Social Psychology of Risk Doability

Social Psychology of Risk Doability

imageOne of the recurring criticisms appropriated towards all I do is that the Social Psychology of Risk (SPoR) is not doable. Remarkably this comes strongest from people who have never done anything in SPoR.

SPoR is about putting more energy and activity into what works rather than simply producing more things that only make you Paper Safe. BTW, a read of Greg’s latest book is essential reading for safety people ( ).

From my perspective I have never been busier. My work expands exponentially each year with people in Europe, Canada, USA and Asia running SPoR programs with organisations that make a difference in how people tackle risk. For example, one of my associates in Vancouver has been asked recently to work with a Tier One steel company in the USA, this is the attraction of people who have become qualified in SPoR. After a while even the most conscientious organisations get sick and tired of brutalizing people in the name of safety.

I often receive calls from organisations who have emptied a fortune on classic safety policing silver bullets and BBS-BS that finally wish to humanize their approach to risk. If SPoR was not doable I wouldn’t be busy, my associates and I wouldn’t have work. So, sorry to all the social media safety experts out there, SPoR is doable.

Video 19 in the Risky Conversations series is all about how SPoR is Doable.

19. DOABILITY from Human Dymensions on Vimeo.

BTW, if you want to get in on the next Due Diligence workshop in Sydney with Greg Smith and myself all the details are here:

As I head closer towards retirement I am moving many SPoR programs to Canberra ( ). This means I fly less and others fly more. It also means that less people may do SPoR programs as I move away from large cities and International travel. So be it.

From my perspective, I now have a training facility in Canberra and already have a group of people flying out from Europe, South Africa and Canada for programs for 2019. You are welcome to join in.

There are of course many others who are qualified to do SPoR programs and have access to all the SPoR Intellectual Property, and you can contact them here: or trainers here: If you would like to learn about SPoR or become qualified in SPoR you can make contact here:

Dr Rob Long

Dr Rob Long

Expert in Social Psychology, Principal & Trainer at Human Dymensions
Dr Rob Long

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Dr Rob Long
PhD., MEd., MOH., BEd., BTh., Dip T., Dip Min., Cert IV TAA, MRMIA Rob is the founder of Human Dymensions and has extensive experience, qualifications and expertise across a range of sectors including government, education, corporate, industry and community sectors over 30 years. Rob has worked at all levels of the education and training sector including serving on various post graduate executive, post graduate supervision, post graduate course design and implementation programs.

2 Replies to “Social Psychology of Risk Doability”

  1. There was a week, back in June 2013, when I thought that I knew a thing or two about risk and safety… I then attended ‘Winter School’, the first module in the post-graduate diploma in SPoR.

    I recall then, that my most common response during the first week of learning and of challenge to my simplistic views, was; “yeah but…”

    At the time, I could make some sense of the different way of thinking, but there were also many questions, including “yeah but…. how do you do this?”

    Fast forward just 5.5 years and how life has changed….

    I now live (more comfortably) in a world where questions and critical thinking are not only welcomed, but the ‘norm’ and appreciated.

    Over the past few years I’ve been able to apply (‘doability’) the learning from SPoR in the context of risk and safety. I’ve also had the privilege of helping others learn to do the same. Through this, I’ve learned too, that mentoring is very different to policing…

    This included working with one organisation that has more than 2500 employees and 25+ sites who instilled SPoR thinking and methodology into their practice, without the need to call it a ‘thing’ or ‘program’. Rather, perhaps it is ‘a way of being’?

    On the flip side, I also worked with another, very large blue-chip organisation, that thought it wanted something ‘different’, but in reality, were just looking for another badge to feel better about how they ‘manage’ their people. As an interesting aside (although not all together unsurprising) this organisation paid ‘zero’ tax in the last financial year. It seems that ‘zero’ means more to them than they are able to realise…

    These days, I apply (i.e. ‘doability’), SPoR in the social services sector, helping our team to learn, grow and develop; all while supporting others at a time and when they need it the most.

    SPoR has helped me to learn and think in other areas also too; for e.g. while completing a Diploma in Counselling in 2018. It’s also helped me to move to a new post-graduate Masters program which I’m looking forward to commencing in 2019.

    There seems no end to the possibilities of learning… Is a trans-disciplinary approach needed?

    I can make sense of those who also ask; “yeah but…” in relation to SPoR. However, I encourage you to move beyond this point of dissonance and be open to not only a new way of thinking, but possibly a new ‘way of being’.

    “Yeah but…” 🙂

    1. Thanks Rob, how encouraging to read how this change has made such a difference. I’m just privileged to be a facilitator and agent for that dissonance. We all are so rewarded when we join in any learning journey. That’s the meaning of vocation.
      I did a language audit in a mine yesterday and when asked the 20 people what safety is about they all came out with the usuals: PPE, regulation blah blah blah! There were 80 words on the wall and not one was ‘helping’, ‘care’ or ‘learning’. What an indictment of an industry that brags about keeping people safe.
      Yes, it is all about ‘a way of being’ from brutalism to community, from behaviourism to humanising, from religion to meaning, from engineering to organics and from absolutism to realism. So hard for people to let go, when so much is invested in the delusions of the WHS curriculum.
      Thanks for your story, so pleased to share in it. You are walking a new way in the community sector now and so rewarding to apply the realities to all you ‘meet’.

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