts, we seem unable to bridge that gap.”

One participant echoed that sentiment.

“My biggest take away from these discussions was communication is a process and a journey,” Master Sgt. Jeremy Roman 301 FW public affairs media operations NCOIC said. “It’s so quick and easy to get lost in our own preferences, we often forget that the person we are trying to talk with is an individual all their own. Taking the time to acknowledge that and working through the process, as painful as it may be, will get us all where we want to go… which is pulling in the same direction.”

If we try to speak our partner’s or co-worker’s language sincerely, there will be victories and failures, and growing pains because this is a process which takes resiliency, but a process well worth the effort, he said.


“The 5 Love Languages” was written by Dr. Gary Chapman in 1995. It acknowledges the varied individual personality types and how people can communicate more effectively with each other.

 “We naturally tend to ‘speak’ to others in the language we prefer,” said Farquhar. “The problem is, many of us don’t realize that our co-workers and significant others (just as naturally) ‘speak’ another language.

Although there is an emphasis on significant others, the same principles can be used to initiate positive professional work environments by understanding the differences of co-workers’ expectations and needs.

Even though we all may speak the same (English) language, that does not mean we all communicate the same,” said Farquhar. “[Taking] this concept can help us to further refine our understanding of how we naturally communicate through acts of service, giving gifts, words of affirmation, etc. When we can learn to understand each other’s languages better, better communication is the natural result.”

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