This PowerPoint is to give you an introduction to the Risk Management Perception and Communication Course and talk about the unit one material that we will be going through. My name is Glenn Barned. I’m the instructor for this course, there is a biography on the website that you can review to find more information on myself and if you have any questions you can post them on the website to me.
In order to effectively apply risk management as a program or a management process inside your organization we must first look at risk communication. Communication in organizations is often the cause or at least an amplifier of issues in any organization. Communication is a two-way proposition – both parties must be participating in order to be effective.
We will explore three different types of risk management the first type will cover concepts but the concepts will apply to all three different areas. The first is proactive or pre-event risk management. This is the goal for organizations to achieve but it’s not the be-all and end-all of risk management. The hopeful purpose of the proactive or pre-event risk management process is to reduce or possibly even eliminate the need to do the other two types. The second type of risk management is done as a reactive or post-event. It’s basically an incident investigation with recommendations and follow-up. This constitutes risk management as well but after someone gets hurt. The final type is in a crisis. This is handling a major unplanned event on the fly. This is where you require advanced knowledge and skill in using the concepts to manage an event in a very tight timeframe. This will be what we will concentrate on in terms of getting to so that when you are faced with this situation you’re familiar enough with the concepts to not miss any key pieces as you handle the situation. The concepts that we learn are good for all three types of risk management.
In terms a risk communication as in all communication there are many things that prevent good communication. Some are the causes of the transceiver, the person who is sending out the message, sometimes the cause is of the receiver, the person who is listening to it, and sometimes there are external reasons why the communication does not work. We need to be conscious of these blocks and always work to eliminate or control them to make communication as good as it possibly can and in turn risk management will be more effective.
This slide covers many blocks that may occur as examples of blocks that prevent good communication from happening. The first point or example here is distractions.
Distractions can basically be from any of the three sources that could be the transceiver the receiver or from a third party or outside extraneous type of distraction that keeps communication from happening.
The second example is special interest groups and the reason that I’ve listed that here is because there are many times no matter where you are in your risk management whether it’s proactive reactive or crisis where special interest groups will come in and try and deliver their message over top of yours and try to sabotage anything that you are doing in an effort to move their interest forward.
The third one is locations and this is about the setting of when the communication will take place. If you choose the wrong location then it will be a particular type of distraction to keep the communication from going. This goes too from everything to choosing where people sit around a table to where they are in the room to the location of the room itself and also who else might be present. The next example is timing and of course timing is crucial in a crisis because you don’t have a lot of time to move but with the other pieces of risk communication you have an opportunity to plan for and make sure that the timing is correct. If the timing is too late quite often that becomes a block in itself because people will be frustrated that you did not tell them things soon enough so we must always be conscious of timing even though it’s a logistical and therefore external issue.
The last example is what is known as outrage. This is a phrase or a word which is trying to cover off people’s emotional level. If they have a raised frustration, anxiety, anger or any of those types of emotions then what happens is people are not going to receive messages very well because you’re not going to hear them they’re too upset and so outrage is something that we are going to look at in more depth with Peter Sandman and you will see how this can affect risk communication but also how you can manage it in various circumstances.
Slide six is basically talking about the fact that with outrage angry people just do not listen well. So if people are upset or angry or anxious, are very concerned to a high level, they will not be able to hear the technical messages that we tried to deliver as subject matter experts. So what we have to do is to somehow reduce that outrage in order to get the people to listen. Outrage is probably the main failure of communication not because it exists but rather because it is not managed. I’m sure that you will have seen this phenomenon before in discussions or in handling or managing issues that you do and you realize that you must reduce the people’s emotional level before they’ll actually hear and participate in the technical side.
Risk communication. To reduce someone else’s outrage we must first understand where they are coming from and not get frustrated with them. To do this an easy way is to really empathize with the person or the group. Try seeing the issue from their perspective. If you see the issue and understand why they are angry then you can begin to work on how to assist them through their ordeal. An easy way of saying this is to walk a mile in their shoes. It’s not that easy to understand where people are coming from you must really try to put yourself in their position and not try to judge their position from yours.
When you review the Sandman materials the video and the written articles you will be introduced to the twelve main common causes of outrage. You will also be introduced to the methods for reducing or increasing outrage. Yes it is not always just about reducing outrage to get the other party to listen, sometimes we actually need to increase their outrage.
The reduction of outrage we have already touched on is the number one reason we have poor communication. Why we might need to raise outrage is when the other party is apathetic towards an issue that we need to get them excited about in order to get any action. You will hear more about this in the unit notes readings and on the Sandman tapes. Keep in mind that if someone is not concerned or does not understand an issue that is of great risk from our perspective on the technical side we must raise their outrage or interest in it to a level to at least start the process so that they have motivation to actually proceed with it. On to the assignment.
Assignment 1.1 is about drafting up a biography on yourself and posting it on the website. All three reasons that we have put on the slide are very important. Number one is to introduce yourself to the instructor so that I know who is in the class, what level they have, what understandings they have, so I can learn how to best help you through this process. Number two is to introduce yourself to the other participants because we will also be learning from each other, and number three is to do a test run on posting a document to the website for marking because you do not want to have an actual assignment with the grade to be your first posting and then run into issues with it where you have to talk to the technical people. You need to iron out those issues before you get caught with late assignments coming in that you would be penalized for. We will learn from the notes readings and assignments but you’ll also learn from each other that’s why it’s important for you to know who is in your class for networking reasons. I’m a big believer in networking and I think you’ll find that in our profession this is something that is very important to keep ourselves apprised of changes and to have a network of people that we can go to to help us in this very broad profession.
Assignment 1.2 is a communication assignment you need to read the notes and readings as well as watch the Sandman video in order to effectively respond to this assignment. Assignment number two is the first part of the risk management project or the RMP. RMP part A is the first part of a four-part assignment in developing a risk management plan. The important thing here is to understand the concepts of all the different components of a risk management plan. In this way once you learned the concepts they can be used in a compressed format depending on the circumstances. We will talk about more about this in unit five. For details on this assignment I have put in a second PowerPoint presentation on the website that covers the details to assist you through the different steps of this assignment.
Some keys to success in this course and through the material. Please, please read all of the materials posted on the website regarding participation marks deadlines etc. Please read all of the program and instructor postings as soon as they are available. They will contain information that may be crucial to your success.
If you have any questions at all please post them on the website as noted on the slide. Responses will be made for all to see and learn from. Remember if you have a question about the course or content, probably others have the same question as well. My contact information in terms of my e-mail is for emergencies or, if you need to request a telephone discussion send your request and I will respond. If your e-mail is generic about the coarse or content I will request that you post it as stated and I will respond on the website so that all people can benefit from your question and the answers.
Thank you. I sincerely hope that you enjoy and learn from this course. I’m looking forward to meeting you all online and learning more about all of you. Thank you.