Communication skills

In October 2023, Health and Safety1 MinutesBy Tracey MurphyNovember 11, 2023

As in life, effective communication is the key to successful health and safety.

Who works in your workplace? What are their roles? What are their levels of literacy or language?

Safewise currently employs five women. Three are Kiwis, and two are South African. We have two health and safety consultants and three support office workers, and one manages the health and safety app, Site App Pro.

A few months ago, we underwent some communication coaching, which primarily focused on identifying behaviours and distinguishing them from judgements. We learnt how to give feedback (positive) and development (when things go wrong).

In August, both consultants attended a workshop on communication run by an international expert. This had quite a different approach to the coaching.

At Safewise, we firmly believe that the success of health and safety, like most things, depends on communication – on having conversations and building relationships.

One of the common links between the coaching and workshop was this – talking from the heart builds conversation and relationships. Obviously, we still talk about risk assessments and form completion. But we also, and always have, talk about personal impacts on people. We share stories. We make sure that we inform, but we also listen.

My challenge is to talk to people about them and the things that are important to them. I believe you will find common ground: people are not so different.