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Safety elations

6 StepS to EFFECTIVE
SAFETY COACHING
WITH THE ACTIVE SAFETY COACHING FRAMEWORK
ACTIVE SA
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The Path to Becoming a Great Safety Coach


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WHAT IS COACHING AND HOW


IS IT UNIQUE?

The term “coaching” originated in the mid-1800s and meant “to tutor
or help prepare someone for an exam or contest.” Since then
coaching has evolved into one of the most effective learning tools
we have. Today, coaching is no longer focused on teaching but has
evolved into a creative process that helps the coachee reach greater
potential by seeing the situation in a new light.

Type of Learning Purpose Provider’s Requirement Client’s Need

Consulting To give a strategy for direction Experience Need for strategic direction

Advising To tell how best to do something Expertise Need for action steps

Training To impart knowledge Knowledge Need for skills

Directing To specify what action to take Authority Need for leadership

Therapy To cure mental illness Training and certification Need for mental health

Friend To chat and share Liking the other person Need for companionship

Mentoring To share experience Relevant experience Need for perspective

Coaching To change one’s way of seeing Being a trained observer Need for change
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WHAT IS SAFETY COACHING


AND WH AT IT CAN DO?

Safety coaching is a conversation or a series of conversations that


helps a person see their blind spots and shift the way they
understand risk. The person who is leading this process is called the
“coach” and the one being coached is referred to as the “coachee.”
Safety coaching is a powerful tool for organizations to strengthen
their safety programs and make safety a part of their workers’ “way
of being.”

Top 5 Myths about SAFETY COACHING


1 Safety coaching is just sharing expertise

2 Safety coaching is fixing someone’s behavior

3 Safety coaching is just asking questions

4 Safety coaching doesn’t require any specific skills

5 Safety coaching is only for senior leaders


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THE NEED FOR SAFETY


COCHING

Safety coaching always requires that the coachee has a breakdown


or a problem. Coaching can be done individually or with a team. As
part of the coaching process, the coach guides the coachee through
a series of questions that helps the coachee discover the solution
himself or herself.

Safety coaching is appropriate to address situations such as:

Not reporting Not following Not prioritizing Not wearing


incidents procedures learning PPE

Prioritizing Prioritizing Not Not


profits DEADLINES communicating taking
over safety over safety effectively accountability
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SAFETY COACHING IS PART OF


EVERY SAFETY INITIATIVE

DEVELOPING A CULTURE OF SAFETY What methodology will be used to CREATE


sufficient AWARENESS AND ALIGNMENT?
Culture is the way things are done here. Having a robust safety culture means employees
prioritize safety even when no one is watching.

SAFETY LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT WHAT IF THE SAFETY LEADERSHIP HAS INHERITED THE TITLE
AND BASES THEIR VISION ON THE PREVIOUS LEADER’S?
Safety leaders’ role is to envision the safer future others are not seeing and enroll followers to
make their vision a reality.

BEHAVIOR-BASED SAFETY (BBS) What type of framework can ensure ONGOING


employee engagement?
Many organizations are using safety coaching to address at-risk behaviors as part of their
behavior-based safety programs.

How do you develop powerful learning teams


HUMAN AND ORGANIZATIONAL PERFORMANCE (HOP) and learn to listen deeply?
The “New View” of safety is based on a philosophy that people make mistakes which are
influenced by organizational processes and systems.

SAFETY MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS (SMS) YOU may have the best procSSES in place, but
what if the employees do not follow them?
Many Safety Management Systems look great on paper but don’t live up to their potential from a
safety compliance perspective.

IMPLEMENTING A JUST CULTURE How can you develop a just, blame-free


culture to encourage reporting of incidents?
One of the key reasons why incidents are not reported is that employees do not trust the
management will not use the report against them.
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HOW IS SAFETY COACHING


DIFFERENT?

Safety managers and supervisors traditionally pay attention to safety


behavior (actions) and inquire what rationale is driving the behavior.
They often ask logical questions such as “How did this happen?” and
do nothing more than request corrective actions. Although this may
resolve the breakdown in the short-term, a different conversation is
necessary to produce change and alignment. This is what makes
safety coaching different from other leadership tools.

As a safety coach, one must include language,


emotions, and body simultaneously because
they act in dynamic coherence. We all think in
language, make choices from emotions and act LANGUAGE
using our body. For example, if we think “I don’t
know why this is taking so long,” we will
experience the emotion of frustration and may
clench our fists as the body-disposition. This BODY EMOTIONS
offers the possibility for safety coaches to work
with the root emotions and thoughts driving
undesired actions and help the coachees
our THREE CENTERS OF INTELLIGENCE
resolve the breakdown themselves.
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LANGUAGE AS A TOOL IN
SAFETY COACHING

Safety is a corporate value in many organizations but very often


there is a lack of rigor to push it down from the top to the sharp end
operators. Although we talk “safety first” every day, it is not unusual
for speed, profit or other values to take priority over safety. And then,
it is typical to blame on a lack of good safety leadership, but a
different way of seeing it from a coaching perspective is as a
“breakdown in language.”

Language is a basic tool in coaching which is driven by asking powerful questions. However,
language has a bigger role in coaching because while actively listening to the coachee’s story,
the coach can investigate if the coachee’s breakdown is the result of ineffective usage of
language. Whether we use English, Spanish or Chinese, language can be fundamentally
classified in three ways: Historical, descriptive and generative.

HISTORICAL LANGUAGE DESCRIPTIVE LANGUAGE GENERATIVE LANGUAGE


Historical Language
Descriptive Language is used Generative Language creates
originated in the past
when you describe things. action in your followers.
and is delivered through you.

Eg: This is a wet surface. Eg: Safety begins Eg: I’m requesting you get
with teamwork. this done tomorrow.
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How many times
have I told you
to wear PPE?

I N ACTI ON DUE TO THE I N C O R R E C T US A G E O F LA N G U A G E


Each of these types of language has its place and serves us in different ways.
Although we all use these three types every day, there are many instances when
we use the wrong type in the wrong context. For instance, we display a poster
“Safety begins with teamwork” and assume teamwork will happen. Many of the
coachee’s breakdowns could be attributed to situations where he or she may be
using descriptive or historical language and then whine that others are not
taking action. Generating action requires generative language, and that requires
a deep understanding of the mechanics of language and its application.
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EMOTIONS AS A TOOL IN
SAFETY COACHING

Considering safety at the most fundamental level, we know that


every human being has an instinct to protect themselves from
threats. This natural “fight-flight-freeze” response is triggered by
emotions such as anger (we resist), panic (we run away) or fear (we
hide) in response to a perceived danger. This is an example of how
our safety-decisions and actions are influenced by one or more
emotions. Still, emotions remain the most underutilized tool in safety
performance enhancement.

Most of us never had any formal


education in emotions. Emotional
literacy is the ability to understand and
interpret one’s own and others’ emotions
precisely. Imagine, for a moment, if we
were linguistically illiterate and consider
how language helps us communicate
and shape the world around us.
Emotional literacy offers similar
possibilities for safety professionals. The
ability to distinguish the messages
offered by emotions makes them a
powerful tool.
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WORKING WITH EMOTIONS


FOR SUSTA INABLE RESULTS

Since every decision in life is influenced by one or more emotions,


we can use emotions as a powerful tool in safety coaching. There is
a common belief that emotions show up randomly and we can’t
learn them. On the contrary, every emotion has a story, an impulse,
and a purpose. Seeing them this way makes emotions logical.
Rather than trying to fix someone’s behavior, it makes more sense to
look at the emotions driving the undesired behavior and help your
coachee shift to ones that contributing to safety performance. There
are more than 250 emotions available for coaches to work with and
the following are some examples:

Not Serving Safety Serving Safety

“I don’t want to report


this because I don’t “I am worthy of
want others to know EMBARRASSMENT respect and I will DIGNITY
report this incident”
what I did.”

“I do good work
“I know enough but am aware
already.” COMPLACENCY there are things I
HUMILITY
don’t know”
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BODY AS A TOOL
IN SAFETY COACHING

Remember learning to ride a bicycle? You had the excitement of the


new experience and at the same time uncertainty and fear. There
may have been moments of disappointment, and you thought about
giving up the idea altogether. Today, you don’t think about how you
ride the bicycle nor do you experience those same emotions. This is
because the learning has become part of your “way of being” and
you will never forget it.

The same analogy applies to plant operators, nurses, pilots or a CEO. All the core
things they are doing repeatedly have become habitual. Whenever there is a
change in procedure or a deviation from the norm occurs, it is necessary to make
the new learning habitual through practice. This process of intentional learning
engages your thinking processes and a number of emotions.
S Almost
a habit
already...

What about the


new procedure?

A GRE E TO DEVELO P N E W H A B I T S T H R O UG H PR A C T IC E
Engaging the body is essential if you want to generate new habits. A great safety
coach needs to work with the coachee and ensure that the new awareness they
have gained becomes available in the body habitually. This requires practice on
the part of coachee, but at the same time, they need the support of their coach to
remain accountable.
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SAFETY MANAGER
AS A COACH

Traditionally, the safety manager’s responsibility has been assumed


to be ensuring compliance, and therefore he or she has often been
perceived as a “safety-cop” by many. While this is part of the job, it is
also the responsibility of the safety manager to get buy-in from
employees to support the organization’s safety vision.

While safety management can help ensure COMP


compliance with chosen procedures, safety ATING LIA
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coaching is a great tool for generating
N

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commitment. Becoming a safety coach


doesn’t mean that the safety manager moves
Safety
into a full-time job as a professional coach.
The idea of “safety manager as a coach”
MANAGER
means one can switch between the roles of
the safety manager and safety coach easily
and effectively. One does not exclude the
other. A person can have both safety
management and safety coaching mindsets Safety
at the same time or can switch back and forth
Coach
from moment to moment to get different
perspectives, ask different questions or take
GE

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N

different actions. Both are essential to AT TM


IN I
generating comprehensive safety. G COMM
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What risk?

It’s too risky!

WE S EE S AFETY T H E WA Y W E S E E S A FE T Y.
THE Y S EE S AF ETY T H E WA Y T H E Y S E E S A FE T Y.
The most fundamental philosophy in safety coaching is that every individual
perceives risk differently. As unique observers of risk, we all respond to the same
event differently. It is the organization’s safety vision that sets the standards for
acceptable risk. A safety coach uses non-directive, non-judgmental
communication to help the coachee see safety the way the organization sees
safety.
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THE ACTIVE SAFETY COACHING


F RAMEWORK

One of the key requirements for becoming a great safety coach is a


robust coaching framework. We have developed a 6-step safety
coaching framework which allows coaches to lead the process of
coaching in a structured way. For the coaching intervention to be
successful, the coach needs to consider many elements within each
step. Coaching is a not a one-time event and changes in the coachee
happen in incremental steps through multiple iterations.
ACTIVE SA
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STEP 1 - AWARENESS
Awareness is the beginning of any learning or change. If you don’t know
where you are, you don’t know what direction to move.

SELF-AWARENESS

Self-awareness is the ability to reflect on the way one understands the world
and why one acts the way they do. It allows people to see their capabilities as
well as their limits; their knowledge as well as their ignorance.

COACHABILITY

A coachee must be open to coaching, have humility available and trust their
coach and the process of coaching. They must give permission to be
coached to ensure they are open, and thus, coachable.

ENEMIES OF LEARNING

All of us have beliefs or habits that interfere with our learning. A self-aware
person knows their personal enemies of learning and how to set them aside
when they are a barrier.
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STEP 2 - COMMUNICATION
Communicating is much more than using the right words. It is the transfer of
meaning from one person to another with clarity.

ACTIVE LISTENING

Active listening seeks to understand the interpretation of the words the other
person is using, noticing the emotion they are speaking from and observing
their non-verbal signs. It also includes listening for what is not being said or is
missing from the conversation.

POWERFUL QUESTIONING

There are types of questions that are more useful or powerful in coaching.
Big, open-ended questions are often the best to begin the coaching process
as they challenge the coachee to pause and reflect.

DIRECT COMMUNICATION

In coaching, being direct does not mean being harsh, it means sharing what
you observe about the coachee or the questions that occur to you without
filtering or judging.
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STEP 3 - TRUST
Trust is what allows us to interact with others and is based on our
assessment of sincerity, competence, and reliability.

TRUST IN COACHING
Trust is the bedrock emotion of coaching. A coachee must give permission to
a coach to help them explore new areas and ways of thinking which requires
a high level of trust.

COACHING PRESENCE
The ability for a coach to set aside distractions and be fully present with the
coachee is a sign of respect and acknowledges the importance of the
coachee’s challenge. It is a skill every coach must develop.

COACHING ETHICS

A coach must be honest, transparent and professional. Clarity about the level
of confidentiality is essential. If the coach must report some aspect of the
coaching conversations, the coachee needs to know this from the start to
build and maintain trust.
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STEP 4 - INTERPRETATION
Every human sees the world differently. This means we see and assess risk
differently as well. Bringing the interpretation of the coachee and
organization into alignment is at the core of safety coaching.

RISK INTERPRETATION
A common breakdown coaching can address is a gap between the way the
coachee and the organization understand risk. This is central to safety
coaching because the way the coachee understands risk and safety drives
their choices and behaviors.

SHARED INTERPRETATION
We can agree on a definition but still have different interpretations. That
shows us why we must work toward creating a shared interpretation of
safety culture, processes, standards, and behaviors.

SAFETY CULTURE
Culture can be thought of as “just the way we do things here.” Creating a
safety culture requires that we all understand every element of safety in the
same way and that we practice doing them in a consistent manner.
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STEP 5 - VISION
Vision can be thought of as what we see when we imagine our future state of
being. Having a shared vision is essential if we want to create a strong safety
culture that will last.

SAFETY LEADERSHIP

Every leader’s primary task is creating the future. Any person in an


organization can lead when they do not settle for the way things are today in
terms of safety and finds ways to improve them.

COACHING GOALS

In safety coaching, one key goal is aligning the vision of the coachee with the
vision of the organization. This can happen by either one or both shifting but
is central to the coaching conversation.

ACTION PLAN

To generate a vision, actions are required, and actions require clarity of what,
when, how, how much, how often and with whom. Determining and helping
the coachee adhere to these is part of creating the shared vision.
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STEP 6 - ENGAGEMENT
We know someone is engaged when their behaviors show dedication to
creating a shared vision. Engagement may begin with promises but is
revealed in behaviors.

PRACTICE

All learning happens through practice. Understanding a concept produces


awareness but does not change our habits. A coach supports the coachee by
clarifying and holding the coachee accountable to their chosen practices.

ACCOUNTABILITY

Final accountability for learning and change is the responsibility of the


coachee. The coach can support their efforts but cannot learn for the
coachee. A coachee who does not understand this will not produce results.

FOLLOW UP

Asking a coachee to report on what he or she is practicing and its impact on


their behavior is one of the primary responsibilities of a coach. Having a
coach to be accountable to helps the coachee engage in the change process.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Dan Newby, PCC


Senior Coach Trainer, SafetyRelations

Dan is a coach trainer, a leadership trainer and a culture development coach with more than 20 years’
experience. He has trained thousands of coaches worldwide and has logged more than 7500 hours of
coaching leaders and teams. He has trained and coached safety leaders and teams from high-reliability
industries such as Aerospace and Chemical Manufacturing. Dan’s specialty is developing the human
and relational skills necessary to drive world-class safety performance. He engages the power of our
three centers of intelligence (Body. Emotions and Language) in his coaching, which means his
coaching is not just limited to intellect, and that approach delivers faster and more profound results for
his clients. He is the course leader for the “Mastery in Safety Coaching” program presented by
SafetyRelations, and the program has received rave reviews from participants worldwide. Dan has
taught, presented and coached leaders and organizations in the U.S., Canada, Europe, South Africa,
Singapore, India, Pakistan, Latin America, and Jamaica. He is a Professional Certified Coach (PCC) by
the International Coach Federation (ICF), and his coaching programs are fully aligned to ICF’s
guidelines and ethical standards.

Safety elations
SafetyRelations is a Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) offering specialized programs for
high-reliability industries such as Aerospace, Healthcare, Manufacturing, Oil & Gas and Chemicals. Over
the past eight years, we have trained thousands of senior leaders in one hundred countries worldwide.
In addition to compliance and technical courses, we offer a set of powerful tools and methodologies to
help organizations see safety differently and create a culture of safety. Our ACTIVE Safety Framework
is a 6-step method to generate safety through coaching. The framework meets the unique need for a
structured approach to deal with safety leadership challenges.
S MASTERY IN SAFETY COACHING
6-Week Online Course + 6-Week Post-Course Support

Top 7 Reasons Why You Should Attend this Program


1 Learn to use language precisely to elevate safety performance
2 Use emotions as a source of information for safety decision-making
3 Develop new habits through practice by engaging the body
4 Create a blame-free culture by building trust as an organizational value
5 Go beyond compliance and generate commitment to your safety programs
6 Learn to lead safety meetings and initiate action more effectively
CONVENIEN
7 Practice the modules and apply the learning immediately RN

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6 STEPS TO EFFECTIVE SAFETY COACHING

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