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Sunday, January 10, 2010

Coaching for Safe Behavior

Note: Coaching is founded on Dr. E. Scott Geller's Coaching philosophy, the second principle of his ground breaking People-Based Patient Safety® paradigm.

Coaching is basically a process of one-on-one observation and feedback.  Coaching can be applied to safety by systematically observing the behaviors of another person and offering constructive feedback to reduce the occurrence of any at-risk behaviors. The letters of COACH represent five fundamental steps of safety coaching: Care, Observe, Analyze, Communication, and Help.

Care…Show you actively care about each other's safety and health.  Looking out for each other is the right thing to do.  Do on to others and you want done onto you.

Observe…Take a few minutes every day to observe people working and their behaviors.   When observing, remember you are not looking for just risky actions, but also for safe behaviors to support or encourage.

Analyze…Think about why your co-worker might be doing what they're doing.  Use the ABC Model to help figure out why:
            A = Activator
            B = Behavior
            C = Consequences
An Activator directs a Behavior which leads to a Consequence that either encourages or discourages us to perform the behavior.
Figuring out why safe or risky behaviors happen helps you know what motivates safe behaviors and what causes risky ones.

Communicate…In order to be a good coach, you need to communicate behavior based feedback in a helpful, non-threatening way.  When you communicate: you want to teach, and you want the message to be heard.

Help…There are many ways to help people be safer and incident free.  One way to help is to educate and teach; another way to help is to offer assistance.  You and your co-workers must rely on each other to choose safe actions or behaviors.  Helping everyone to act safely requires a team effort.

When people sense you truly care about them, and you want to listen to what they have to say, you make them feel valued.  Then they will be much more willing to accept your input.
If you do all these things, you will be a great COACH.  When everyone in a workplace is a coach, the whole team wins.

This coaching process is clearly relevant for improving behaviors in areas other than safety and in settings other than the workplace.

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1 comment:

  1. The DuPont Company codified this as their STOP program a few years ago with great success. They now market the STOP program. I've used it in the past and it works, but it requires more time and focus than most supervisors and managers seem to be able or willing to apply.