Are Your Safety Meetings Dynamic?

I just spent four and one half hours in a CPR certification class with a wonderful, dedicated trainer who is committed to saving lives. She was thorough but time seemed like it had crept by slowly. You have been in training sessions or safety meetings when you thought you were going to suffer a repetitive stress injury from looking at your watch so often. In fact, some meetings make you wonder if the pain of an injury wouldn't be an improvement from the pain of enduring another meeting. No matter how valuable the information is you must fight to stay awake! On the other hand, have you ever sat in on a session where you couldn't believe the day was over because it went by so fast? What was the difference? I believe it is when the meeting is dynamic. When a presenter makes the meeting dynamic your attention is riveted and let's face it, if you are paying attention you are much more likely to understand and take action on what they are teaching.

How Dynamic are your meetings?

When your meetings are dynamic several things occur:

  • You consistently achieve your outcomes;

  • People begin to see you as a resource for solving their safety challenges;

  • Audience members share with you the ideas they learned that they are going to begin using;

  • Employees actually look forward to your next meeting;

  • You and your safety team are viewed as "lifeguards" instead of "police";

  • You touch the lives of your employees and their families as they talk about your safety meeting at home;

  • You discover new and different ways to illustrate a safety concept in a fun way;

  • You tell stories that engage your audience and allow them to see how it applies to their life;

  • Safety slogans are written that communicate your message in an effective way;

  • Managers discover safety is an investment that creates a profit for your company;

  • You see improved safety performance;

  • People actually stay awake during your meeting no matter what time of day it is; and

  • People understand safety is their responsibility;

If your meetings don't cause the above to occur it isn't a big surprise. After all, how much training or education have you had in the skills of communication? I am sure you hear over and over again, "Our biggest problem is communication". Well, you are right, it is. Ineffective communication could be considered to be one of the greatest safety problems in the work place, yet no one addresses it. OSHA doesn't have a communication effectiveness standard and I wouldn't expect it of them. Communication is one area in which we must take it upon ourselves to study and improve.

If you want to get some great experience speaking and presenting effectively I highly recommend Toastmasters International.

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