I can handle this….

Yesterday, I read an article in the Dutch newspaper about traffic related fatalities in Holland. In 2015, there were 621 traffic related fatalities compared to 570 in 2014 (+9%) and it was suggested that the use of mobile phones including texting and using other applications whilst driving has contributed strongly to the increase.

In Australia, during the 12 months ending October 2016, there were 1,271 road deaths. This is a 5.2 per cent increase compared to the total for the 12-month period ending October 2015. Similarly, there is a suspicion that the use of mobile phones contributed to the increase.

Picking up the phone seems an automatic behavior the moment we have a spare minute. In fact, we are looking at our phone 220 times a day on average. It happens when we are waiting for the bus, walking from A to B or standing at the counter in the supermarket. It almost feels that we can’t be with “doing nothing” anymore.

Of much more concern is the fact that this habitual behaviour continues when we are driving short or long distances and go on autopilot. For most of us, the temptation to use the phone whilst driving is incredibly strong. Despite regulations and our cognitive understanding that phone use in the car compromises our safety, our brain keeps convincing us that it is OK based on our previous experiences. Interestingly, we are much more worried about getting a fine than killing ourselves or others.

Our judgement is very different though when we imagine our children or loved ones texting whilst driving. It feels very unsafe and scares us to death. Think about that for a minute. Is there really such a big difference?

Are you willing to turn off your phone or put it in the glove box when driving? I think we owe it to ourselves, our children and others….

Do you have a ‘trapped dolphin’?

As a Gold Coast local, the news this week of a 3 year old Dolphin being trapped for 5 hours in an inflatable swimming enclosure whilst the mother looked on anxiously got a lot of coverage in these parts.

The cheeky calf took advantage of the higher than normal tides, thanks to the ‘supermoon’, to slip under the nets and have an extra feed on the unsuspecting, and usually protected, fish that reside within the inflatable enclosure on Tallebudgera Creek.

As onlookers experienced initial delight that quickly moved to strong concern for its welfare, what struck me about the whole episode was how many people and resources mobilised to help rescue the young dolphin.

From local experts at nearby Sea World, visiting tourists, locals from the nearby community, passing boats, and heavy lifting & cutting equipment…this little adventure was now attracting a lot of attention, effort and expense. The feelings of celebration and relief for those involved were clear to see. I even felt a sense of relief myself even though it was only through watching the evening news! Of course, the dolphin just swam off with his mother as if nothing had even happened.

Let me be clear, I’m not saying it was not worth it. Quite the opposite, as it should be in my book. It did get me thinking about how we, as humans, react in times of need to help out others regardless of what it costs us in the moment.

The conclusion I reached is that deep down, whether we choose to admit it or not, we really do care about others and not just caught up in our own world. The vast majority of us stop to help. It’s what we do, without question. Lack of time or budget does not get in the way in those moments. We don’t want anyone harmed, physically and/or mentally, if we can help it.

This confirms why the safety and wellbeing of others is my passion. A trapped dolphin is like a person at risk or an organisation looking for a way out of a situation they don’t want to be in. I hate seeing ‘trapped dolphins’, it feels horrible.

My mission is help individuals and organisations to avoid the traps to start with, or provide my every effort to free them if already there. And I’m fortunate to work with an organisation that shares my passion and mission.

If you have people in your organisation that are your potential young dolphins, or you feel that your organisation is already trapped in that swimming enclosure…help is at hand and the feeling of success is incredible.

What’s your trapped dolphin?

Got a complaint? Take it to the source, otherwise take it to the toilet

My grandmother was my friend, mentor and disciplinary angel. She was a phenomenal listener. She would often sit and listen sometimes for hours on end. However when I started to bitch, whine or complain, she would allow me a few minutes of ‘air time’ and then gently interrupt, ‘Nada, Stop. Rather than spend your time talking to me and recycling others wrong doing, stop – take it to the source so you can make a change or take it the toilet so you can purge where it will have no negative impact on you or others’.

Gossip, complaints and negativity breeds a negative culture of stress, anxiety, limited performance. At work, gossip is the root of dis-eased mindsets, absenteeism, presentism and depression. It starts with you. Do a self-check – the next time you start to whinge, whine or complain, make a choice: take it to the source or take it the toilet.

Lead by example and create a culture of no gossip. If you have a problem, take it to the source or take it to the toilet – talk to the loo, cry or yell and then hit flush … xx

The Jonah Group specialise in health and safety culture development. Call us today to learn more about how we can help you transform your health and safety culture and performance. www.jonahgroup.com.au +61 2 66857231