Conforming and Questioning in Safety

  Cass Sunstein’s tidy little book Conformity (2019) raises many issues that people in safety need to think about. The book starts by discussing the many social influences that affect decision making, demonstrating that the simplistic ideas of BBS and zero are nonsense. I have mapped many of these social influences here as a free …

Rhetoric and Reality in Safety

Rhetoric and Reality in Safety Once upon a time the word ‘rhetoric’ was equated with philosophy and the art of persuasion. It has now degenerated into meaning little more than eloquence with words or linguistic style. It has lost its meaning of being about genuine thinking and purpose. More so, these days rhetoric often refers …

Framing Your World

Framing Your World In some of our education programs we focus on messaging. Messaging is what lies underneath language and what is embedded in discourse. Sometimes the way we ‘frame’ language and ‘prime’ our audience contradicts the very message we want to send. This is often not intentional but is a hidden by-product focusing too …

The Art of the Open Question

The Art of the Open Question One of the big challenges in communication workshops we do is helping develop the art of open questioning. It is important at the outset in this discussion not confuse the skill of asking a question as a ‘technique’ with the disposition of ‘suspending agenda’ and relinquishing control. If you …

The Language of Priorities

The Language of Priorities I spoke to a Safety Manager in a construction company recently who comes from one of these ‘safety is our number one priority’ organisations. He told me the reality was that: ‘concrete is our number one priority’. All semiotics have a profound affect on the human unconscious. Words, images, signs, gestures, …