The Difference of Delivery: Learning vs. Hearing


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Vaya Group

Learning & Development

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Recently, a tragedy unfolded in the skies in the form of Southwest Airlines flight 1380. Shortly after takeoff, a piece of the engine broke loose, struck a window, and quickly depressurized the cabin. One passenger died and countless others thought they were going to. However, tragedy can often be the source of some solid reflection. In today’s blog post, we’re going to look at how something as simple as delivery method can make a world of difference.

Most you reading have been on numerous flights. You know the drill – you have to buckle your seatbelt and pay attention as the flight attendant says,

“In the event of a decompression, an oxygen mask will automatically appear in front of you. To start the flow of oxygen, pull the mask towards you. Place it firmly over your nose and mouth, secure the elastic band behind your head, and breathe normally. Although the bag does not inflate, oxygen is flowing to the mask.”

We hear it quite often. I know I’ve heard it enough that I was able to remember about 85% of it word for word before looking it up to ensure I got it right. But, when faced with the exact situation (decompression), many passengers on flight 1380 were wearing the oxygen masks only over their mouths.

So, what went wrong? Every single seat on that plane has a nice infographic with instructions. Video headrests on many flights play a high quality “How To” video. Many travelers are accustomed to the instructions and function of the oxygen mask.

muster_station_drillIt would appear to me that strapping your audience in and telling them what to do is not nearly as “sticky” as actually having them do it. For point of comparison, I can recall how to properly wear my life vest from a cruise I took years ago. The difference? The cruise line required all passengers to sit through a safety briefing and actually put the life vest on. If you put it on wrong, there were numerous staff members assisting and providing feedback until everyone got it right. It’s anecdotal but reinforces something we believe very strongly in here at Vaya – Skill development and retention happens best when we Practice, Reflect, and Refine.

We’ll be covering Practice, Reflect, and Refine quite a bit over the next few blog posts, so keep your eyes open and be sure to sign up to be notified every once in while of new, relevant content.

Topics: Learning & Development

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