Page 9 - MS811 2022 issue 4
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levels of safety. The costs for appropriate installation safety can be capitalized versus the often unrecoverable legal and damage costs from incident damages.
Cross bore risk reduction is an essential element in trenchless construction. High confidence methods exist to complement and assist the requirements of damage prevention regulations. The end result
is the protection of the public, utility workers and property. Both utility and contractor enterprise values are preserved by eliminating incident costs
and public perception of a company’s safe work ethics from incidents.
1 -
Cross Boring Employees
C By Larry Cole, PhD. TeamMax
ross boring is a dangerous situation as you well know. The question is — do you know that your employees
may also be cross bored? Let me explain.
What happens when you place fleas into a cup? Yes, they jump out.
What happens if you place a piece of cardboard on top of the cup? Initially, the fleas try to jump out but soon learn that hitting their heads is not an enjoyable experience. After teaching the fleas that hitting their head hurts, you can remove the cardboard without the fleas jumping out. You’ve trained them well.
The same phenomenon occurs with people. It’s been reported that over 50% of the employees are fearful of expressing their opinions. Why?
Fear of retaliation. Isn’t that a
shame! Unfortunately, I’ve seen fear
of expressing an opinion repeated hundreds of times in my three decades of consulting. Unfortunately, many supervisors are not aware of the impact they can have on their people. Supervisors have been identified as being the Number One stressor in an employee’s life. Many people leave
a supervisor instead of leaving the company in their search for a better working environment. There is a fix, but that means supervisors:
3. Listening to understand their input and asking questions for clarification. For example, to make sure I understand will you...?
4. And it gets better. Use employee input whenever possible. That will open their eyes. And let them know if their input can’t be used.
5. Here’s a crowning jewel. Ask your people how a work-related issue can be improved. A more challenging variation of this technique is to put your idea to the team and ask them how it can be improved.
6. It’s getting better. Show your people how much you appreciate their input. And you show appreciation by saying, Thank you for that excellent suggestion, because that is going to help us work more efficiently and safely (or whatever).
A recent article published in the most recent issue of Scientific American Mind reports that supervisors who value their people have higher levels of productivity than do supervisors who encourage employee cross boring conversations.
Larry Cole, Ph.D., is founder of TeamMax a consulting company that helps people work together. Please send questions and/or comments to Larry at
      1. Must be willing to accept the truth about what they do to create a toxic work environment (Supervisors need to realize that the perception held by other people is more important than their self-perception.)
2. Become aware of their impact — Supervisors need to realize that the perception held by other people is more important than their self-perception, and
3. Be willing to change.
Now to the fix to be the supervisor whereby your people are comfortable talking to you and enjoy working with you rather than cross boring whereby your employees will secretively talk
to each other about your terrible supervisory skills. Cross boring communications devastate your employees’ morale and that will have a similar impact on production and safety.
The Fix
1. Admit to your people that you’ve been a toxic supervisor and you need their assistance to help you change. Of course, it will take a while before they believe the change. Remember, seeing is believing as actions speak louder than words.
2. Develop the habit of asking employees for their opinion.
2022, Issue 4 Mississippi 811 • 7

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