Try this today.
Ask those you meet, “How are you?” Count how many either smile and say nothing or respond with “Good.”
Did any of the first 10 people even think about your question?
On a website for international college students, the writer warns, “One should not misinterpret [How are you] as an initiation of profound conversation.”
It’s the same with “Be safe” and puts a culture of real safety at risk. When the phrase (or an entire safety program) becomes habitual, it takes on the superficiality and insincerity of “How are you?”
- What if we made time to connect with a real inquiry into issues the team is facing?
- What if we took 30 seconds to really find out how an individual member was doing?
- What if we made it OK to have a “profound conversation” about safety?
Now if I could just stop saying “You too” when the person at the airline ticket counter tells me to have a good trip.