When Less is More: Talking less and helping your kids work more safely.

There are numerous examples in life when ‘less is more.’

It could be the amount of furniture in a room. Removing a rarely used easy chair can make a crowded room feel more spacious. The less junk food we eat, the better we’ll feel. Very often, less is much more effective.

In the context of our working kids, there are times when the less we talk, the safer they will work. Let me connect the dots.

For many parents, safety in the workplace is an absolute. There’s a right way to work and a wrong way. They don’t look at it as a subject for discussion as much as a non-optional path relating to coming home from work the same way you left that morning. When it comes to wearing hearing protection around a jack hammer, what’s to discuss? The facts have been stated, they need to be incorporated, let’s move on.

While this common sense approach is absolutely logical, it begs the bigger question. Is it effective?

Does it take in to account that the communication component required for the exchange of information to be effective may be more important than some parents either believe or understand.

Are we more consumed with getting a point across our children likely already know, then finding out what hazards they might be facing that are not even on our radar?

What is coming to light for many parents is something that appeals to all of us – young and old: we like to be listened to.

In fact, when we are listened to with genuine interest, we are that much more predisposed to listen in return.

This is where the ‘less is more’ principal comes in to play. If we talk less in our interactions with our children when discussing their workplace safety and truly listen, they will share more. If we show genuine interest in what they are saying, they will respond with even more information.

This kind of interaction may also serve to uncover less obvious workplace hazards including those psychosocial. These include stress, harassment and other non-physical hazards which can be as damaging as those requiring bandages or splints, if not more.

Once you have this additional information about what they may be facing, you can be a more constructive source of support and help them navigate through any issues they may be challenged with and help distance them from harm’s way.

Consider the ‘less is more’ approach in your next interaction with your young worker about workplace safety

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