The Weekly Reflektion 11/2021

In well established organisations with people that have worked together for many years and know each well and irritate each other in a predictable manner, you may need some outsides eyes, and ears, to stimulate improvements.

Do you considered how your behaviours and actions are perceived by others?

Robert Burns

Robert Burns wrote the poem “To A Louse, On Seeing One on a Lady’s Bonnet at Church” in 1786. In the final verse Burns writes ‘O wad some Pow’r the giftie gie us. To see oursels as ithers see us! What a lot we could learn about ourselves if we could see ourselves as others see us.

When I was working offshore one of the ‘highlights’ of the day was the five o’clock planning and permit meeting. We went through the activities for the next day, discussed potential activity conflicts, assessed risks, and identified measures to reduce these. The meeting was also an opportunity to discuss other issues related to the platform operation.

One of my colleagues at the time was a project manager normally working onshore and with responsibility for projects on several offshore platforms. She often visited the platforms to keep the platform management and staff up to speed and consequently she attended the five o’clock meeting. One day she was on board one of the smaller platforms with a management team that had worked closely together for several years. The platform manager had a detailed review of the work planned for the next day, of the permits applied for and of other activities planned for the next week. My colleague noticed the others in the meeting were slightly irritated, passive, and seemed to be resigned to the monologue. When the meeting was over the platform manager asked her, ‘Well what do you think?’. She replied, ‘I can see that this is a small platform with not much going on’. The platform manager opened his mouth to speak, looked around the table, saw the smiles from the other participants, thought better of it, and wished everyone a nice evening.

After the meeting one of the other participants expressed his frustration at the way the platform manager ran the meetings to my colleague. ‘He always does that; thinks he has all the details, doesn’t let the people who actually know about the job speak. My colleague asked, ‘Have you talked to the platform manager about it’. The reply was, ‘No, well, we just sort of drifted into this way of working. We are so used to it now, even though it’s a pain’.

Just before my colleague left, the platform manager came over and thanked her for taking time to visit and keeping everyone up to speed with information on the project. ‘Oh, and that other point you made at the evening meeting…thanks for that too. Next time you come out things will be different’.

Sometimes we just get into a rut. We are not working effectively. We have adopted poor habits and practices and we are not doing as well as we should be. Deep down we probably know this but if no one said anything yesterday, why should someone say something today. Sometimes we need some outsides eyes to be able to see ourselves as other see us.

Reflekt AS