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Do you manage your thoughts during a conversation, focusing them on understanding what the other person is saying? Do you postpone preparing your reply until after you have heard everything the other person has to say? Effective leaders answer, “yes” to all of these questions, and that is what makes them so successful. Self-awareness is the awareness of the self as separate from the thoughts that are occurring at any point in time.
Along with his work as an Author, Writer, Blogger and popular Internet Radio Talk Show Host, Dr. Boost your Life by getting resources, help, and advice to plan, motivate, and develop your skills. Slideshare uses cookies to improve functionality and performance, and to provide you with relevant advertising. Maintaining effective communications with your Technology Transfer Office’s key stakeholders—inventors, attorneys, administrators, financial personnel, public relations department—sounds easy, but quite often it is considerably more challenging and resource intensive than we expect. My tips for effective communications with colleagues within your institution or enterprise include the following techniques. Strong internal relationships are a function of trust through consistent and effective communications with integrity. If you are a student of near-miss and casualty reports then you know, without a doubt, that flawed communications is a major contributing factor when things go wrong and flawed communications is often a factor when the quality of situational awareness erodes. In fact, flawed communications was the second most frequently cited barrier to flawed situational awareness in my research, second only to staffing issues. For the purposes of my research, a barrier to situational awareness was anything that prevented the development of situational awareness, caused the erosion of situational awareness, or prevented the recovery of situational awareness once it was degraded. Bias is defined as displaying a prejudice for or against someone or something. Biases, as a category unto itself, are a significant barrier to situational awareness and extend far beyond communications challenges.
Perception is defined as the ability to see, hear or become aware of something through the senses. Humans can give deference in favor of messages communicated by individuals the receiver has a good relationship with. The greater the distance between the sender and receiver the greater the potential for miscommunications. When the message is an expected message, the receiver can tune out the message and the messenger. When the message is so unexpected that it stuns the receiver, additional messages may not be heard or processed. When a receiver hears two messages that are in conflict with each other a decision must be made.
Like it or not, we can find ourselves believing, or not believing, a message based solely on how well we know the sender of the message and how much we value their knowledge.
This is probably one of the most commonly discussed communications barriers because its the among the easiest to understand. When you hear a message it is darn near impossible not to feel some emotion about the message (or the messenger). The mere volume of information being shared can cause the receiver to suffer from information overload.
The act of listening requires conscious awareness and a need to pay attention to the message. If you want to send me incident pictures, videos or have an idea you’d like me to research and write about, contact me.



I found these two articles a further cementing of my own belief in the value of understanding situational awareness as it applies to the fire service. Your one-time or recurring donation will help support the mission of Situational Awareness Matters. Surya explores the correlation between the science of consciousness and patterns in the business world, to suggest innovative ways of using this wisdom to lead and succeed in a business environment that is constantly evolving at a rapid pace. Without self-awareness the self perceives and believes the thoughts that are occurring to be who the self is. Peggie Ward Koon has over 25 years of experience in developing IS systems for process automation and process control in a variety of industries -- automotive, nuclear defense, aerospace, nuclear reprocessing, thermal ceramics, and textiles. Many of us are working with colleagues who have too many demands placed on them with too few resources and too little time.
Invest adequate time to ensure that you fully understand the needs and expectations from your customers (technical, schedule and budget).
Credibility is another fundamental basis for effective communications, which is based on delivering results consistently and with integrity.
Your professional network of internal colleagues can often be leveraged to your organization’s advantage to connect with key influencers and decision-makers throughout your institution or enterprise. They are essential for successful licensing and other technology commercialization agreements. In the context of communications, a receiver of a message can show bias for, or against, the messenger and this give greater or lesser deference to the message. Attribution can impact communications when the message of the sender is not the meaning attributed by the receiver.
Equally, messages communicated by individuals the receiver does not have a good relationship can be dismissed or discounted.
The more layers of organizational hierarchy a message must travel, the greater the potential for flaws in communications. This is especially true when the communications is over the phone or radio because the voice inflection can be misinterpreted and the sender and receiver do not have the benefit of interpreting the non-verbal communications.
These differences can cause miscommunications because terms and phrases that are commonly understood in one culture may be completely foreign in another.
Parents witness this all the time when having a conversation with their children about doing homework, or cleaning up their bedrooms, or… (tuning out now). When we are not in physical proximity to see the sender (or the receiver) we are missing an important component of the communications. The emotions, in turn, trigger recalls of past experiences that bleed into current knowledge.
Our technology isn’t perfect and the flaws impact the effectiveness of communications. Please feel free to share the articles with others and encourage them to sign-up for the free newsletter (link on right side of home page. Gasaway is widely considered to be one of the nation's leading authorities on human factors, situational awareness and the decision making processes used in high stress, high consequence work environments. Self-awareness gives one the option or choice to choose thoughts being thought rather than simply thinking the thoughts that are stimulated from the accumulative events leading up to the circumstances of the moment. Pay careful attention to whether your colleagues are actually listening to you (or reading your e-mails). Identify the specific criteria for success for both parties and seek multi-dimensional win-win-win agreements. Effective communication is also the vehicle on which to illustrate the positive results you have achieved, solidifying your reputation with and value to your institution.


When information is shared in the form of communications between two or more people, the perception of the meaning may not be accurate. Is perception reality? And in the context of this discussion, culture does not refer to ethnicity (although that can be a challenge as well).I am referring to the varying cultures within an existing fire department and from department to department within the same geographical region.
When a responder feels they understand enough about what is going on at the emergency scene, they may tune out the incoming communications. If the message is so unexpected that it stuns the receiver, the brain can get bogged down trying to make sense of what was just heard. In addition to the spoken word, receivers evaluate the inflection in the voice of the sender which can also significantly alter the intended message. The more we know about the sender of the message and the better we understand the situation of the sender, the more accurate our inferences may be.To ensure the accuracy of an inference would require a series of questions and responses between the sender and receiver to ensure the message is completely and accurately understood. Unfortunately, the brain is not very good about sorting information on the fly and distinguishing the most important information from the less important information.Rather, the brain is more likely to remember the first pieces of information, the last pieces of information and the information that triggers emotional responses. His work has been chronicled in more than 450 books, book chapters, journals and website articles and he has delivered more than 4,000 presentations to over 43,000 first responders, business leaders and industrial professionals worldwide. Remain attentive to key milestones and events and keep in mind that “no” is an acceptable answer if your current priorities do not permit you change direction or commit to additional actions. Remember that initial impressions are difficult to change, so initiate any new relationships in a positive manner.
Of course, do not go too far and become self-aggrandizing, but do use effective communication to show how effective you really are in supporting the mission of your institution. My research uncovered 116 barriers and I’m confident there are even more yet be uncovered and researched. The more people the message has to flow through, the greater the likelihood the message is going to get distorted. Rarely are neither time nor patience in enough supply during an emergency to accommodate this. Prior to that, she was the Process Control Manager for the Gregg Division, Graniteville Company.
Once one of your internal customers or suppliers develops a negative impression of you, or your organization, you are faced with an uphill battle to change that impression, whether deserved or not.
One of the categories of barriers to situational awareness is flawed communications. Here are 19 ways communications can get flawed. In other words, we listen to one thing, then the other, then back to the first (assuming there are only two communications inputs to listen to).This requires a lot of heavy lifting by the brain, especially in a dynamically changing environment where there are also complex things to SEE.
Gasaway served over 30 years in fire, EMS, rescue and emergency management and held positions of firefighter, EMT-paramedic, lieutenant, captain, assistant chief and fire chief in 6 emergency service organizations in West Virginia, Ohio and Minnesota. She is now the Deputy COO for Morris Digital Works, a division of Morris Communications in Augusta, Georgia.
Stress can causes our senses to go on high alert for danger, increasing your audible acuity. This means you may be able to hear things that you would not normally hear if you were not under stress. This increase in audible acuity may be enough to help you hear the scream of a child trapped in a burning home.
You may simply not hear things, even when those messages are coming through a radio that is just a few inches from your ear.



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