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Intuition ... Not Such a ‘Soft’ Skill After All?

By Susan Dunn
Posted Friday, December 3, 2004

Lorna Ramsay and her husband, David, live in Scotland and run the TOP-SET® Incident Investigation System. They teach how to investigate industrial accidents all over the world, for high-hazard industries as well as the emergency services and the medical sector. They and the TOP-SET® team also go into the field to investigate for clients all over the world, and teach engineers who work in nuclear plants, the oil and gas, explosives and other high hazard industries, how to stay safe by using their intuition.

The most rewarding outcome of their work is the companies find that being humanitarian affects their bottom line. What they learn through TOP-SET® saves lives, increases business performance, enhances the company’s reputation, increases profitability, complies with regulation, and prevents and predicts similar occurrences. And it also affects employee morale and attitude.

“When an employer sends his or her managers to our seminars,” says Lorna, “they know the company cares about them. What we teach – and we’re educators, not trainers – spills over in other areas of the workplace. TOP-SET® is a ‘thinking system.’ We teach our clients to investigate, i.e., to think their way through what is really a complex problem. We’re ‘problem-solvers.’ And once you can analyze what happened, and learn from it, you can prevent and eventually predict.”

How do they teach intuition? “Go back to when you were in an unfamiliar situation,” says Lorna. “Think of how a dog or child behaves. When my dog runs down to the beach in the morning and sees a rubbish bag, she’ll sniff, circle it, even bare her teeth until she’s sure it’s safe. Well that’s what these engineers need to learn how to do, to 'sense' when something has changed.”

“When you’re working in a high-hazard industry,” she says, “if you go into a work situation, and there’s something coming at you that makes you feel funny - an almost imperceptible smell, a feeling, in an explosive factory it could be a change in humidity - just some change that you sense, rather than see, don’t ignore it. If you get a gut feeling something isn’t right, pay attention to that, act on that. Intuition can be honed by just practicing and noticing.”

“We help companies move forward and innovate in a time of perpetual change; TOP-SET® is specifically a thinking system, a key to investigating accidents, to solving that particular type of problem. But the companies often ask us to assist them in thinking their way through other issues, to help them create, and to innovate.” Lorna says. “We’ve found when a company is honestly investigating an incident, and the regulatory bodies are aware of that, then they’re less likely to prosecute. The most important thing, though, is that employees feel valued and cared about when such attention is paid to their safety. And it works. It’s now safer to be on an oil rig than in your own home.”

A practical application for emotional intelligence with many positive outcomes.

About the Author
Susan Dunn, The EQ Coach, GLOBAL EQ. Emotional intelligence coaching to enhance all areas of your life - career, relationships, midlife transition, resilience, self-esteem, parenting. EQ Alive! - excellent, accelerated, affordable EQ coach certification. Susan is the author of numerous ebooks, is widely published on the Internet, and a regular speaker for cruise lines. For marketing services go here.


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