Much has been written about effective communication, but my primary definition is the sharing of information between two or more people where the intended information is incorrectly transferred.
In security mode, effective communication is deeply important, and the cost of inefficient communication is high. If the sharing of information is not clear, injuries, accidents, injuries and deaths can occur.
Communication is part of the work experience of every working family member even before the person joins the company. Consider:
Job description – A job description that warns a candidate of an opportunity should include safe job expectations at the beginning of creating the foundation of the organization’s safety culture.
Based on my 30 years of experience, the best job descriptions include information about the safety culture of the hiring company to help identify the candidate’s suitability for the culture.
Interview – The interview should include discussion points about the candidate’s personal safety experiences, philosophies, and specific safety features (e.g., First Aid Provider Certificate). The interview is also an opportunity for the interviewer to share the company’s security culture and values and to ask questions about how the candidate handles or handles security situations. Asking the right questions and listening to the candidate’s answers will help set the tone for the company’s security expectations and identify the right people.
Induction – Starting a new job is perhaps the greatest opportunity to influence and instill a safety culture in the mind of a new member of the work family. Discussing safety expectations, processes, and standards of conduct should be part of the new work family member. In addition to other company policies, boarding provides basic safety training as part of creating a new impression on a new family member of the company. Onboarding is one of the most significant experiences that a person remembers in their working life. I remember the first and first weeks of all my roles.
We can all use a coach or mentor in any part of our lives and this relationship is based on the ability to communicate effectively
In internship – Internships (OJT) are important because they take into account the learning of a new family member in the start guide and make it suitable for what is happening in the real workplace. I remember being the head of the HSE at an oil and gas service company to which my predecessor shared all my knowledge and learning with me to support my success. Effective communication includes what is expected and what is not.
Scope of work – Coordinating discussions about the work to be done is very important regardless of the job (eg simple – complex). Who, what, where, how, when and especially why, are very important. Harmonizing and understanding the scope of work does not happen alone. A fully harmonized scope of work is achieved through planning through job descriptions, contracts, standard operating procedures, signs or labels, co-operation meetings, discussions, work permits, and oral inspections of the workplace and last-minute safety assessments. The first thing I ask for during occupational safety assessments, accident investigations, and risk analyzes includes all the documents that describe the scope of the work.
Coaching, Mentoring, and Performance Reviews – Work family members should receive ongoing reviews of how they understand what has been reported about the work being done, how it is being done safely, and how they are working safely. Initial logins are coaching sessions as the relationship is evolving, but after a while, these logins become mentoring sessions. I have relied on coaches and mentors for the rest of my life for the sport because I am a firefighter, security professional and leading business partner. We can all use a coach or mentor in some part of our lives and this relationship is based on the ability to communicate effectively.
Effective communication elements:
• Active listening to others is vital to an effective communication process. Listening with an open mind, understanding what the other person is saying, and confirming that you hear and feel that what they are sharing is important.
• Responsibility means that others feel comfortable and motivated to be with you. Effective communication cannot take place if the sender of the data is not considered approachable. Responsibility means that family members feel you care about what they say, respect them as individuals, and actively listen to them. Many years ago at a safety conference, I met an electrician who asked me, when I said I was a safety professional, “Are you a safety man whose people want to see the future or hate to see the future”? In other words, “was I reachable …?”
Demonstrating empathy or compassion when needed is very important in effective communication with others. Empathy involves seeing things from the perspective of others. Compassion can be related if you have had the same or very similar experience. Effective communication in a safe state depends on the proper use of empathy and compassion.
• Using emotional intelligence and responding to the emotions of others while acknowledging yours is important to communicate effectively. Failure to use mental intelligence can lead to ineffective communication. Body language can send messages that are unintentional (e.g., arms crossed, eyebrows, looking outside the communicator, and others).
Security communication is typically convincing, on three levels:
Logos – Logically enticing a family member to listen and embrace communication (i.e., provide facts, information, and accident inspections)
Pathos – An emotional appeal to a family member to listen and embrace communication (i.e., linking an accident to a personal story)
Ethos – Ethically appealing to a family member to listen to and embrace communication (i.e. 10 out of 10 safety professionals agree that effective communication is very important in accident prevention)
In security mode, effective communication is not only best practice, it is also very important. If the sharing of information is not clear and feedback is not listened to, injuries, accidents, injuries and deaths can occur. Effective communication can save lives.