Telling stories is one of the most powerful ways of connecting with people in a memorable way. And the story can be simple to make an impact.
This story from ‘Corporate Coach’ reminded Karen of her experiences communicating Health and Safety and making sure people think about their personal safety.
‘When I was working at Pembroke Power Station many years ago, there was a story that I was told on several occasions.
It brought great joy and amusement to the engineers because it featured the safety officer.
Apparently he had been sitting in his living room in front of an open fire. Comfortable in his armchair, he had his legs outstretched; as a result his feet, in their safety boots, were near to the heat.
Safety boots have thick insulating soles so his feet did not feel the heat – until, that is, the whole thickness of the sole had heated up.
Suddenly the soles of his feet started to burn. With the high thermal capacity of the rubber and its insulation properties, the heat could not escape. Before he was able to get these boots off, his feet got badly burned.
“Poor man”, you might say – or, “serves him right, he should have known better”.
Whatever, he had unwittingly created a valuable lesson on safety. Danger lurks everywhere, and safety is not just a matter of wearing a hard hat, or even safety boots. It is a matter of being aware of the possibility of danger or harm, especially in the ‘safety’ of your own home.
And the story had its own life. He didn’t need to send out an e-mail, or put up posters. And I bet it lasted for several years.’