Communication, the key to unlocking security – Occupational health and safety

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Communication, the key to unlocking security

Communication is more complex than just talking to each other, especially when it comes to staying safe.

Communication in any context is imperative for a successful work environment. Regardless of the position held, it is extremely important for the safety and development of a workplace, business, etc.

This was the subject of John McBride’s “Communication: the Key to Unlocking Safety” session at the American Society of Safety Professional Safety 2021 Professional Development Conference and Exhibition on Tuesday, September 14th.

McBride, who is the director and national recruiter for Consentium Search LLC, says “the challenge is how we learn to communicate”. People speak to be heard and listen to respond. Whereas we should speak to be understood and listen to understand. Communication skills include sending, receiving, non-verbal and thinking. Nonverbal, which means “don’t over-read other people’s body language, but be aware of your own”. Thinking prevents reaction and, most importantly, keeps your goal in mind. McBride also says he is aware that “perception is reality”.

“Each of the four (communication skills),” McBride said, “overlap… they’re always combined… even if you don’t think, you choose to think.

Communication skills are more important when opinions vary. When emotions are heightened, the stakes are high. The same message may unintentionally have a different delivery. For example, a statement might sound different from how a person reads it in their head compared to what it would sound if they were told the same message in person. This extends to others in different countries and how important it is to know that you cannot expect others to automatically know and speak the same language as you.

McBride concludes his session by saying, “You will never have 100 percent of people listening at 100 percent of their ability 100 percent of the time.”

To learn more about communication: the key to unlocking security, be sure to follow the session through the ASSP virtual conference portal. Sessions will be available for 60 days after the end of the conference.

About the Author

Shereen Hashem is the Associate Content Editor for Occupational Health & Safety magazine.


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