Author Archives: Barb Phillips

Calcified at 45? 4 Tips to Keep from Turning to Stone

Posted: August 26th, 2015 in Career Development, Career Development Tips

calcified
I read an interesting Q&A on Forbes.com recently. Someone wrote in to say that he was turning 45 and felt “stale” on his job. He wanted advice about whether or not he should leave his position of nine years and seek a new one.

Liz Ryan, a former Fortune 500 HR SVP, replied. She said he was robbing himself of opportunities by staying in his current position. I was nodding my head in agreement as I read through her answer, until my eyes hit the words, “Forty-five is an age at which many or most working people begin to calcify.”

Whoa!

“Many or most working people” is a pretty strong claim. I’m 53 so I had to do a quick self-assessment. Then I reminded myself that since I turned 50, I have completed training to become a certified yoga instructor and a certified professional coach. Then I wrote a book and a course; and I am currently finishing my Bachelor’s degree.

It’s not because I have great strength or brilliance either. I couldn’t touch my toes when I started yoga teacher training but I could when I finished. I hadn’t taken a college course since 1994 when I applied for my degree program but I’m consistently on the Dean’s list because I work hard at it.

I breathed a sigh of relief that I am not turning to stone. Whew!

She also said something in her answer that resonated with me, “How much longer will you keep working? If the answer is ‘Twenty-five years until I’m 70′ then the question becomes ‘what do I want to do in those twenty-five years?'”

She’s on to something there!

I’ll someday be 55, 60, 65, 70 whether I pursue new paths or not … so why not? I may write another book based on what I’m learning in my psychology program before I’m 55. I may lead a senior yoga class at age 70. My biggest concern is that I will run out of time before I run out of things I want to do.

Fifty is when it starts getting good. Life no longer revolves around shuttling kids around. I get to buy the car I want, and next weekend I’m going to a Steely Dan concert. I’m adept at using a smartphone and social media … not hard to learn. What’s not to like about being 50?

So, is age just a number?

Research like “The Characteristics Approach to the Measurement of Population Aging” points to the fact that aging is more than just a number, it’s multidimensional. One person who is 75 chronologically doesn’t necessarily act the same age as another 75-year-old. Health and cognitive function contribute so much to the ability to live fully and with purpose throughout this one wild and amazing life.

Here are the top four things we can do to avoid being calcified at age 45 and beyond:

1. Schedule an annual exam. Proactive, preventive care matters more than ever at this stage of the game. I found out I had cancer not once, but twice, through annual well-visit exams. I am an otherwise healthy person … I seldom catch a simple cold virus!
2. Eat better quality food. Eat foods that make your body feel good and you won’t get cravings or feel hungry soon after a meal. You only get one body — feed it nourishing foods. Read a “A Quick & Simple Guide to a Longer Life.”
3. Live an active lifestyle. Walk more, go bowling, play hoops with the kids/grandkids, swim … do this at least three times a week. Put yourself and your physical/mental/emotional health first. It’s not selfish … your family, your employer and everybody around you will benefit.
4. Use your brain. Read, take a class at the community college, try out for a play (all ages of characters are needed), learn a language, travel someplace new for the day, visit the local art gallery or museum … possibilities are truly endless when we step out the door.

Notice I didn’t say “leave that boring job and pursue your passion” because we’re old enough to know it’s not that easy to walk away. However, when we are proactive about wellness, live an active lifestyle and continue to learn new things, we may just stumble upon a great new career without looking for one.

Or you may bring something new and exciting to your present job because you feel better. Sometimes the job is stale because we are stale.

Are you over 45? What do you do to keep from turning to stone? Share your ideas.

Remembering an Accident: Sayano-Shushenskaya Hydro Power Plant Disaster

Posted: August 17th, 2015 in Accidents, Video

On August 17, 2009, 75 people were killed when a turbine failed at the Sayano-Shushenskaya Power Station in the southern region of the Russian Federation. The turbine that failed had been vibrating for a long time before the accident occurred. A report published in Power Magazine suggests that it was predictable and preventable. The report revealed the terror of that day:

image“Water was washing away people from the turbine gallery into the river. Some of them were later caught and rescued. Some were not. The staff later learned that the turbine gallery was not equipped with proper emergency exits. There were also some miraculous rescues. One worker was washed by the torrent of water filling the turbine gallery up into the ceiling, where he managed to grab some ventilation equipment and hold on until being rescued. Others led employees to safety using cell phones as flashlights.”

http://www.powermag.com/investigating-the-sayano-shushenskaya-hydro-power-plant-disaster/

Have worst case scenarios at your facility ever kept you awake at night? View our course listing and learn how to go deeper into the causes of human error and equipment failure to find and fix the real root causes:

http://www.taproot.com/courses

 

Get More from TapRooT®: Follow our Pages on LinkedIn

Posted: August 13th, 2015 in Career Development, Career Development Tips, Courses, Current Events, Equipment/Equifactor®, Human Performance, Investigations, Job Postings, Performance Improvement, Quality, TapRooT, Training

Do you like quick, simple tips that add value to the way you work? Do you like articles that increase your happiness?  How about a joke or something to brighten your day? Of course you do! Or you wouldn’t be reading this post.  But the real question is, do you want MORE than all of the useful information we provide on this blog?  That’s okay – we’ll allow you to be greedy!

A lot of people don’t know we have a company page on LinkedIn that also shares all those things and more.  Follow us by clicking the image below that directs to our company page, and then clicking “Follow.”

linkedinheader

We also have a training page where we share tips about career/personal development as well as course photos and information about upcoming courses.  If you are planning to attend a TapRooT® course or want a job for candidates with root cause analysis skills, click the image below that directs to our training page and then click “Follow.”

training page

Thank you for being part of the global TapRooT® community!

10 Reasons Why I Don’t Take Criticism Personally

Posted: August 12th, 2015 in Career Development, Career Development Tips

praise
Ah feedback – how you put the wind in my sails and then abruptly leave me stranded in the middle of the ocean. The ability to sail through both positive and negative comments from others without relying too heavily on either is truly a skill mastered by the most successful people in the world.

I’ve been writing for publication for 15 years, and active on social media since its inception. I learned very quickly not rely on criticism to determine the value of my work.

I do take feedback into consideration, evaluating what’s “wrong” with the criticism, and what may be “right.” But over time, I’ve established my own personal core values, and these values are what guide my daily decisions.

I’m not claiming that positive feedback doesn’t make me smile, or that harsh feedback never makes me wince. However, when I catch myself getting too involved in feedback, I remind myself of these 10 things:

  1. Everyone has an opinion and everyone has the right to one.
  2. Feedback pushes me into a brainstorming, problem-solving frame of mind when I’m being lazy.
  3. Some people have more experience than I have.
  4. I have an opportunity to learn something.
  5. Constructive criticism can save me from a bad decision when I am open to it.
  6. If I am not receiving criticism, I must not be doing anything significant.
  7. Criticism is not always information meant to improve me, it is sometimes information I need to learn about the person who is delivering it.
  8. Resilience is a major key to success. Criticism offers a good exercise in how resilient I can be.
  9. The path to anything great is full of bumps. If I choose to trip and fall and lie there over someone’s critical feedback, it’s not that person’s fault, it’s mine.
  10. I am the author of my life story. I will not put the pen in someone else’s hand.

What do you think about critical feedback? How do you handle it?

Career Development: Capture More Joy in Life and Work by George Burk

Posted: August 5th, 2015 in Career Development, Career Development Tips

pablo(24)

First, a definition of Joy: “emotion of great pleasure or happiness caused by something exceptionally good or satisfying; elation. Delight. Exhilaration. Rapture.”

“Gurgle like a Meadow Lark.” W. P. Kinsella

All of those definitions and more are wonderful things. To have them you must first make them happen. It’s up to you (and me) to create our joy, delight and exhilaration. No material thing or person can make you joyous and truly happy. Lately, it seems that far too many people expect others to fill their hearts and minds with joy. They want their life and their work to be fun yet they do little to make them fun. They want (expect?) their our boss to acknowledge and recognize them because it makes them feel good about themselves, yet do little to recognize their boss or others.

Our universe, regardless of its size and scope is clear: what we put into our universe is what we get out of it. Happiness and joy in; happiness and joy out. When we are negative, act and talk like a victim and think we’re owed because of some perceived injustice, we get those and more out. To say it another way, GIGO: garbage in—garbage out.

Life requires, even demands, that we create our own joy, happiness, delight and exhilaration. A few suggestions (many I’ve learned on my journey) on how you can find more joy, happiness, delight and WOW in your life:

Make it a habit to spend at least five minutes each morning, before you go to sleep at night or both and think about who, what and why you feel grateful and Blessed. Gratitude and Blessings brings joy, delight and exhilaration. Count your Blessings instead of sheep. Remember those who’ve helped you on that day and in your life. Make a list. I do and what a list!! I start with God, The Trinity and work down from there It gives me a sense of peace, contentment, meaning and purpose. Before I fall asleep, I often recite, “The Lord is my Shepherd…”

“At times our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person. Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame from within us.” ~ Albert Schweitzer

Acknowledge at least one person each week and thank them for their friendship, kindness, generosity, support and love. Be specific what you share with them. Is it awkward to say “Thank you” in person? Write a note and mail it to them or call them. It wasn’t awkward for them to show their generosity, kindness, support and love to you in person. It shouldn’t be awkward for you to respond in kind. One act of kindness deserves an equal response of thanks and respect. Skip the email—too impersonal. When we share a sliver of our joy with someone else that they can feel and touch, it gives us some more joy, too. For me, there’s far more than one person to thank. To know that brings me much joy!

“Kindness is the language the blind can see and the deaf can hear.” ~ Mark Twain

Make a list of the things in your life that you love. What are they? How actively do you pursue them? On a scale of 1-10 or A-F, rate each effort. Be honest with yourself. We receive joy, excitement, exhilaration, and delight as we march towards our goals, no matter how large the BHAGs, “Big, Hairy Audacious Goals” or how small. The key: keep headed forward.

“When it is obvious that the goals cannot be reached, don’t adjust the goals, adjust the action steps.” ~ Confucius

Take a long, hard look at your career and work. Does it feel like work and is it fun and do you truly love what you do? Or when you look at yourself in the mirror in the morning, do you hear that little voice in your head that wishes you didn’t have to go to work at that place today? Liar, liar pants on fire.

“The brain is a wonderful organ; it starts working the moment you get up in the morning and doesn’t stop until you get into the office.” ~ Robert Frost

The people with who you associate are who you are and who you become. As shared with me in 1961 by Mr. Orville Merillat, founder of Merillat Woodworking in Adrian, Michigan, “A man is known by the words he uses and the company he keeps. Choose them both wisely.” His support and friendship and that of his wife Ruth were a constant source of inspiration and Blessing to me. How many people in your life truly support you? A friend in need is a friend indeed. If this suggestion creates some doubt in your mind or makes you uncomfortable, perhaps it’s time you take a good look around you. Reach out! Say thanks.

“Walking with a friend in the dark is better than walking alone in the light.” ~ Helen Keller

Remember, the friends we select and those who select us are the family we both choose. The old adage that you sure as **** can’t choose your family but we sure can choose your friends is as tried and true today as ever. The people in your life…do they support you or tell you what they think you want to hear? There are times in life, because of location, circumstances or a friendships lack of validity, when you have to create new friendships. The more true friends you have, the more unbiased support and love you receive. Make periodic deposits into your friendship bank account and watch the ‘interest’ and ‘dividends’ grow and compound. To know you have that much support and so many friendships, gives you more joy, delight, exhilaration and Blessings.

Do you associate with people who are committed and enrolled to your development? There’s a special delight to know that those in your universal sphere see your potential and value you to give of their time, talents, efforts and resources. Those friends and mentors shouldn’t, and most often can’t, give you the answer or fix the problem for you. See enabled. You created the problem. Only you can fix it. Own it! What your friends and mentors can do is offer you suggestions via Socratic Coaching; they answer a question with a question. “A pedagogical teaching in which the teacher does not give information directly but instead asks a series of questions with the result that the student comes to the desired knowledge by answering the questions or to a deeper awareness of the limits of knowledge.”

“When the student is ready, the teacher will appear.” ~ Buddha

Play it forward. Give. “Pass the salt and make a difference in a person, place or thing.” Leave them, it or both a little better for your having been there. Share you ‘energy.’ Find that something that stokes your passion(s) and give of your time and talents. For me, it’s the opportunities I’ve been given to share my story of survival and to write. When I receive a hand-written note or email from someone who was the audience when I spoke or who read my book(s), my brain smiles and brings me joy. Their notes help me reflect of the many whose personal competence courage, compassion (love) and perseverance saved my life. It includes the many over the past 35 plus years who invited me to speak which helped me to continue to heal emotionally and spiritually. When we play it forward and give of our time, talents and resources, it gives our life more meaning and purpose. Give more, take less.

“The spirit in which a thing is given determines that in which the debt is acknowledged; it’s the intention not the face-value of the gift, that’s weighed.” ~ Seneca in Letters to Lucilius

Live your life with Character. Don’t be a Character. It’s the right and ethical thing to do. When we focus more on what is right with us, our relationships and our work, we feel better about ourselves. We’re more exhilarated and joyous and that drives us to build even more momentum…to do more right and ethical things. Our Character is our umbrella for life.

“Character is like a tree and reputation like a shadow. The shadow is what we think of it; the tree is the real thing.” ~ Abraham Lincoln

Either you live your life with Character and use it automatically and instinctively, or you don’t. It must be weaved into your deepest psyche. Character, ethical thinking and decision making shouldn’t be conveniently espoused to garner support and/or make a political point. There’s far too much of that today in our ‘leaders,’ politicians and society.

Don’t be fearful. Fear, like other issues in life, is a choice. We create it most when there’s no real reason. It becomes another self-fulfilling prophecy and gives us permission to make excuses. Excuses become our reality. Fear limits us physically and emotionally. It sucks the life out of us like a dry sponge does to water. Fear’s a drain on our joy, excitement and exhilaration. Identify that which makes you fearful and then choose to develop a strategy to get rid of it, one choice at a time and one fear at a time. Go spread some joy…that’s joyous.

“We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy in life is when men are afraid of the light.” ~ Plato

Each day, create a goal to think about and acknowledge those people and things that delight you and bring you joy, exhilaration and happiness. It’s all around. Sunrise. Sunset. Air after a rain. Flowers in bloom. Hugs. Dry heat. J You have to want to see it. Good luck. God Bless.

“May the God of hope fill you all with joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Romans 15:18

This article was reprinted with permission from the author, Captain George Burk, USAF (Ret), Plane crash, burn survivor, motivational speaker, author, writer. Visit his website at www.georgeburk.com  or contact Captain Burk at gburk@georgeburk.com.

Why What You Think About Root Cause Training is Wrong

Posted: August 5th, 2015 in Root Cause Analysis Tips, Root Causes


pablo(4)

People are often surprised when they learn the reasons they haven’t taken root cause analysis training are invalid.  Here are the top three excuses people give that are wrong:

1. Most employers aren’t seeking that skill when hiring.

Root cause analysis is a top skill valued by employers because mistakes don’t “just happen” but can be traced to well-defined causal factors that can be corrected.  A bonus to root cause analysis training is that root causes identified over time across multiple occurrences can be used for proactive improvement. For example, if a significant number of investigations point to confusing or incomplete SPAC (Standards, Policies, or Admin Controls), improvement of this management system can begin. Trending of root causes allows development of systematic improvements as well as evaluation of the impact of corrective actions.  What boss doesn’t appreciate an employee who can prevent HUGE problems and losses from occurring?  Promoting your root cause analysis skills is an impressive topic of conversation on any job interview.

2. It takes too long to learn enough to really use it on my job.

In just 2 days you can learn all of the essentials to conduct a root cause analysis and add this impressive skill to your resume.  You will be equipped to find and fix the root causes of incidents, accidents, quality problems, near-misses, operational errors, hospital sentinel events and other types of problems.  The essential TapRooT® Techniques include:

  • SnapCharT® – a simple, visual technique for collecting and organizing information to understand what happened.
  • Root Cause Tree® – a systematic, repeatable way to find the root causes of human performance and equipment problems — the Root Cause Tree® helps investigators see beyond their current knowledge.
  • Corrective Action Helper® – help lead investigators “outside the box” to develop effective corrective actions.

There are all kinds of training programs you can enroll in for your career development that take months, even years, to complete.  A 2-day investment for this valuable training program will equip you with a powerful skill that will set you apart from the rest.

3. I don’t have enough technical knowledge to take training like that.

It doesn’t matter if you have a high school diploma or an MBA.  It doesn’t matter if you do not know much about root cause analysis beyond the description provided below.  Our attendees, at every level of education and technical skill, find that they can engage in the training and take away root cause analysis skills to implement immediately.  It is not a “sit and listen” training – attendees do hands on exercises to develop their new knowledge in the course.

Root cause analysis is a systematic process used in investigating and fixing the causes of major accidents, everyday incidents, minor near-misses, quality issues, human errors, maintenance problems, medical mistakes, productivity issues, manufacturing mistakes and environmental releases.

Root cause analysis training provides:

  • the knowledge to identify what, how and why something happened, and this knowledge is vital to preventing it from happening again.
  • the understanding that root causes are identifiable and can be managed with corrective actions.
  • an ease of data collection, root cause identification, and corrective action recommendations and implementation.

Still not convinced root cause analysis training is for you?

GUARANTEE for the 2-Day TapRooT® Incident Investigation and Root Cause Analysis Course: Attend this course, go back to work, and use what you have learned to analyze accidents, incidents, near-misses, equipment failures, operating issues, or quality problems. If you don’t find root causes that you previously would have overlooked and if you and your management don’t agree that the corrective actions that you recommend are much more effective, just return your course materials/software and we will refund the entire course fee.

CLICK HERE to register for the 2-Day TapRooT® Incident Investigation and Root Cause Analysis Course.

SAVE THE DATE!

Posted: August 3rd, 2015 in Summit

new_river_walk

The 2016 Global TapRooT® Summit is on the schedule! Save the date, August 1-5, 2016 in San Antonio, Texas.  Stay updated about our global event by subscribing to our weekly eNewsletter.  Just send an e-mail to editor@taproot.com with the subject line “subscribe.”

3 Characteristics that Separate Leaders from Managers

Posted: July 29th, 2015 in Career Development, Career Development Tips

pablo(26)

.

A manager and a leader have two very different yet critical roles for the success of every business. It is extremely rare to find an individual who can serve both roles.

It may seem intuitive to know which role you’re in, but sometimes a manager will find himself miserable in a position because he is a leader, and a leader doing a manager’s job is like trying to fit a round peg into a square hole.

Knowing whether you are a leader or a manager helps you fit into the organizational structure of your company, and benefits both you and the company.

Here are three primary differences between and manager and a leader:

 

Manager: You’ve been told you’re the “brains of the business.”

Leader: You’ve been told you “inspire action” with your ideas.

Manager: You set exciting goals, i.e., how many green widgets will be produced and sold this week.

Leader: You respectfully question exciting goals, i.e., is the sale of green widgets in line with our company’s core values?

Manager: You major in the “how” and “when,” establishing systems, operating procedures and incentive programs.

Leader: You major in the “what” and “why,” establishing the mission statement, long-term vision, and the direction of the company.

People ask the difference between a leader and a boss. The leader leads and the boss drives. ~ Theodore Roosevelt

While it’s true that some managers inspire and some leaders can create great systems, these are not their primary strengths.

Have you ever left a position because you were managing instead of leading, or vice versa?

Do you consider yourself an investigative team leader? We’d love to see you in our 5-Day TapRooT® Advanced Root Cause Analysis Team Leader Training!  Check out our Global Schedule for a course near you!

Change the Course of your Career by Jumping in the Flow

Posted: July 22nd, 2015 in Career Development, Career Development Tips

Are you completely involved with the work you are doing in your career?

Do you feel a great inner clarity knowing what needs to be done?

Do you feel your skills are adequate for your tasks?

Do you frequently feel a sense of ecstasy in what you are doing or a sense of serenity?

Do hours fly by in minutes?

Do you feel part of something larger?

If you answer yes to the above, you have achieved an optimal state of “flow” at work.

Perhaps you work at a company that provides that type of environment. Did you know that the first “Purposes of Incorporation” of Sony when they didn’t have a dime was:

To establish a place of work where engineers can feel the joy of technological innovation, be aware of their mission to society, and work to their heart’s content.

Not quite there? Stay with this 19 minute video until the last few minutes and find out what is blocking you from being in the flow at work.  Find out which state you are in and what you can do to break out of it and into flow.

Continuing education is one way to get back into the flow of your career.

Contact Barb at phillips@taproot.com and find a course that will open options in your career development!

We Train Great Leaders

Posted: July 21st, 2015 in Career Development, Courses, TapRooT

Click the light gray box near the bottom right corner to view larger slideshow.

Why Caring About Your Work Matters

Posted: July 15th, 2015 in Career Development, Career Development Tips

pablo(6)

If you’ve had the opportunity to hear as many motivational coaches as we have at our Global TapRooT® Summit, one thing becomes clear:  Align your life with your highest aspiration, because it’s short and there are no do-overs. Time is a valuable resource so each day we need to ask ourselves, “Am I spending my time on something that really matters?”

This author brings this point home with some valuable lessons on why we should care about our work.  Read the article here:

The Case for Caring About Your Work

Perhaps when we interview candidates for positions within our company, we should be asking that question, “How will this position help you align your life with your goals?” Because a person who can clearly connect his or her job to achievement of personal life goals will most likely be a better performer.  And a person who has no goals may not be the best fit for your organization.

How else can we encourage others to take care and pride in their work to transform our workplaces?

Interviewing: Why Every Investigator Should Avoid These 3 Things

Posted: July 15th, 2015 in Root Cause Analysis Tips

When an employee is a witness to an incident that occurs in the workplace, what he or she witnessed becomes valuable information for evidence collection and finding and fixing the root causes.  Retrieval from memory is hard work, and when an interview is not set up properly, a witness will not remember important details.

The two short videos below are actors playing the role of interviewer and interviewee in a mock incident investigation interview for a General Motors incident investigation training module. They created one “good” interview, and one “bad” interview scenario.

Let’s take a quick look at the bad scenario, what not to do when interviewing.

Three mistakes to avoid:

  1. The interviewer did not communicate open, friendly body language during the greeting or try to “break the ice.” Notice that the interviewer appeared uninterested in the interviewee when she sat down, and he gestured with palms down which may convey to the interviewee that he already knows what happened. Soon thereafter, he actually says the words “I know what happened” and “I gotta ask you some questions so I can fill out this report.” At this point, the interviewee may feel like the interview is just a formality and he doesn’t need her information.  This mistake is a good way to completely shut the interviewee down right off the bat.
  2. The interviewer asked closed-ended, leading questions. “Was Larry wearing a seatbelt?”  “Was Larry speeding?” “Was Larry out partying again last night?” The interviewer put the interviewee on defense with this line of questioning.  Also, these questions are limited to a “yes” or “no” answer and will not elicit much information, and they are leading. The interviewer already told her “I know what happened” so she may have been afraid at this point to say “yes” or “no” because it may not be the same thing the interviewer “knows.”  Overall, interviewees want to provide good information so when interviewers lead them into thinking they already have “the right” information, the interviewees may doubt what they witnessed so they can also give “the right” answer.
  3. The interviewer does not set up the cognitive interview properly and interrupts constantly. Interrupting when an interviewee is delivering a narrative (i.e., telling the story as she remembers it) is the worst mistake an interviewer can make because it causes the interviewee to lose her train of thought and valuable information she may provide.  The interviewer has already made the mistake of assuming the principle role with his “I already know what happened” attitude so the interviewee will wait for him to ask specific questions without volunteering anything.  The interviewer also said “I only have a few questions here.” This makes the interviewee feel like he is in a hurry so she should keep her answers brief.

How the interview could be improved:

  1. Begin the interview with a friendly tone to develop rapport.  This includes open body language (smile, eye contact, open palms).  Tell the interviewee about the purpose of the interview (to find the root causes of the incident so they can be corrected and kept from occurring again).  If the interviewee was injured or witnessed a tragic accident, ask her how she is feeling or how she is doing since witnessing the accident.  Be human. Research proves that the amount of information an interviewee remembers changes based on the tone established during the first few minutes of the interview.
  2. Save closed-ended questions to follow-up something specific the interviewee said. When the interviewee is telling her story (the narrative) of the incident and a question pops into the interviewer’s mind about what she said, don’t interrupt.  After the witness gives her narrative, try open-ended questions before closing in on small details with closed-ended questions.  This will keep the interviewee in memory retrieval mode for a little longer.  The interviewer should write down questions and ask them after the interviewee has completely finished her narrative, and the questions should pertain to the narrative. For example, “You stated that you were on Workstation 3 when the incident occurred. Is that your normal workstation?”
  3. Set up the cognitive interview.  There are three steps to setting up a cognitive interview. The first step is to tell the interviewee explicitly to assume the principle role.  “I didn’t see the incident, so I’m relying on you to tell me what happened.”  The second step is to ask the interviewee for the narrative.  “Picture, in your mind’s eye, where you were right before the incident occurred.  Think about where you were standing, what you were thinking and feeling at the time. Get a clear picture of your surroundings.”  The third step is to ask the witness to report small details. “Tell me everything you remember about the incident no matter how trivial.”  Then don’t interrupt!

Let’s take a quick look at a “good” interview.

Keep in mind that these videos were recorded for training purposes.  A true cognitive interview would last longer than 3 minutes, but this is a good example of a few good techniques to use. Kudos to these two actors and their efforts to make our workplaces safer.

Comment below on the techniques the interviewer used that made this interview better than the first as well as any mistakes in the first video that were not discussed above.

For more information about how to conduct an investigative interview, attend our 5-Day TapRooT® Advanced Root Cause Analysis Team Leader Training.

TapRooT® in Chile

Posted: July 8th, 2015 in Courses, TapRooT

Marco Flores

 

chile flag

Chile Wins Cup!

TapRooT® Instructor Marco Flores sent us this great photo from a recent course in Chile and reported that Chile recently won the America Cup in soccer for the first time in 105 years!

Congratulations to our Chilean friends!

.

.

The #1 Reason Why You Aren’t Happy

Posted: July 8th, 2015 in Career Development, Career Development Tips

pablo(12)

Have you ever said:

I don’t have enough time to do all the things I want to do.

I feel uninspired in my career.

I’m not getting what I need from my relationships.

Have you ever wondered why, in spite of good intentions, things just never seem to work out?

I have some good news for you today.  It’s not because of bad luck.  It’s not because you’re too young or too old or too out of shape or too poor.  And stop beating yourself up for lack of motivation.  These problems are all related to one reason:  losing focus on your core values.

We don’t have time for all the things we want to do is because we don’t make important things that align with our core values a priority over all of the other things that distract us.

We feel uninspired in our careers because we are not choosing something that makes us feel excited to get up in the morning, and that something always aligns with our core values.

We don’t get what we need from our relationships because we lean too heavily on others who do not support or share our core values.

Core values have a huge impact on our lives because they give us purpose and direction.  One of the most popular Career Development posts on the Root Cause Analysis Blog is “5 Easy Steps to Determining and Living Your Core Values.” It is a simple exercise that reveals to us that core values are actionable items – that everything we do are either aligned with them or they are not.  Determine your core values here:

http://www.taproot.com/archives/33161

“What you seek is seeking you.” ~ Rumi

So after you determine your core values, what do you do with them?  How do core values help you live the life you’ve always felt meant to live?

Where it typically breaks down is when we don’t make the effort to align these values with our day-to-day lives.

Here are 3 important action items to implement once you decide to build your life on your core values.  When you make that intention, getting what you want from life will feel like less of a struggle, “luck” will seem to be in your favor, and motivation will come with ease.

  1. Review your core values frequently. Keep them in notes on your iPhone, on a Post-It on your bathroom mirror or any place you look often. It’s important to keep them in front of you daily so you remember what they are.   Fully understanding what they are and writing them down is wonderful, but if you do not review them daily, or at least weekly, you will find yourself slowly sailing away from all of the things you hold dear, and it will take a crisis to turn that ship around.
  2. Don’t make a major decision without examining them. Buying a house? Changing careers? Going back to school? Getting married? Buying a car? We allow other people and things to influence our decisions all the time when we really should be true to ourselves and align every big decision with our core values. For example, if one of your core values is to “live in freedom,” you will not want to purchase so many items on credit that you are living in bondage to debt.
  3. Take inventory of daily small decisions and determine if they fit with your core values. One easy way to stay on track is to mentally review the small decisions you make each day before falling asleep. Keeping a journal is helpful as well.  When your decisions don’t line up with your core values, you can get yourself back on track before venturing too far away from yourself. For example, if one of your core values is to “act with mindfulness” you may note that you were served a wonderful meal that day but was so distracted you really didn’t taste the food, or that a friend was sharing a story about her vacation and you were only half listening.

Living our core values is essential to living out our purpose in life and finding true meaning.  There is no greater gift we can give to the world or receive for ourselves than to honor our core values and live the life we are meant to live fully and with passion. Every home, workplace and city is an exciting place to be when it is full of those passionate about life.

I would like to hear about your core values, how they’ve been tested, and how they guide you through challenging times.

Learn How to Make Safe Behavior ‘Go Viral’ for a Great Safety Culture

Posted: July 7th, 2015 in Career Development

Clare Solomon and Mark Ormond invite you to learn how to make safe behavior ‘go viral’ for a great safety culture.

tipping point

International Culture Change Seminar – Creating a ‘Tipping Point’
September 17, 2015
Phoenix, Arizona
$250

Clare_Solomon

Clare Solomon

Mark Ormond

Mark Ormond

It was great to meet so many TapRooT® users at the Las Vegas Summit last month and to all those who got involved in our social experiment to create a Tipping Point – thank-you!

If you weren’t there, you missed a treat! We succeeded in getting almost 200 people up on their feet dancing, or tapping along to Simon and Garfunkel’s ‘Cecilia’… this was at 8.30 in the morning after a big night out in Vegas!

The tipping point… that magic moment when ideas, trends and social behavior cross a threshold, tip and spread like wildfire.
Malcolm Gladwell

So, what’s all this got to do with creating a great safety culture? It’s all about having 3 things:

1. the right people
2. the right message
3. … at the right time

Get this right and culture change can happen more quickly than you think. Just look at how fast behaviour can go viral, from a stadium wave to the ice bucket challenge!

Why do some messages stick?

As culture change specialists we have helped our clients see tipping points of change happen again and again through a powerful combination of coaching and communication tools designed to change attitudes, values and beliefs at every level of the organization.

In this seminar you will find out:

- The key elements required to influence a tipping point in your business
– How to create and sustain behavioural change that will lead to better safety performance.

On average our clients see a 30-50% improvement in incidents and accidents within 12 months.

Sign up to our Culture Change Seminar
September 17, 2105
Phoenix, Arizona
Call: 00 44 1494 782444
Email: Clare@hillsolomon.co.uk

Or click below to find out more and book your place…
http://hillsolomon.co.uk/latest-news/culture-change-seminar/

A highly professional, engaging and thought-provoking workshop. The presentation was smooth and demonstrated a deep understanding of the subject that has clearly delivered results. The event was expertly organised and facilitated.
James Pomeroy, Group HSE Manager
Senior plc

Root Cause Tip: What is the Root Cause of Memory Failure While Learning?

Posted: July 1st, 2015 in Root Cause Analysis Tips

pablo(9)

Ever take your laptop to training to take notes? According to psychological research, (The Pen is Mightier than the Keyboard), if you want to retain what you learn during training, using a laptop to take notes is not a good idea.

The research indicates that the act of taking notes on a laptop seems to interfere with our ability to remember the information. Mueller & Oppenheimer, psychologists for the research, believe that’s because learners on laptops are mindlessly typing everything the instructor is saying.  When tested, laptop users performed similar to pen notetakers on factual questions about the notes, but significantly worse on conceptual questions.

Since we can’t take notes as fast nor capture as much information with a pen, we are required to think and actively listen for what’s most important to write down.  Thus, we store information into memory as we think about it.

One of the root causes of memory failure during learning appears to be the way we take notes.  Will this research change the way you take notes in training?  Leave your comments below.

Happy Canada Day!

Posted: July 1st, 2015 in Pictures, TapRooT® Instructor

canada day

We are grateful for all of our Canadian TapRooT® Instructors and friends! Happy Canada Day!

Career Development: On Information Overload? Take Action!

Posted: July 1st, 2015 in Uncategorized
breaking news

Interesting headlines can lead us to good information, but they also lead us away from taking action.

I admit to being an information junkie, and list article headlines steal my attention every single day because they are tasty morsels of knowledge I can’t resist knowing.

10 Things You Didn’t Know About …

15 Things You Need to Know About …

20 Things You Should Consider About …

You get the idea!

Not to say that information is a bad thing ….
but with the Internet we are all on information overload.  What happened to simply taking action?

I love this author’s idea about implementing a “deprivation week,” disconnecting from information sources and just doing the work you know you should be doing. If you feel like you are operating less successfully because of an overwhelm of information, check out his advice to quit learning and start doing: 10 Overlooked Truths about Taking Action

 

Career Development: The Truth About Failure

Posted: June 22nd, 2015 in Career Development, Career Development Tips, Pictures

success failure

In Walter Bond’s book All Buts Stink (2009),  he puts failure into perspective.  He believes that there are two important factors that contribute to it – a lack of information and/or a lack of discipline.  Both contributing factors can be overcome.

You are already paying a price for the life you have. Pay a little bit more and have a bigger life. ~ Walter Bond

Reaching for a bigger life is to risk failure. Ironically, failure is easy to live with because it brings out sympathy from our friends and colleagues.  Sympathy is comforting.  We may not realize it, but there may be a point in life that we settled comfortably into the benefits of failure.  Discipline is hard work, and so is finding the information that we need to be successful.

However, accepting failure is also accepting a smaller life.

So how do you live a bigger life? Bond advises,

Career change, back to school, investment of time, investment of money, increased effort or focus, investment of courage.

And then what? And then the road to success may get uncomfortable, and one reason is that success brings out jealousy from those same friends and colleagues who were all in on the  group hug when we failed. They may send this message to us once we begin to experience success:  Don’t push forward and leave me behind. Stay here on my level where we’re friends.  They may not say those exact words, but what they do say to us may not encourage us to move toward a bigger life.  Plus, taking risks will create more obstacles, more roadblocks, more failures.

Perhaps the solution is to re-frame “failure” as simply an undesirable outcome.  Undesirable outcomes are not failures, they help us succeed.  To experience success after an undesirable outcome, we must be willing to take action.  We not only need a willingness to risk failure, we need to be willing to fall flat on our faces allowing that experience to motivate us to take that information and increase in action, to find the information we need, to become more disciplined.  Failure is a chance to move forward with important, new knowledge.

Know better. Do better.

Think of all the successful people throughout history, and all the struggles they went through before achieving a bigger life.  They never gave up — they corrected what needed to be corrected after each failure and kept their momentum.

When we become wildly successful, no one will be talking about our failures. Failures are just important and necessary stepping stones to achieving our highest aspirations.  Stepping stones … not stumbling blocks.  And that, friends, is the truth about failure.

Are you paying a price for the life you have? Are you willing to pay a little more?

Learn more about Walter Bond at http://walterbond.com/

Mystery Solved!

Posted: June 19th, 2015 in Pictures

Shout out to TapRooT® Instructor, Ken Turnbull for forwarding us this interesting, hot-off-the-press “headline news.”  You heard it here first!

 

Slide1

Are You Comfortable With Just Getting By?

Posted: June 15th, 2015 in Best Practice Presentations, Human Performance, Summit

Getting comfortable with just getting by, accepting failure, accepting broken rules … these attitudes all contribute to an unhealthy workplace culture that allows major and minor accidents. How do we get back on track?

We livestreamed Mark Paradies’ empowering talk, “How to Stop Normalization of Deviation,” at the 2015 Global TapRooT® Summit in Las Vegas. View the recorded session below and learn how to improve the work culture at your facility.

Broadcast live streaming video on Ustream

Dan Quiggle Shares Lessons on Leadership

Posted: June 3rd, 2015 in Summit

We were privileged to hear Dan Quiggle speak on leadership today at the 2015 Global TapRooT® Summit in Las Vegas.

IMG_9517 (4)

Dan Quiggle (left) Mark Paradies (right)

 

 

2015 Global TapRooT® Summit After Hours: Downtown Vegas!

Posted: May 25th, 2015 in Local Attractions, Summit

Are you getting packed for Vegas? Do you have one or two fun things on your list for after hours fun?

On our visit to downtown Vegas, we chatted with one of the locals who told us downtown is where it’s at!  It’s less expensive for a night out on the town, and in his opinion, more fun because it’s old-style Vegas glam!

Downtown24

Hugo’s Cellar at the Four Queens Hotel and Casino is known for classic Las Vegas dining.  Ladies will be greeted with a long stemmed rose.

Downtown21

Adventure seekers will love the thrill of ziplining through downtown.  Click this photo to view an exciting zipline video!

Downtown4

The Golden Nugget and Binion’s sit right across from each other! Binion’s penthouse restaurant offers breathtaking views; and The Golden Nugget was named “Best Downtown Hotel” in 2014!

Last but not least, The Gold Spike has a giant living room and backyard where there is a ton of fun to be had on a warm summer night!

DowntownGamePlace

The living room at the Gold Pike is equipped with games and comfy furniture (click to view another photo of the living room.

DowntownGameplace11

Judy and I played life-size chess in the backyard of The Gold Spike! Click this image to see the cornhole games and comfy seating!

We’ve listed some more ideas on our Hotel & Travel page (scroll down the page to view the list).

Still haven’t signed up?  We’ll take your registration for a few more days!  Go to this link now: http://www.taproot.com/taproot-summit/register-for-summit

We are Grateful to Our Military

Posted: May 25th, 2015 in Uncategorized

Memorial Day

We just want to take a moment to honor those who have served, those who are active military, and the families of our military. Home of the free because of the brave. Thank you for your sacrifice.

Connect with Us

Filter News

Search News

Authors

Barb PhillipsBarb Phillips

Editorial Director

Chris ValleeChris Vallee

Six Sigma

Dan VerlindeDan Verlinde

Software Development

Dave JanneyDave Janney

Safety & Quality

Ed SkompskiEd Skompski

Medical

Gabby MillerGabby Miller

Communications Specialist

Ken ReedKen Reed

Equifactor®

Linda UngerLinda Unger

Vice President

Mark ParadiesMark Paradies

Creator of TapRooT®

Steve RaycraftSteve Raycraft

Technical Support

Success Stories

In March of 1994, two of our investigators were sent to the TapRooT 5-day Incident Investigator Team…

Fluor Fernald, Inc.

TapRooT® is a key part of our safety improvement program that has helped us stop injuries and save lives.

Canyon Fuel Company
Contact Us