Search Results for: Walk Your Talk

Walk Your Talk

Walk your talk. Put your money where your mouth is. Be ruthless in getting SAFETY FIRST – from HEAD TO TOE.

 Be safe – the SIMPLY SMART way,


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D1STEM – Listen with your eyes


If you do just one thing a month to change the safety mind-set, in one year you will have done 12 things to raise safety awareness. Are you ready for this month’s challenge?

                               (and with your ears, of course)

Children often say to their parents: “You are not listening” and they speak the truth, because often we are not listening – our minds are busy with other, seemingly more important, matters.

picture depicting schoolboard with writing Watch + Listen = Learn

Listening, really listening to see, means listening with your ears and your eyes. Listening means giving your undivided attention to what the other person says. Listening means asking questions to better understand, while at the same time making eye contact and showing the other person that we are serious about hearing what they have to say.

Walk Your Talk SHE VIP Footprint

Listening to see is more than sitting in a boardroom and taking note of a report or feedback (although it is necessary there too). It is being on your feet, on the shop floor, asking “show me so I can see what you are talking about”. Listening to see is being a VIP – Visible, Involved and Pro-active, managing on your feet rather than on your seat. That’s the way to discover what really matters so as to be able to “get the cookies out of the door”. You can look at figures and statistics as much as you like, but there is nothing which inspires your team more than you showing genuine interest in their problems, projects, products or whatever they are doing, right there where the rubber hits the road.

I carry a note book and pen in my shirt pocket, because when I take out my booklet and pen and start making notes, the people around me can see I am taking their talk seriously. It also tells them that I am going to take action. (Be warned – just taking notes and not taking whatever action is expected / necessary will do more harm than good!)


  • Make *listen to see* a habit by setting aside a fixed time every week to be a VIP. Ask questions. Ask “show me”. Show genuine interest and care – respond, recognise, reaffirm action and share your dream, the values and the path forward.
  • Make your workplace a Human Workplace by frequently asking every one of your workmates “What’s up? What’s new? How can I help?”


Everyone is replaceable and other business liesby Liz Ryan, CEO and Founder, Human Workplace

“A hole-in-one, but who can he tell?” from Life EduAction by Jurgen Tietz

“Change and Results (Change just in time)” from Life EduAction by Jurgen Tietz

Pen to Paper

Your Safety Dream

Stop Hiding

Through the Eyes of the People


As always, I welcome your comments and feedback!

Copyright: Jürgen Tietz
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SCnSP – Your Safety Dream – How to Implement ‘I Have A Dream’

Aug 2013

In this series, I share with you my thoughts on Why Safety Is An Issue For Most Companies. One of the Things We Must Address If We Want To Improve Our Safety Performance is to implement those best practices we keep hearing about. Here I share 5 effective ways to do this.


Your Safety Dream

How to Implement  “I Have a Dream”

Picture: Jurgen's SHE VIP Footprint


I am often asked how does one put what I preach into practice, without using the ‘Moses approach’.
Here are 5 SIMPLY SMART ideas, based on my 10 P™ Steps[1] for audits. Simple, smart, effective – but very tough to apply.

  1. I have a magic wand for you, but alas, it is not ‘cheap’. You have to invest your most precious resource: TIME[2]. You have to make time for safety. You have to make time to ‘look to see’ and to ‘listen to hear’. If you are not willing to make time, then rather do not walk onto the plant, shop floor or coal face. Your people can sense “I am in a hurry to get back to my seat in the office” from a mile away – and that will shoot you in the foot!
  2. Make it a HABIT[3] to become a true V I P, not only for SAFETY, but in general – WALK YOUR TALK. Share your safety DREAM. Establish a daily or weekly routine – once a month just doesn’t cut it! Manage on your feet and not on your seat! The magic lies in the HABIT and it is entirely within YOUR control!
  3. If you want to influence your people, YOU have to take ACTION[4]. Take baby steps, but take ACTION on something that can be done, fixed, resolved immediately. Use your position of power over the resources, every time you WALK YOUR TALK, so that people realise you are SERIOUS. Remember my Action Philosophy:

    There is nothing which moves people more than ACTION, and nothing which is more powerful than prompt, PROACTIVE ACTION.

  4. Make sure you SEE and are SEEN doing SAFETY when you WALK YOUR TALK. Involve the people in the area you are visiting – the manager, supervisor / team leader, SHE Rep, down to the operator. Do the RED / GREEN card, especially the green card. Find the champions / pockets of excellence. Call the responsible person and give her / him a green card = recognition[5].
  5. Talk to people on your walkabout. Do not make assumptions and do not use the ‘Moses Approach’. ASK people what they are doing, how it is working for them and most importantly:

    ask How Can I Help

    However, there is a catch here. Once you ask, you create an expectation that you are actually listening and, moreover, that you will do something about the issue. Declare your intentions with integrity!


My challenge to you is to just do it and stick to the routine for the next four weeks. If the results don’t meet your expectations, then fine, drop it and go back to your old habits and manage on your seat.

By the way, to make time to walk your talk, cut back on the time you spend in meetings[6].

[1]   “I Have A Dream

[2]   “10 P™ Audit Kit

[3]   Make it a habit:   “Who Am I

[4]   Take action:   “Action Speaks Louder Than Words

[5]   Recognition:   “Pat on Back

[6]   “So Many Meetings, So Little Time”   and   “To Meet Or Not To Meet, That Is The Question


How To Implement ‘I Have A Dream’


“I have a plan” … Why Martin Luther King didn’t say that.


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D1STEM – Stop Hiding


If you do just one thing a month to change the safety mind-set, in one year you will have done 12 things to raise safety awareness. Every month you will receive one such SAFETY TIP.

Start Listening To and Serving Your Employees

As leaders we should stop hiding:

picture depicting Stop hiding behind the excuse of no time

  • Behind our desks with the numbers, spreadsheets, graphs and reports
  • In meetings and the board room
  • Behind excuses(1) and blaming
  • In fancy cars and smart suits
  • Behind titles and positions on an organogram
  • Behind the Number 1 reason – I don’t have time

Invest time to make time in the long run.

The best advice I can give you comes from my book Life EduAction(1):

“When you no longer push the buttons or use the tools,
you should become a servant to those who do!”

— Jürgen Tietz


“I walk around and see my people, because just to walk around and dare to be strong, dare to give, is much more valuable than any decision I could make or any report I could read.
What I give away is mental health to the organization.
The most unproductive time we have is when we sit at our desks, because the only thing we do is read history:
what has already happened, what we cannot do anything about.
When we leave our offices and start to walk around and talk to people, that’s when we make things happen.
You give your thoughts; you get thoughts back;
you draw conclusions; perhaps you even make decisions.”

— Jan Carlzon, CEO of SAS

Manage On Your Feet and Not On Your Seat

People need to see you and be able to interact with you, there where the rubber hits the road.

Schedule a routine where you set aside at least 5 hours a week to “Walk Your Talk”(1) and ask and listen to hear what your people are saying – then put that into action. This is over and above formal audits.


(1)    From Life EduAction by Jürgen Tietz :

        – “Kill the In Tray” and the Excuse List
        – Richard Macheve’s “Spiral Chiller”
        – “Walk Smarter, not Harder”

(2)    Through the Eyes of the People


Get loads more SAFETY TIPS when you buy my KNOCK-OUT SAFETY TIPS! CD from my DIY SAFETY COOL TOOL™ range of products. More info available here.


As always, I welcome your comments and feedback!

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Safety or the Money?

After some 15 years, we had to re-thatch the roof of our cottage, “Isidleke” (meaning “the nest” in Zulu).

There is something truly African about a thatched roof … the smell of the freshly cut grass, the natural yellow colour, as well as the rough, yet smooth, texture and a natural, but unholy mess of grass all over the show.

There is another aspect to thatching projects.

Although it requires a lot of skill to do a neat thatch, it is a low level skill and the profit margin is very tight. Hence, it is entrepreneurs with few resources who are in the thatching business. The bakkie used is often a clapped out “skedonks”, leaking oil onto the driveway, and don’t even get me started on the tools and equipment which are enough to send any safety professional into a flat spin. The safety standards are all but non-existent – working at heights without any safety harness and PPE – going against all safety rules.

Now, here is the dilemma.

If you, the average home owner, insist on safety harnesses, professional scaffolding with inspection certificates, full PPE and all the rest of the good safety procedures, you will not be able to get a contractor who will do this job at an affordable price. The result? Most will get the job done by a contractor who offers a reasonable price and good quality and simply hope for the best.

I have no actual figures, but, on researching this, found very few reports of “falling from heights” accidents in the informal sector, which surprised me.

It is tough to walk YOUR talk in SAFETY, if it touches YOUR purse, and this often holds true for most companies as well.

 Be safe – the SIMPLY SMART way,


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COOL TOOL™ Events Products

What are the COOL TOOL™ Events Safety Products?


These products are predominantly used as hand-outs for trainees / delegates to draw attention to and sustain the client’s safety message & key principles in a fun and interactive manner.
They are branded and tailored to each client’s requirements.


The following are examples of some of the products available.
(Hint: Position mouse over product photo for the product description.)


pic of safety cookies and link to download doc with ideas for safe behaviour rewards using cookiespic of the giant version of the safety cookiepic of road safety cookies and link to download doc with ideas for safe behaviour rewards using cookiesclose up pic of a road safety cookie

SM – Can behaviour and habits be unlearned?

♦♦♦    SAFETY MATTERS    ♦♦♦
Aug 2018

Behaviour and Habits

you can teach an old dog new tricks


There is a misconception in “safety” circles that poor or unsafe behaviour or habits can be “unlearned”. Untrue. The sad reality is that, once your brain has made the links and formed the pattern, i.e. you have mastered the skill or developed the habit, it’s there to stay.

Trying to wipe out a behaviour or habit is like trying to “unlearn” a language, talking, or walking. You can’t. What you can do is to learn a new skill / behaviour / habit and work on the triggers which will make it dominant, so that your brain automatically chooses that new skill / behaviour / habit. For a while, this will entail a conscious effort to suppress the old one. If you “get on the OLD bike”, the old skill / behaviour / habit will come back to you.

The saying: “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks” is not true, but it is much harder to “overwrite the old tricks”.


Icon: Jurgen-Antzi with a mike

The Safety Rep’s Survival Guide  –  what it is and why you need it

Let me help your staff reflect upon, recommit to and be responsible for championing your safety culture.

Search the S.H.E. ATM  –  for safety and wellness answers, tools and methods

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SCnSP – Obsolete Safety – Part 2

Nov 2017

Obsolete Safety (2)

the right people
the right questions
useful answers



Ask better questions.
Ask the right people.
Don’t make assumptions.

These are some of the points I made in Obsolete Safety (part 1).
So here are some questions for you and your leaders.

QUESTIONS re SAFETY (the overall culture):

  • Who owns safety?
  • Who drew up the safety strategy / policy / budget and lifesaving rules ? Now: Ask the first question again.
  • What happens when your employees walk through the gate (both when coming to work and going home)?
  • How are you measuring safety, via the rear view mirror (looking at the past) or the windscreen (looking to the future)?
  • What keeps you awake at night, in terms of safety?

QUESTIONS re H&S REP’S specifically:

  • How happy are you with the contribution / engagement of your H&S Reps?
  • How proactive are your H&S Reps?
  • How happy are you with the people volunteering as H&S Reps?
  • Can your H&S Reps solve basic safety problems at the coalface?
  • How happy are you with the two-way communication in safety?

Picture: Disruptive safety call to action icon

It’s easy to dismiss this with a “Been there, done that.”
However, I urge you to do it again and this time, ask the right people.

Run a few fully facilitated focus groups. Mixed groups consisting of EXCO members, managers, supervisors and H&S Reps work best, but your existing culture will determine whether or not you can do that. Take care to not fall into the trap of ‘analysis paralysis’, though. Talking to even a small number of people will quickly give you the answers.

Give serious consideration to the Disruptive Safety approach [1] to transform your workplace safety.

[1]   Disruptive Safety™ promotes a futuristic approach to safety which shifts the safety paradigm from ‘Preventing wrong’ to ‘Ensuring right’.


Icon: Jurgen-Antzi with a mike

Disruptive Safety™ and The Safety Rep’s Survival Guide  –  what it is and why you need it

Let me help your staff reflect upon, recommit to and be responsible for championing your safety culture.

Search the S.H.E. ATM  –  for safety and wellness answers, tools and methods

Contact Jürgen

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SCnSP – See it, Believe it, Do it

Apr 2016

See It, Believe It, Do it

(Awareness, Trust, Action)

graphic depicting the steps to it


Getting results in safety is not about only one thing – it’s about three things:
People need to see safety and they need to believe in safety before they will do safety.
Actually, safety is about four things, because to believe someone, you have to trust that person.

To see is to create awareness. Usually this is done via awareness posters, toolbox talks, even walk-abouts or audits. But this doesn’t necessarily translate into action or a change in behaviour.

So, getting people to believe in safety is more complicated. It requires trust and respect. Trust comes from experience, from word of mouth, from promises fulfilled. Respect is given after actions are observed.

Trust is earned.
Respect is given.
Loyalty is demonstrated.

Betray any one of those and you lose all three.

Awareness and trust lead to action.

And action is what happens when someone actually goes and votes, or buys something, or shows up, or talks about it. And action is as complex as trust. Action requires overcoming the status quo, action means that someone has dealt with the many fears that come with change and felt that fear and still done something.” [1]


Do you believe you can make a difference in safety?
Do you believe it is worth the effort?
What are you doing to earn the trust of your fellow workers and the respect of your leaders?
Are you taking action, or is the lure of “later” (procrastination) holding you back?

[1]    “Awareness, Trust and Action


Your comments and feedback are always welcome!

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GM – Road Safety – Year-End “Take Safety Home” Message

♦♦♦    Road Safety    ♦♦♦

Year-End Take Safety Home Message

Those of you who have been following me for some time know how passionate I am about this topic. We kill nearly ten times more people on our roads each year than ALL industrial fatalities combined in all workplaces. Chances are that if you are going to lose someone over the holiday season, it will be on the roads. This is not only via vehicle accidents – pedestrian fatalities account for approximately 40% of road-related deaths.

graphic of ambulance with money

We are able to release last year’s crime statistics in the greatest of detail so the SAPS can plan and focus on the right hot spots. But, in spite of substantial funding, the Department of Transports Road Traffic Management Corporation is unable to provide road accident statistics, because they are “reengineering the Road Traffic information collection process”. In terms of road safety, we are effectively flying blind. I cannot give you the exact figure, but I can tell you that the cost of road accidents runs into billions – we could easily build and maintain our road infrastructure if we could halve our accidents.

We all know that we cannot improve something which we are not measuring and the latest road traffic data is from 2011! We can be as concerned as we like about the current situation, but we can only influence what is within our control. Therefore, let us influence our employees to become ACTIVE SAFE road users.

There are three things which kill people on the roads ( F S D )

The first is FATIGUE. If people are tired and take their eyes off the road, the likelihood of accidents shoots up dramatically. Thus encourage the habit of taking a break and getting enough sleep before a road trip.

SPEED is the second killer. Speed reduces the opportunity to react to any unforeseen event and stay in control!

DRINKING (Drugs) is the third killer. Alcohol has a disastrous effect on your reaction time as well as staying awake and alert.


1. Draw up your plan for the year-end now! Involve your SHE Reps in that planning – empower them to play an ACTIVE role in implementing some of the ideas below, as well as coming up with their own suggestions.
2. Road Safety Cookie
  graphic of ambulance with money This is a small hand-out to engage ALL your employees in road safety and to remind them to take a safety attitude with them when going home for the holidays.
These Road Safety Cookies™ have been specifically branded with road safety signs and the cookie inserts are road safety messages.
There are many ways to use this COOL TOOL™.
  One idea is to put the name(s) of employees killed during the year in road accidents on the back of the cookie inserts eg. + IN MEMORY OF +
I will assist you with customisation to meet your specific needs.
More ideas
on how to use the Safety Cookies here.
3. Road Safety Toolbox Talks. I am offering this series of 6 CD’s at a special discount of R2,750. These CD’s are part of my COOL TOOL™ Toolbox Talks and cover the Road Safety Topics of Seat Belts, Attitude, Road Signs, Pedestrians and vehicles – download the overview.
3. Advanced Driving Safety Rules. Get your SHE Reps to hand out a leaflet, with advanced driving tips, to everyone leaving your premises when taking their year-end break.
If you need ideas for this, send me an email.
4. Look at activities you can sponsor at schools in your neighbourhood, for example driving lessons or driving simulators for schools.


A Hong Kong movie theatre asks its patrons to leave their cell phones ON when they enter the movie house. Using that, Volkswagen made an eye opening advertisement.

Have you been tagged?
Caught at a road block
Taking your eye off the ball / road / task
Walking the circle of safety
Safety misconceptions – what we can learn from them
Manslaughter or murder?


  • RTMC latest annual report is 2012- 2013. (If you look at Section 8, in particular the part which reviews the achievement of their strategic objective “improve collection of data” on page 56, you will find that they did not achieve KPI 32 = State of Road Safety Report. The financials are in Section 9 on page 71.)
  • Arrive Alive has no up to date info either – last report is 2011.


Your feedback and comments are always welcome! Drop me a line!

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