Safety Bulletin: Action Inquiry

Imagine having a safety conversation purely with the intent of understanding behaviour. Not to fix the behaviour that we perceived we had observed.

How many times have you told someone to wear their PPE, only to come back 40 minutes later to find they have reverted to the same behaviour? What if instead we simply asked why they weren’t using the PPE. Maybe it’s the wrong PPE, poor quality or the wrong size. What if we took this one step further and asked why the person didn’t speak up before they were challenged; seeking to understand the instilled culture fostering a silent workforce and the normalisation of risk.

This is called triple loop feedback, adopting a different quality of ongoing awareness in order to sustainably improve our actions, performance, strategies and attention. It tests the legitimacy and integrity of our actions.

Next time you are in the field having a safety conversation, try to move from the observation mind set into the deeper action inquiry. Improve our safety performance not just in that moment but by challenging and understanding the root cause of the behaviour. How much more powerful would it be to adjust strategies based on all of the information, not just the optics of what your bias and perceptions are portraying?

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