Help and Coach Your Team Today

Several years ago, John Darley and Daniel Batson, Princeton University psychologists, conducted a study to determine if time is a factor in the decision to stop and help someone. They went across the street to Princeton Theological Seminary to set up their test.

Apr 1st, 2012
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By Matt Forck

Several years ago, John Darley and Daniel Batson, Princeton University psychologists, conducted a study to determine if time is a factor in the decision to stop and help someone. They went across the street to Princeton Theological Seminary to set up their test.

There they met with a group of seminarians and asked each one to prepare a short talk on a given theme. The seminarians then would walk, individually, to a nearby building to present their speech. One third of the group was told they could take their time, that there was no rush to get to the building to give their talk. Another third was instructed they would just make it in time if they left immediately. And, the last third of the group was advised they already were late, that they'd better get moving immediately! On the way to the presentation, each student would run into a man positioned in the alley, lying there moaning and groaning in pain. The question was, who would stop to help the man?

So, how did it turn out? Of the "low-hurry" subjects, the group told they had plenty of time, 63 percent stopped to offer help. Of the "intermediate-hurry" group, 45 percent offered help. But, with the "high-hurry" group, those who thought they already were late, only one in 10 stopped to help.

Would you stop? And, by the way, is there a difference between a man moaning in an alley and someone working at risk? Not much of one, if you ask me. Our work presents many high-hurry situations. In a high-hurry mode, we could be less likely to stop and help someone-or even stop and help ourselves make a job safe or follow a rule. Slow down, stop to help, assist or coach a co-worker if you see him or her working at risk. There is always time to help, even in today's high-hurry, multi-tasking world. Your actions might save a life.


About the Author: Matt Forck, CSP & JLW, is a leading voice in safety. Matt keynotes conferences and consults industry on safety's most urgent topics such as safety awareness, employee engagement and motivation, cultural alignment, accountability and leadership. To learn more about Matt, book a presentation or download FREE safety tools, go to www.thesafetysoul.org.

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