Safety 101: Be an Active Listener in Safety Training 

As a new employee, you probably have to endure hours and hours of training and orientation. Even veteran employees have to sit through an occasional refresher or training update. And some of it may seem tedious and boring, and you might find yourself occasionally tuning out and wondering what’s for lunch. But one piece is particularly crucial—the safety piece. You need to pay attention during the safety training. The information you hear could change how you respond in a crisis, possibly saving a life or preventing a major accident. Plus, if you’re engaged and paying attention, it makes the time go a lot faster. Here’s how to be an active listener in safety training. 

 

Lean in. 

If you slouch or lean back in your seat, it’s a lot easier for your mind to wander and drift off to sleep. But if you lean in, just slightly towards the speaker, you’ll actively engage your eyes, muscles, and ears so that you’re prepared to take in new information. Keep an open mind, and don’t let yourself think about other things.  

 

Look at the speaker. 

Ignore your phone or laptop. Face the front and make eye contact with the speaker. That doesn’t mean you have to stare them down, but nodding along and holding eye contact keeps you focused on what they’re saying, instead of having it go in one ear and out the other. If there’s a video or other type of screen, sit in a place where you have a good view of it. 

 

Take notes. 

Have a notebook or pen handy or take notes on the handout you receive. Jot down key points, statistics, and tips. The act of actually writing down essential information helps you retain it longer. Plus, you have it to refer back to later on. Sometimes even a mindless activity, such as coloring a checkerboard pattern in your notebook, helps you hear better, eliminating visual distractions, like someone’s hairstyle or a notification on your phone. Just make sure you occasionally glance up to make eye contact or see the visual aids the speaker is using.  

 

Ask clarifying questions. 

Ask follow-up questions to make sure you understand what’s being said. Even if you don’t ask a question, try to come up with one for each segment, to make sure you’re thinking critically and taking the training seriously. Consider each safety scenario and how it pertains to your job. Try to imagine how you’d have to react.  

 

Active listening allows you to get the most significant benefit from others’ knowledge and suggestions, meaning that your workplace will be a bit safer for you and your coworkers. It also shows that you’re interested in the information, which is a good message to convey to your boss. If they think you’re not paying attention or not seriously considering safety protocol, they probably won’t be pleased. For more tips on getting the most out of your safety training, check out our website at http://www.icrjobs.com.  

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