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  • Jordy Mallory

Team Cohesion in a Safety Environment

Commitment to team goals starts with understanding roles and embracing strengths -

There are many definitions for safety, yet I'm confident we can agree that safety simply means that there is no chance of harm, danger, or injury.

Regardless of your position — manager, technician, pilot, driver, coordinator, dispatcher, or pretty much anything else — your actions, or maybe lack thereof, have an impact on the well-being of others. We all play a part in safety: an aviation mechanic topping up vital fluids, a dispatcher sending paramedics to an accident scene, a scheduler planning a trip and choosing the right aircraft for a mission, or a pilot navigating a nighttime approach over rough terrain.

To complete tasks in challenging situations, leaders endeavor to create cohesive teams rather than just collections of people working individually.

Teams who work well together are more inventive and flexible when handling challenging situations. This helps the team to identify faults and to alleviate effects before causing harm. Team members can anticipate one another's demands and actions thanks to cohesion. Time is saved and efficiency is increased.

Establishing a foundation of trust, allowing healthy conflict, requiring commitment, establishing an expectation of accountability, and focusing on the team outcome are all ways that leaders set the stage for cohesive teams to succeed.

Whether you're a leader or just trying to increase your contributions to the team, be thoughtful on developing team cohesion and leveraging your interpersonal abilities.

Strong relationships are necessary for efficient teamwork since strong teams don't just happen. Consider incorporating a component into your daily flight risk assessments to determine if your team selection is compatible, efficient, and most importantly safe.

Here are a few other discussion points for leadership and your team:

  • What is the difference between a team and a group?

  • How does command climate positively and negatively affect team performance?

  • How does cohesion influence team performance?

  • Why is trust so important in team building?

You may want to add theses questions and some others as starting points for conversation at a scheduled safety meeting, weekly staff meeting, or an organization-wide town hall.

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