April 10 2023
By: Shawn M. Galloway
How many people in your company thank the individuals leading safety meetings for their enjoyable experience?
If you have worked with me or heard me speak, I tell stories to help drive points home, as they tend to be more memorable than facts and figures. On a large client campus, completing a meeting on a strategy we were about to deploy, the conversations ran long due to one of these stories. The safety manager was due to lead a safety presentation to update the workforce on current safety performance and the company's new direction. Unfortunately, he did not have time to visit his office to gather his laptop containing his planned presentation, so he led the safety meeting without it.
This change in plans presented an opportunity for a more informal briefing, so he sat on the edge of the stage in an auditorium where these meetings typically took place. He spoke with the group about them and why they, as a group, were important. He also briefed on the new direction and elucidated the why for the new strategy. When he finished and dismissed the group, more than half of the attendees stayed behind to shake his hand and thank him for the message. Surprised by this positive response he had never received before, he inquired why so many people wanted to thank him. One individual spoke for the group: "Well, you really came across like you cared." The safety manager, taken aback, countered, "the only thing different about today is I didn't have the presentation on the current safety stats. I always tell you how much I care." The individual offered, "Ah, but what we hear is 'I care, about the numbers.'"
"We judge ourselves by our intentions and others by their actions." — Stephen Covey
"The text has disappeared under the interpretation." — Friedrich Nietzsche
"The business of business is relationships; the business of life is human connection." — Robin Sharma
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.