Newsletter No.1

For my first Newsletter, I wanted to give you some background on me.

On leaving the Royal Australian Navy in 2018, like so many veterans, I have bounced around trying to find my feet, to find where I fit in, to try to achieve the balance and importantly find where I can make a difference. I am passionate about enhancing safety and well-being across all industries, specifically by strengthening decision-making skills and improving organisational culture.

My why came from experiencing the loss of friends and colleagues due to an aviation accident, which was found to have a key causal factor of poor organisational culture and lack of education.

Today I launch, not in an aircraft but on a laptop, into a new challenge.

One that honestly feels a little scarier than landing on a ship in the middle of the night, one of vulnerability in sharing my ideas, thoughts and the concepts I have learnt. So join me in my newsletter as I aim to enhance everyday decision-making and ultimately improve safety and well-being.

When you plan a party, even the most impromptu one, you take into account the environment (weather, location), what you will need (equipment), how you are feeling, who else is needed and the vibe you want, and on the flip side, all of these things influence the outcome of the party. If the party doesn’t go to plan there are limited consequences. However, in other scenarios, like at work, our decisions impact the well-being, safety, finances, and reputation of ourselves, others and the organisation. Understanding and considering how your and others’ decisions are influenced/impacted aids in enhancing the outcomes. Every time I step into an aircraft I have to consider my mental and physical health, the environment, the process (or task), the aircraft (equipment), and others involved to ensure I am in the best position to make the crucial decision when it matters. I try to take the same considerations into every decision I make and ask the same questions; What is influencing me? And what will be the impact of my decision?

Decision-making can be overwhelming, and exhausting. It is thought that an adult makes around 34,000 decisions a day. Working on an average 7hrs of sleep, this equates to 2000 decisions per hour or 1 every 2 seconds (Psychology Today, Eva M. Krockow Ph.D.). Many of those are inconsequential and we make them without conscious realisation that a decision has been made. But all the time our brain is working. When it comes to the ones that count, the difficulty increases. We can experience doubt, concern, and uncertainty over if it will be the right one. The type of decisions we make depend on; the time criticality of the required outcome, our experience, our bias’, what we can control, the organisational culture and importantly our physical and mental state. The influences and impacts!

Being able to consider and understand what impacts and influences our decisions and those of others can lead to an increase in; confidence and safety (physical and mental), and a reduction in; risk, delays and uncertainty. Not to mention the reduction in the “knee-jerk” decisions that often don’t end well.

As a pilot, the type of decisions we make vary but all our decisions must be intentional. The intention comes from ensuring; that we are “fit to fly” both mentally and physically, that we have all the relevant facts, have considered the environment, the equipment, the task and importantly the impact on the rest of the crew or stakeholders. And the constant need to assess, to determine if the decision was effective and change if it was not. Why don’t you try to do the same?

Intentional decisions can be strengthened by asking yourself?

  1. Am I “fit to fly” physically and mentally? Should I be making this decision now?
  2. What is influencing my decisions?
  3. What can I control? Impact?
  4. Assess – what worked and what didn’t. And why? Do I need to make a change?

I would love to hear your thoughts. Contact me at info@skilfuldecisions.com

 

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