June 06 2022
By: Shawn M. Galloway
It is easy to become distracted. It happens to the best of us. While annoying when it takes us out of being in the flow, it can be deadly in the wrong situations or environments. In a discussion with a group of line worker (electric utility) leaders on how to lead through distractions, an individual shared, "I was going through a divorce, and it was rough. The crew leader knew this and could see I wasn't all there. Initially, I was pissed he took me out of the bucket (bucket truck) for three weeks. It was probably the best thing for me." His leader did the right thing and was only able to because he knew him and what was going on in his world. The relationship built between employee and leader allowed for this.
The more you get to know your people, and things outside of work might be impacting them at work, the better you can help them perform to the best of their ability and sometimes even prevent catastrophic outcomes. Mistakes occur when our mind is not entirely on our task, some more deadly than others. Everyone falls victim to distractions. Don't be a victim because of those distractions.
"When there are thoughts, it is distraction: when there are no thoughts, it is meditation." — Ramana Maharshi
"You will never reach your destination if you stop and throw stones at every dog that barks." — Winston S. Churchill
Shawn M. Galloway is CEO of the global consultancy ProAct Safety. He is a trusted advisor, professional keynote speaker, and author of several bestselling books on safety strategy, culture, leadership, and behavior-based safety. He is a monthly columnist for several magazines and one of the most prolific contributors in the industry, having also authored over 700 podcasts, 200 articles, and 100 videos. Shawn has received awards and recognition for his significant contributions from the American Society of Safety Professionals, National Safety Council's Top 40 Rising Stars and Top Ten Speakers, EHS Today Magazine's 50 People Who Most Influenced EHS, ISHN Magazine's POWER 101 - Leaders of the EHS World and their newest list: 50 Leaders for Today and Tomorrow, Pro-Sapien's list of The Top 11 Health and Safety Influencers and is an Avetta Distinguished Fellow.