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Course helps individuals discover themselves, enhance interpersonal skills

  • Published
  • By Mary McHale
  • 1st Air Force (Air Forces Northern) Public Affairs
Several members of 1st Air Force (Air Forces Northern) joined some members of the 186th Air Operations Group, Meridian, Miss., July 12, to share a class about a personality-assessment tool meant to help people enhance both their professional and interpersonal relationships.

Known as “Four Lenses 4-Temperament Discovery,” the tool uses color-coded cards -- with pictures on one side and corresponding personality descriptions on the other. These cards serve as “lenses” that focus on particular personal characteristics based on a brief, three-step exercise score. From there, subsequent exercises help the participant expand this knowledge by determining its meaning and effects during interactions with others.

The class was facilitated by Capt Sherri Stanfill, Deputy, Flight Chief Program and Plans, 101st Air Communications Squadron, and Senior Master Sgt. Tricia DeLuna, Manager, Military Personnel Division, 1st AF (AFNORTH). Participants began the process individually, with the aid of Stanfill and DeLuna if there’s any questions, and then moved into a group discussion format.

DeLuna, who has taught the class several times previously, said she likes to host the class because it provides both military and civilians “practical professional development” that ultimately benefits the organization.

“The Four Lenses is a proven personality assessment which helps organizations build a solid understanding of the talent and potential of its individuals,” DeLuna said. “Participants enjoy learning not only about themselves but about the values and personality temperaments of their coworkers. They also like the group interaction with their particular color group and with the class as a whole.”

That’s what happened for Master Sgt. Sheri Burkes, 186th AOG Personnel and Manpower, as the class helped her confirm some of her thoughts.

“The Fours Lenses class was very enlightening,” Burkes said. “I thought I was a little more fun, but I found myself to be more structured. I knew I liked structure, and this class just proved it. It was an eye-opening experience.”

According to the Four Lenses guide book, revealed principles help “individuals communicate with others in a way that fosters mutual understanding and acceptance.” Additionally, the guide’s introduction advises that, “…unless we plan on living in total isolation from the rest of the world, the more we know about ourselves and others, the more skilled we will become in accomplishing what matters most in life.”

Stanfill agreed with that description.

“Whether personal or professional, one of the most valuable lessons in life is relationships with others,” Stanfill said. “Four lenses training is excellent tool to enable participants to communicate more effectively, appreciate the differences in others, and improve relationships...for free.”

Staff Sgt. Matthew Betts, a 186th AOG personnel journeyman found the experience valuable as well.

“I thoroughly enjoyed the experience of the Four Lenses class,” he said. “I thought that it was a great way to understand the values of Airmen not only from my respective unit but Airmen from other units as well. I feel this class not only reinforced values I was already aware of, but also made me aware of values I didn't think about. I would recommend all supervisors and newly acquired Airmen or civilians take this class as an ice breaker.”