Uncommon Understanding of Common Sense

August 02 2021
By: Shawn M. Galloway

Common sense means sense about things that that nearly all believe would be perceived as regular, predictable and, thus, common. It doesn't mean everyone has it. That is the first maturing in thinking that needs to occur with many, especially the internal company leaders still using this term. Uncommon Understanding of Common Sense

Everyone has their own unique reticular activating system, filtering in and out what we experience with our sensory inputs. What one person views as risky, another may not, especially with their also unique experiences with performing a task and how we have measured success (absence of failures must therefore mean the presence of success?!). That is the second maturing in thinking.

The third is, safety does not own the common or uncommon phrases (language) within the organizations leveraging our collective professional support to help them improve safety performance and culture. Executive and operational leadership owns this. Thus, we need to influence changing the thinking about what that term - common sense - means, and helping leadership find different language to understand (and proactively address) influences on decisions and behavior.

Shawn M. Galloway

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.

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