June was National Safety Month (Click here to read our June ‘Learning Exchange’ if you missed it). Danger can take many forms, and situational awareness is one of the key elements in maintaining safety. The Mandt System provides the RADAR model as a tool that helps people to develop situational awareness, and to make good decisions in situations that can sometimes be risky. Radar stands for: Recognize, Assess, Decide, Act, and Review Results.
Recognize: This is being aware of our surroundings, and noticing any potential hazards. It includes paying attention to our senses, as well as our “gut” feelings. This is the heart of situational awareness. Often, with the many distractions of modern life, it becomes easy to tune out our external environment. To be safe, however, we must recognize what is going on around ourselves. Some things we may want to tune into are: changes in weather, changes in the behavior of the people around us, and changes in our own feelings.
Assess: After we recognize changes in our environment, we must make assessments. Initially, we must recognize our own emotions and mental state. We can affirm our feelings, so that we may choose our behavior. We must also assess the behavior of the people around us. What is their mental and emotional state? What are their intentions? Are we in a large group, or am I alone? We must also assess the external environment. Is it dark? What are the weather conditions like? If I am inside, where is the nearest exit. If I am outside, what are the threats to my safety? Is there an area that a person may be hiding?
Decide: After we have affirmed our feelings and made our assessments, we must choose how we will act based on what we know historically about the situation that we are in, and the information that our assessments bring in from the present.
Act: After the decision, an act must be made. We can then act on our decision in the way that is most likely to preserve safety.
Review Results: After an action, we must look back upon it to determine if it worked or not. If it worked, great! However, if it did not work, we must recognize that it did not work, and the cycle begins again.
John Windsor – Mandt Faculty