It doesn’t matter if you are a front line worker, office staff, supervisor, manager or CEO at some point during the day we all put ourselves in the line of fire and we don’t realize it. So why do we put ourselves in the line of fire? Could it be complacency, unfamiliar with the task, rushing or tired?
So what’s it going to take to stay out of the Line of Fire?
We all come to work each and every day wanting to go home the way we came to work to see our families. When we arrive to work and use the 360 Mindset we can be aware of everything going on around us. The “360 mindset” is a philosophy that can easily be applied to our daily lives.
Three Obstacles in Situational Awareness
- Not Monitoring the Baseline. If you are not monitoring the baseline, you will not recognize the presence of changes that cause a disturbance. One of the keys to personal security is learning to look for and recognize these disturbances. Some disturbances are dangerous, some are just entertaining.
- Normalcy Bias. Even though we may sense something that could be alerting us of danger, many times we will ignore the alert due to the desire for it NOT to be a danger. We want things to be OK, so we don’t accept that the stimulus we’re receiving represents a threat. We have a bias towards the status quo. Nothing has ever happened when I do this, so nothing is likely to happen.
- Focus Lock. This is some form of distraction that is so engaging that it focuses all of our awareness on one thing and by default, blocks all the other stimulus in our environment. This is when someone is texting and walks into a fountain. The smart phone is the single most effective focus lock ever invented. It robs us of our awareness in times and places where it’s needed most.
Three Effective Techniques to Stay Aware
- Monitor the Baseline. At first, this will require conscious effort. But after a while, you will be able to monitor the baseline subconsciously.
- Fight Normalcy Bias.
- Be a little Paranoid. A few potential threats that you think may be dangerous and turn out not to be is better than not recognizing a threat at all.
- Look at every disturbance as a potential threat.
- Any time you’ve identified a potential threat, scan the rest of your environment to see what you’re missing, or how you should proceed.
- Developing awareness is a skill. At first it will seem very awkward and self-conscious, but with practice, it will become seamless and subconscious. You will start to pick up on more and more threats and more complex stimuli. Eventually, people may think you are psychic as they notice how you seem to sense events before they unfold.
IT ALL STARTS WITH AWARENESS!
Think about your day to day work
- Where may your actions contradict your commitment to safety?
- When are you rushing, frustrated, fatigued and complacent?
- When are you in a state of mind that may cause you to not notice others working safely?