There are many things that we can do and should do to enhance our leadership presence when communicating a safety message, especially if that message is directed toward groups of people whom we have tasked with leading a safety culture. Oftentimes when leading safety communication, the leader is simply not loud enough, or confident enough, or passionate enough about his or her message; or worse, comes across as uncommitted to that message. [content_protector password=”teslp” identifier=”teslp”]
But if our audience can’t hear our safety message—or is straining to hear us over another noise source—they can’t act on that message and the goal of achieving safety excellence will likely not be met. And if they detect a lack of confidence, passion or commitment toward our own safety message, they’ll simply dismiss the message. Their level of commitment will rise no higher than your own. Here are a few tips that will help you avoid those pitfalls when communicating safety.
Confidence translates into competence in the mind of the hearer. If you come across as confident in what you say, people will naturally assume you know what you’re talking about. This is not to suggest that we can or should bluff our way through safety communication. You should know what you’re talking about! However, if you do know your topic well, but you present it with a lack of confidence, you’ll come across as someone who lacks knowledge in that area. Consequently, you won’t inspire much trust in your audience, and we will once again have missed an opportunity for achieving safety excellence.
Tip# 2: Project your voice
Safety communication is not about getting all our words out. It’s about ensuring they can hear you and understand you. Bottom line, if they can’t hear you they won’t be able to act on your message. Many of us try are communicating safety in high-noise areas, like a plant, a warehouse or construction site. If so, we must adjust our voice volume to compensate for that noise. The last thing you want is for an outside noise source to compete with your safety message. Project you voice much louder than you think you need to. If you can get it to the point where it is just short of yelling, that’s probably just about right for a high-noise area.
Making eye contact with our audience helps us to build rapport, convey care and concern, and check in with the level of engagement of the audience. It also communicates genuineness and sincerity, as well as confidence.
Tip #4: Watch what you say and how you say it
As a leader, your communication about safety and safety culture has a big impact. If they see us speaking passionately about the value of safety, they will embrace it in the same way. But if they detect we are simply going through the motions with safety—or that we really don’t believe in it ourselves, they will adopt a similar stance.
In our next issue we’ll look at a few more tips for enhancing your leadership presence with a view to achieving safety excellence. But that’s all for this edition of Recordable INSIGHTS. Be sure to view the associated video below to learn more about these tips. Until next time.