Search Results for: Denial

Will Denial Make the Problem Better or Worse?

I received the following feedback to a recent Situational Awareness Newsletter. I thought I’d share it and use it as an introduction to this article. Here’s what he had to say: __________ I forwarded your newsletter to every one of my email contacts. The newsletter was especially appropriate  for some of the people on my mailing list …

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Unexpected Information Can Be a Barrier to Situational Awareness

One of the foundations of situational awareness development is being able to make accurate predictions of future events. Making (accurate) predictions is a fairly complex neurological process that relies heavily on gathering information, comprehending the meaning of the information, tapping into your stored knowledge of past experiences, trusting your intuition and using your imagination to …

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The Normalization of Deviance

It’s an odd term… normalization of deviance. But the term and the premise behind the term provides a valuable explanation as to some of the behaviors we observe in the first responder world. Defining the terms Normalization: To make normal; to make an established standard. Deviance: Departing from the norm; performing in a non-standardized way. …

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The Overconfident Incompetent

There are four levels of progression a person goes through in the development of competence. The pathway begins with a complete unawareness of how little a person knows and progresses to a complete unawareness of how much a person knows. There is a dangerous cognitive phenomenon that can occur along this continuum known as the …

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Team Situational Awareness

This is going to be an uncomfortable conversation as we talk about assessing your team to identify your weak links – the members who are not adequately trained, prepared or fit to perform the duties of a firefighter. During my SA programs, we talk about the need to complete a situational awareness “size-up” of the …

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The Challenge of Disengagement

Why is it so hard to let go of a decision or an action once we have committed ourselves to it? As I think back on my life, it is easy for me to identify a number of times where my situational awareness eroded and it led to bad decisions. I can attribute a number …

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Situational Awareness Matters

The Perfect Storm

In one of my recent Mental Management of Emergencies classes a participant was describing an incident that resulted in several first responder casualties. As he shared the details, he described the unfolding of events as “The Perfect Storm.” This article will discuss the origins of that phrase and share why we should consider changing our …

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Understanding Stress – Part 2: Types of stress

Welcome to Part 2 of my series on stress. The goal of this segment is to discuss three types of stress: Acute stress, episodic acute stress and chronic stress. Anyone on an emergency scene can, and often do, experience all three. Stress can impact  situational awareness and, equally concerning, stress can have devastating long-term impacts. …

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Twelve Ways to Situational Awareness

Ho, Ho, Ho. Merry Christmas everyone! With Thanksgiving day in the past, it is officially the Christmas season! I know everyone’s feeling particularly festive this time of year and I have caught the Christmas spirit in a very situational awareness sort of way. Surely you’ve heard of the “Twelve Days of Christmas.” -You know – …

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Mission Myopia: A situational awareness barrier

The primary mission in all emergency situations is to save lives and property. In some agencies when a new member is inducted into the organization they take an oath of office that includes pledging their commitment to this mission. The mission is an important – even noble – calling. But what happens when a responder …

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