Habits to Optimise Our Performance When It Counts

Underpinning the complex topic of mental health are emotional intelligence and resilience. There are many ways in which organisations and we as individuals can take responsibility to improve in these areas

I WAS reminded recently while sitting in a Human Factors training session that 70-80 per cent of aviation accidents are contributed to by some form of human error. These errors largely fall under the banner of non-technical skills (NTS) or behavioural markers such as communication, leadership, situational awareness, task prioritisation and decision-making. Facilitator Adrian Park of the Humanity Factor pointed out we spend comparatively small amounts of our professional time deliberately improving such skills. It’s an interesting point, and one which is being tackled head-on by some of the larger aviation organisations in Australia to not only conform with CASR Part 119 Human Factor training requirements, but in some cases go beyond. The training I attended that day certainly went beyond by looking into humans on a much deeper level than traditional CRM material. Hence the gradual movement away from conventional “CRM” branding towards “HF-NTS” training.

The link between wellbeing and how we experience our ability to perform NTS is emerging as a vital part of culture within organisations and the cockpit alike. The need for mental health awareness and education in the aviation sector has been highlighted by accidents such as 2015’s Germanwings Flight 9525 into the French Alps. Underpinning the complex topic of mental health are emotional intelligence and resilience.

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