August 23 2020
By: Terry L. Mathis
I hear leaders admit they need to be better at communicating safety. But when I probe to see what they mean by "better" they usually indicate "more." Effective communication is not just a matter of quantity. Truly effective communication has four necessary characteristics:
- 1. It is clear — straight forward, active person, free of complexity and dual meaning
- 2. It is concise — enough information to prompt action but not enough to overload and overwhelm
- 3. It is two-way — the speaker allows the recipient to question or confirm understanding
- 4. It is non-threatening — feeling threatened or disrespected shuts down receipt of information
Leaders who want to communicate safety better should focus on the quality and not just the quantity of their messaging. Try testing you last communication against these characteristics and give yourself both a score and an improvement plan.
Terry Mathis, Founder and retired CEO of ProAct Safety, has served as a consultant and advisor for top organizations the world over. A respected strategist and thought leader, Terry has authored five books, numerous articles, videos and blogs, and is known for his dynamic and engaging presentations. EHS Today has named him one of the '50 People Who Most Influenced EHS' four consecutive times. Business leaders and safety professionals seek Terry's practical insight and unique ability to introduce new perspectives that lead to real change.