December 12 2022
By: Shawn M. Galloway
According to the Department of Energy's Handbook on Human Performance, two of the top ten error traps are imprecise communication and vague/incorrect guidance. How concisely do you communicate?
My wife and I recently had a longer-than-anticipated layover at the spectacular Singapore Changi Airport. With a lot of time available to us, we went about exploring the terminals within. There were many restaurant options, luxury brand stores, a hotel, movie theater, butterfly exhibit, cactus garden and several other features. A sight to see, recommended by friends, is the Jewel Changi, a nature-themed entertainment and retail complex containing the world's tallest indoor waterfall, surrounded by a terraced forest setting.
After a quick shower in the Singapore Airlines lounge and a few more hours before our next flight, we set off to find the Jewel; no, this isn't a lead into an Indiana Jones sequel. We identified the first airport staff available. Two ladies were conversing, and we approached with our location request, "Which direction do we go to find the Jewel?" Her response? "It is past customs." My response was, "Oh, that is everything we needed. Thank you."
Four concise words and the most important information possible. She got right to the point. Her response was everything we needed to make a quick decision. We, unfortunately, did not have time for that. Perhaps next time.
"I have only made this letter longer because I have not had the time to make it shorter." — Blaise Pascal,
"Examine every word you put on paper. You'll find a surprising number that don't serve any purpose." — William Zinsser
"You've got to think about big things while you're doing small things, so that all the small things go in the right direction." — Alvin Toffler
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.