LISTENING TO BUILD SAFETY CULTURE
- LISTENING IS VITAL TO COMMUNICATION. Communication is the two-way flow of information and ideas. Without listening, it is not an exchange, but a monologue.
- LISTENING AND HEARING ARE DIFFERENT. Listening is the intake of information, but hearing is the assimilation of that information into a usable format so that you can do something with it.
- LISTENING IS A TOOL THAT HELPS US FORMULATE THE BEST SAFETY POLICIES. Everyone should have input, and we should listen to all of it. The perspectives of a seasoned veteran when compared to a new employee will be very different, but both have value. Learning to discern what they are telling us instead of what they are saying is critical. Understanding the context that it is coming from is key. Knowing the risks of each group is also a key factor. For instance, a more experienced worker more than likely knows the safety rules and his or her environment. Their issue will be complacency. They will grow so used to the sights, sounds, and smells that they are commonplace. They will become casual. When you listen to this man or woman, are you hearing that they are focused? A younger person may be overwhelmed by the same sights, sounds, and smells. Their safety needs stem from lack of knowledge and experience. They may forget things that the older worker doesn’t even need to remember anymore. In some cases, a special hardhat color signifies a probationary or new worker. This tells others to help watch out for them.
- SOMETIMES THE PERSON WHO NEEDS TO LISTEN THE MOST ACTUALLY LISTENS THE LEAST. We assume that these people do not care about what needs to be heard. Regardless of your position or place within the company, you should engage other workers in the safety discussion.
- YOU EXPECT OTHERS TO LISTEN TO YOU, SO SHOW THAT COURTESY to others. When others see that we are not listening, they stop talking. You could lose vital feedback simply by displaying apathy.
- TRUE LISTENING AND ASKING QUESTIONS WILL ENCOURAGE MORE TALKING. The best way to get someone to talk is to show a sincere interest in them. Few people will sit quietly if someone truly wants their opinion.
- REPEAT BACK WHAT YOU ARE HEARING TO BE SURE YOU GOT IT RIGHT. Listen, repeat, confirm. You may find this to be most helpful with people you don’t know, but it may interest you to know that it also works great with those you know well. Differences in communication styles can be easily bridged, and many disasters averted, by repeating things back to each other until you are crystal clear about what is being said and heard.
- LISTEN, THEN LISTEN SOME MORE. And then, listen even more. There is an old saying that God gave us two ears and one mouth for a reason. You should listen twice as much as you speak. This old adage will serve you well as you try to promote the safety culture in your work environment.
Complete Safety is here to help promote safety in your daily processes. Give us a call today so that we can build a program based on your needs. You talk, we listen.
We are located at 108 KOL Drive in Broussard, LA near Lafayette and can be reached at 337-330-2933 or on our website at: www.complete-safety.net.
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