Feb 2, 2009

Dead Man Rule - Lessons for Everyday Life

On Thursday and Friday, I was in what we call Behavior Based Safety (BBS) training. The concept behind this is peer-to-peer observations and feedback on at-risk behaviors, with the goal to eliminate injuries.

The neat think about this training is that the information is transferable to feedback and coaching in our work and personal lives.

First, behavior is active. The rule of thumb that is used in this process is that behavior is something that a dead man cannot do. A dead man can wear gloves, but a dead man cannot wear gloves while tightening the bolt on a valve.

Second, behavior is observable. It is not something that you infer. If you observe someone walking and reading at the same time, you cannot infer that they are in a hurry, you can only determine that they are walking while reading.

So, for this entry, the lesson learned is to focus on what you observe, and do not infer things that you cannot confirm without asking clarifying questions :o)


  1. Well, what about when you have made observations that reach a logical conclusion? Should you still ask clarifying questions?

  2. I'm feeling philosophical....

    Mark wonders whether you should still ask questions if you've reached a logical conclusion. Ah so, grasshopper, but who is to say that your conclusions are correct, or that your logic isn't faulty?

    :) B.

  3. I don't like when I am doing the obvious yet am asked a clarifying question. Like if I am reading and someone says "whatcha doin..reading?"
    I usually say something like no I am bowling or another sarcastic quip. Maybe I am just nasty, LOL.

    I saw your commercial and DID yell Ken!! Doug just looked at me, he must be getting used to my strange outbursts.

  4. It is so easy to come to conclusions with out any facts to support it. I thinks we are all guilty of that one

  5. a great entry thanks for the support

  6. in my profession some of my coworkers get into hot water when they extrapolate more then necessary from the facts at than ( i call this reaching to prove a point...it makes me crazy).

    i personally do not care why a student chooses to break a rule because that does not excuse the action nor mitigate the consequence.

    i mean, yeah, it's always interesting to know the back story, but i have to base my report to the parents/ admins based on what i see and what i can prove via documentation, not what i think or feel about the kid's rationale.


  7. In other words...don't judge a book by it's cover.

  8. I do it. I infer. *hanging head in shame* When I ran medical practices one of the duties was to be in charge of OSHA for the practice and with all the personalities, issues, concerns, blood products etc....it was a full-time job in and of itself. ~Mary

  9. I was in the legal profession all my life........not even touching this topic! LOL

    Hugs, Rose


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