Be an Active Participant in Dialogue — It Takes Commitment; It Takes Work

[This is the introduction to the Latest Issue of Two More Chains.]

By Kelly Woods, Director
Wildland Fire Lessons Learned Center

In this issue of Two More Chains, we wrap-up the series presented over the last few issues exploring and defining the three Pillars of Learning: Inquiry, Opportunity, and Dialogue. These Pillars are described in detail in our guiding document Learning in the Wildland Fire Service. As this document states, continual learning is a critical component to our success in wildland fire. These Pillars, and their associated Tenets, provide a roadmap to maximize learning in our community.

The next several pages are dedicated to the Pillar “Dialogue”. Our cover story analyzes the lessons initiated by dialogue on a large fire more than a decade ago. While these lessons are not overt, they continue into present day. When I first read this piece, I found myself wondering what barriers have suppressed my dialogue—and consequently my learning—in similar scenarios in the past. To be an extrovert does not always mean capitalizing on all the meaningful dialogue opportunities life presents. I need to work on this.

In our “One of Our Own” feature, Heath Cota, U.S. Forest Service Branch Chief for Workforce Development, Training, and Education brilliantly describes dialogue as the sensemaking part of learning. Heath takes us on a very personal journey about leadership, learning, and his growth over decades spent in a fire career.

We hope you have found value in our exploration of the meaning and intent behind the three Pillars of Learning over the last year. While this deep dive into the space of what it means to be a learner in wildland fire is concluding in this issue of Two More Chains, the Wildland Fire Lessons Learned Center will continue to champion these concepts in our entire body of work.

The challenge for you to focus on learning remains. Be curious. Create and leverage learning opportunities. Be an active participant in dialogue, seeking understanding and perspectives. It takes work. It takes commitment.

The Wildland Fire Lessons Learned Center will always have your back.

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