I just finished “Flip the Script” by Oren Klaff, a very rich guy who runs around the world making huge million dollar deals. Why would a safety professional read this? The subtitle pulled me in. “Getting People to think Your Idea is Their Idea” is something that many safety people need to do every day in order to be successful in their jobs. I love to combine ideas from other fields and apply them to safety and this book has some good advice for pitching ideas to the people we work with either occasionally or every day.
One of the ideas I am most intrigued by is the concept of a “flash role.” In the book, the author talks about the scene from My Cousin Vinny where a star witness spouts off a paragraph of deep knowledge about cars, very quickly and matter of factly, in order to gain acceptance as an automotive expert. Click here to see the video.
Would this work for safety pros out in the field? I tend to think it would (as long as you really do know what you are talking about). Especially female or younger safety pros may have to show they know their stuff before being taken seriously. If you want others to go along with your ideas (even for something as simple as a “request” to wear fall protection), getting them to accept you as an expert is very important. If you are a safety pro who came into OHS from the field, this is probably something you already love to do. Workers may mistakenly underestimate you not realizing you have been in their shoes and know the lingo, the short-cuts, and the work-arounds. A quick flash role will likely elevate your status.
Have you tried something similar to a flash role? If so, what was the topic where you needed to show your expertise quickly and matter-of-factly? How did you do it? (I’ll try to collect some examples and post them here) but feel free to share your “flash roles” in the comments.