On Tuesday’s Episode, Rich Gasaway and I unpacked situational awareness and took a deep dive into what it means, how we become more situationally aware and how it enables us to operate at the top of our game. Today, I’m going to share my thoughts on the human side of awareness and what I believe to be the root of a higher lever of awareness.
All right. Welcome to your Thursday episode, mindset radio. I’m your host Jeff Banman. Listen, before we get started on today’s show I made an error in my broadcast at the beginning of the year when we were talking about the a hundred day challenge. I said it was going to begin on January 16th. I was incorrect. So the date that is well-researched and defined is the day that most people drop. Their new year’s resolution is January 19th. That aligned with my plan to begin the program on a Sunday. So as a note of quick correction we will be beginning the a hundred day challenge on January 19th. If you want to get in and start with us right then and there, great. Get over to mindset radio.com backslash op your life or just go to mindset radio.com. Click on the banners, pop on over it, get registered for it, get in, get involved with me with it.
It’s going to be a good time. At least that’s what they say. It’ll be well worth it. And then after January 19th, you can hop in at any point in time cause we’re going to just make sure that it’s running. So on Tuesday, had the privilege of Dr. Richard Gasaway, former fire chief retired from essay matters, situational learning matters on the show. So if you did not listen to that, I highly, highly recommend you go back and pick it up because it was truly a great one. It was a great episode, is a phenomenal conversation. I am, and I’ve said this before in the podcast, if you’re a kind of a longterm listener, you kind of know that I am not a big fan of just people that teach situational awareness cause I think it’s only a quarter of the battle. And not a lot of people approach it well or look at it in its entirety or full scope or really get into it at a level that I believe support you in developing a solid awareness profile, situational learners profile and you know, an amazing capability to really be able to do your job effectively.
So the conversation was radically awesome. In my opinion, I really respect chief Gaz away. His research, his effort, his work and his methodology is absolutely solid in my opinion. Which you know, carries about as far as this podcast, but but at least from my background and what I’ve seen out there, what I’ve taught for years, I’ve really do, I appreciate him. I appreciate what he does, his approach to it, and the fact that he’s got some real meat on the bone with it. So if you did not catch that episode or you haven’t connected with him or you don’t follow him, please by all means do all whose information is up in the show notes on mindset, radio.com. I don’t care if you’re in the military, in the fire service, in the law enforcement, community dispatcher, EMS provider, emergency manager, entrepreneur, business leader, whoever it is you are, that is listening now, there is value in what he’s doing, what he’s offering, the conversation that we had.
And so by all means, get back over there, listen and tune in, see where it applies. Take the nuggets that are offered. It was, it was a good shell. So on today’s episode, here’s what I want to do. I want to kind of go one step further than we did on Tuesday. And I want to talk about predicting the future because it’s a huge part of our job. Whether you look at it that way or not, I hope by the end of this conversation you will. Now, I wanted to tie these two episodes together cause I believe they just go directly in sync. You see, fundamentally, I believe that being aware is the gateway or is the source for us to read and then predict the future. And it’s critically important. And I’m not talking about years out, I’m not even talking about months out, days out, weeks out.
It’s not really what I’m talking about. In a lot of contexts. Now in some, we may get there, but what I’m [inaudible] I’m really speaking to is our awareness, our ability to be hyper present to the conditions as they exist right now will lead us to the actions that we need to take to produce the results that we want to produce. And all of that is a move from where we are now into the readily near future. And so really when you [inaudible] think about this in context and you just go with me for a second, cause you may be sitting back in your car or you know, listen to and going. All right, here we go. So I kind of want to talk about this for a minute because I want to, I want to challenge your brain on this one.
So I always believe right that are, that are that the proper level of awareness that our awareness is what gives way to action if we’re not reading or seeing the conditions as they are, if we’re not in tune with the conditions as they are, if we’re not taking in the right information, right, the information that’s available to us clean, like just as clean as it can be without judgment, without our own shit in the way, if you will. That’s the gateway to really ultimate performance. That’s the gateway to operating at a whole different level. Because when we do that, you know, the situation guides us. It tells us what we need to do. It tells us what actions we need to take. It tells us where we need to go, how we need to move. You know, if we’re looking at it from the fire service standpoint, it’s like the conditions as they are right now.
Tell me my next move, do I stay in? Do I get out? Do I, you know, vent. Do I, you know, what do I need to do? How do I approach this situation at hand? You know, if I’m in the military, it is reading the conditions. Maybe I’m, you know, you know, in a village trying to have a conversation and watching things unfold and seeing people, you know, move in a certain way. I’m seeing the indicators that say things aren’t going well, that gives me the, the information that I need clearly to start moving into a course of action that I need to take. And so, you know, here’s the disconnect with that. And that’s a, that’s an easy statement. And you know, I don’t think there are really any of you that would disagree with that statement. The problem is very rarely are we actually there.
So like very rarely are we available to the conditions. Are we available to what’s taking place? And that’s just, you know, let’s just lay it out. That kind of is a human pattern that is a, that’s like a glitch in the system. And we’re, you know, this month, this whole month is really focused on our mental acuity. And this is why I want to talk about this because if we look at it, our body, our biology, our sensation, right? Our sense is give us the ability to kind of really read the environment what interrupts that is the narrative or the thoughts or the thinking that has to occur around those senses. It’s very difficult unless you’ve really done the work, unless you’re really willing to take a look at it to begin to not label, interpret, bring in previous experience that may not be relevant to it may cause a corruption of, you know, it’s like, like in a corrupt data file, right?
Your biases, your beliefs, your own personal stuff, your negative history, your past trauma, your things that have impacted you in your life that you, you know, may or may not even be aware of or may not be aware of how they play out. Like all those things are, are, are working to corrupt the data that’s coming in, right? Corrupt the information that’s coming into you. And when that happens, when we give, we give that up or we, you know, when we’re enabling that to happen, when we’re not paying attention to everything, then we’ve got a bad flow of information in. And we’re really making decisions leading us to action that are really based more in a an expectation that we’ve created for ourselves or others or the situation or, you know, the people we’re trying to serve or whatever it might be. And that’s not a great place to operate from because we will all, you know, expectations.
Nine times out of 10 get unrealized. So that’s a Gannett glitch in the system that kind of leads us down a road. We don’t want to go. You know, when we start talking about biases or kind of our interpretation that comes through our own previous experience, right, that can really begin to shape our decision making, you know, and then the actions, subsequent actions that we take from that point. Because you know, that starts coming in in the should, right? The ifs, the winds kind of the, the idea of, of what you want it to be versus what it truly is. And you know, this is, this is easy to play out in certain areas of our life and very difficult to play out in other areas. But you know, where you begin to see growth and where you begin to really step up your game and really begin to operate it at a, at a higher level in all areas, right? I mean in, in communicating with your team and running and gunning and you know, run in and out of burning buildings or whatever to whatever the situation is, you know, or even coming home. It is a matter of just
Seeing things and I’m breathing there as they are Now.
You may be sitting there going, well, but you know, I, I need my past experience and that helps me do this and how it helps me do that. And it does. It does. There’s a place for it. There’s a, there’s a a reason why we build experience. There’s a reason why we train the way we train. There’s a reason why I want to expose you to everything I can expose you to because I’m giving you options. I’m collapsing the time-span between, you know, recognition, decision, action, right? I’m speeding this cycle there. And there’s high value in that. But when that slams into an expectation of how it should be, or if it was this way, or if it was alway or a real structured bias against something for something you know, you get attachment to an outcome or result. When those slammed, that’s where we go awry.
That’s where we start to get really clouded in our awareness. You know, and this is just a component of what kind of throws us off track. This is a component of our humanness that we just need to be one aware of, no pun intended, but we’ve got to bring some internal awareness to that. We’ve got to be able to call ourselves out. We’ve gotta be able to call bullshit on ourselves. We have to be able to kind of resist the you know, the aspects of falling into those traps there. They’re just a bunch of trap doors that we can fall into. And so really what I want you to think about, you know, when you look at it from a practical standpoint and kind of a technical or tactical standpoint like we’ve talked about on Tuesday, you know, we’ve always got to kind of back that up with Dan.
Okay, cool. What are the behaviors behind that and what’s the humanness behind that? And then, you know, what’s really going to kind of throw me off my game? And so, you know, this is just kind of one piece of the equation that can really begin to impact how we see things. Now. We had a great conversation on Tuesday. We started talking about things like radio traffic and stressors. And you know, how various stressors impact us in certain ways. And, and again, here’s another layer that we’ve gotta deal with. Here is a piece that comes into play. And so, you know, for instance, like my background and you’ve heard me talk about this, but when I would design a scenario or design an exercise, you know, I had, I had kind of two to dial, two sets of dial knobs and one of those sets is really relevant to what we’re talking about today.
And it was the application of stress. Now, old school stuff, you know, the way I grew up being trained the way we generally kind of Trump most training occurs. It’s like, let me, the more I can pile on you, the more I can push you, the harder I can push you. The more bombs, the more bullets, the more, you know, pallets right in the, in a burn building. That’s, you know, that’s quote unquote good training. The problem with that is it is good training, but it’s, it’s limited, right? So I classify stress in our world in three ways. One is direct stressors and those are things that are directly correlated to the mission at hand or the job or the duty or whatever it is we’re dealing with. And you know, I mean in, in general terms, I would say 95 plus percent of the people that operate in this world are really good at managing, mitigating, dealing with, working through the direct stressors because that’s our job.
I mean, our whole job is to deal with that and we’ve become very attuned to those. We can become, you know autopilot around a lot of them. We get it. We have an idea of what could happen. We know we’ve run the what if games. We’ve really worked on those. And so we’re good at those. I don’t need more of them in my development to tell me I’m good at them, good with them. So the second layer that we look at was, and we talked about was the indirect stressors. Now, the way I kind of frame these are, you know, these are things that can completely interrupt my mission. They can completely push me off pushed me off my, my objective they can totally disrupt what’s happening. They kind of come out of the blue. They’re often unexpected.
It’s like being blindsided, right? Driving down the road blindsided. But there’s at least a moderate level of awareness to the possibility of them happening. Okay. So I hope that makes sense. Right? So an indirect, straight, direct stressor. We got it. We’re good. We know that shit’s coming. We know how to deal with it. It’s part of the game. Indirect stressors. We have a general expectation that it could happen. We don’t always expect them to and they can really impact our ability to perform and or our ability to actually, you know, complete the mission or do something. You know, guys fall through a floor in a house fire, right? That’s something we’ve trained for something. We plan for, something we discuss, we put it into our brain patterns. We talk about it. And you know, we don’t, it’s not a, Oh, this is going to happen at each every, each and every time.
So that’s an indirect stressor. And from the research and watching this and doing this and putting it, it’s practice. You know, we’re still, we’re still pretty good at those. Every once in awhile, depending upon the severity and what’s going on. They may throw some things off the game, especially if they are wildly unexpected. And then that’s a whole nother issue we can talk about on another show. But generally speaking, you know, we are pretty good at them. Well not always, but it’s a, it’s a, it’s a better scope. This third factor, that was the unique thing that we found when we were doing all this work and developing the methodologies and looking at this is what I called a satellite stressors or you know, you can refer to him as the peripheral stressors. So these are interesting because these are, these are kind of a set of applied stress that we experience that has no relative connection to the mission at hand or the job at hand or the situation at hand or what’s actually taking place.
They have no impact. They have no, you know, play out in the outcome, any of it right there. They just occur. You know, it may be kids on the battlefield, right? Not a great one, or kids in the area when you’re about to, you know, take down an objective or something and they’ll may probably run away. They’re not right in the middle of it. But they’re out there or like I’ve talked about on Tuesday, you know, radio traffic, you know, you’re, you’re responding to an incident, you’ve still got one radio on the main channel. You know, you hear that, you know, engine five got in an accident and all of a sudden now you’re thinking about the guys on engine five and you know, your best friends driving that day. And now all of a sudden that’s a, that’s a satellite stressor that ha, and you’re on your way to a house fire.
So that what that causes now is all kind of a level of cognitive dissidence, right? It causes me to separate and draws my attention elsewhere from what’s going on in front of me. So here’s the problem that we found was when we really kind of amped the satellite stressors, the peripheral things in the environment that the annoyances or the irritations or the, the things that it kind of subtly impeded progress but didn’t really, you know, because they were frustrating. We watched just this massive drop in wearness and performance in producing the results that the, you know, the teams were out to produce. And, you know, and so this is a huge play into our ability to stay present because the other factor is this, the kind of this cognitive separation that occurs in a way, right? This, this is where we talk about the mental acuity aspect.
It is the, the drawing my attention away from the mission at hand, the focus on what needs to take place, the things I can deal with. You know, I’ll say like out on the range when we’re doing our meditation shoot stuff, I’ll tell guys all the time, I said, Hey, you know, you’ve got to give up the control. You want to have the control you need. And I’ll say that again. So it’s you gotta give up the control. You want to have the control you need. And we’ve talked about that in breathwork especially like there’s a control to the inhale and then giving up control to the exhale. Just allowing the breath to leave the body. It’s a great little practice to get into because really these types of situations are no different. You know, so can I, can I do anything about age of five in the accident as I’m going to a house fire with people trapped in a Marty stress and I’m everything else.
And Andrew five just wrecked. I can’t write. I have a mission in front of me. I’m worried about my buddy. Sure. But if I let that play out, when then when I show up on the scene and I started doing my size up where I start to do my walk around or I start to collect the information I need to collect. It’s skewed your getting bad data at that point because a good chunk of your cognitive energy or brain power, your mental capacity is being utilized in a space in time that has no bearing on the current need. Right? The current point of attention. And so that’s another big piece that we talk about, right? And that can come in little minor ways. You know, dispatcher say certain things or you know, there’s some miscommunication between the officer and the driver or you know, the officer on the fireman, he didn’t quite hear things.
Now you’re worried about stuff. You’ve got to really tune yourself into what is, what’s impacting you, what is, you know, something you can deal with, something you can manage, something you can control. What is it you can’t control or can’t deal with or can’t manage and all ultimately, does this give me the ability to execute my mission and do what I need to do right now? Or does it take away from that? And no, that’s kind of a constant mental game. That’s the, that’s that, that’s that kind of peak level of a level of mental acuity that enables you to ebb and flow in the environment to see what you need to see. Allow the system to processing information rapidly, you know, against training, against previous experience, against all the stuff. Clean and clear of biases, cleaning clear of expectations, wants and wishes. And, and really just gets down to you, your team, your people in this moment right now, handling this situation as it is and taking these actions because this is the result we’re producing.
This is the road we’re traveling, you know, get on it, get in line, let’s make this happen. And I can separate all those things out. And so that really to me is where we take, you know, this level of situational awareness, this level of awareness to the situation. The environment, people, the others, you know, if you’ve listened back to my other podcast where I talked about awareness and kind of broke down the, you know, the four points I discuss, you know, all of those things come into play for how I need to be available to read the conditions and when I can be available to read the conditions, I get to do something cool, which is predict the future. You know, I sat in a class year, you know, seems like a hundred years ago now, but I think when he started teaching the art of reading smoke class you know, Jim Kaiser, it was like magnificent to me because it was truly the opportunity to get in and see things as they were and then where they would be going.
You know, and that was all based off reading the conditions in the smoke conditions and understanding that you have, you know, structure, burning contents, burning, what’s going on, what’s the, you know, how what’s the fire load inside? Like, you know, what’s the velocity, how’s it moving? How rapidly is a traveling, what’s a projected heat inside? I mean, all of these sing, all these things you can, the environment will tell you, we’ll just show you, we’ll just lay out right in front of you. You know, if you’re an officer, you know, on the streets, you, you can look back at call after call after call and be like, man, I knew this was about to happen. I knew X, Y, and Z. You know, you felt it. You sensed it. You saw something. Did you connect to what you saw in that moment?
Maybe not. Right? But I can look back. This is where, you know, foresight 20, 24 site comes into play. When you’re present, when you’re there, it, there’s no doubt because it’s actually happening. You know, it’s not a version of what’s happening when you’ve settled in, when you been able to mentally transition from wherever you were to this moment right now, and you’ve made yourself available, men were then we’re just dealing with like facts and evidence and, you know, quote unquote truth, right? We’re dealing with what is so in this moment. And that’s a powerful place to be. That is a, that is a a subtle skillset that again, really drives who you are and how you act. And, you know, most times you’ll acquire those skills. They wanted two things happen. You either acquire those skills and become that way over the life of your career, or you go kind of the complete opposite direction and then you’re just left with like, no, it will be this way.
And so this is how I see it. And unfortunately, you know, people are like that and you’ve got to deal with that. But you know, if you’re listening to this podcast, my guess is you’re probably somebody who is wanting to is either go on. Yeah, that’s, that’s, that’s right. You know, you just, you just explained how I feel most days or, yeah. That’s where I’m going. That’s what I want to do. That’s how I want to develop myself. So, so yeah, I mean I think that’s really the, the core components when we’re looking at kind of the human impact, the internal impact on the external world as it relates to how we drive and build and create our awareness profiles. You know, how we become in tune with, and if you didn’t listen to the episode for my four points of awareness the situation, the environment, others and you and to me, if you are not aware in each of those go sections on the quad, if you’re not truly connected, each one of those all simultaneously and individually, you’re, you’re not aware because you’re missing something if you’re not aware to how you are, what’s going on for you, what state of being you’re in or state of mind you are in at a given point in time.
If you’re not connected to the other people around you, whether that’s on your team or the people you’re dealing with. If you’re not really connected to the environment and the impact it’s having on you and the impact you’re creating on it. And then of course the situation as it is happening and as it is unfolding, you know, if you’re not connected in all four of those areas, you’re not connected, right. You’re just, it takes everything to, to make that link. So, so yeah, I mean that’s kind of a may, it sounds like a little bit of rambling. I’m not sure you’ll have to give me some feedback, but, but fundamentally I think that’s where those are the areas that we’ve got to get curious about. And you know, what do you do about it? You get curious. You begin to listen to yourself first, right?
You begin to heighten that self-awareness model that is like, okay you know, I’m wanting it to be a certain way, which now I know corrupts the information coming in, so I’m going to give that up. I’m going to set that down. Or, you know, I, I really accept the fact that maybe I don’t like this community or I don’t like these people or you know, I have a way that this goes or you know, and it always happens this way or you know, these people are always like this and you know, if those live in there, those are true for you and some of you know, that’s, it’s gonna impact you. It’s going to impact your ability to see things as they are in the moment. Mmm. That doesn’t mean everybody goes out and gets a hug. Not by any means whatsoever. That’s not, that’s not what I’m speaking to.
But you know, everything is different. No situation is ever the same. You know that, I know that. We all know that. We logically know that we will speak to that, but yet we treat things opposite of that way too often, you know, don’t do house fires from the same Hutu police calls are the same. No two emergencies are the same, you know, no two callers and the nine one one are the same, you know, no two villages are the same. Like, we can kind of globalize everybody, but when we do that and we’re really screwing out right then and there before we, even before we’ve even step out the door, we’re screwing it up. So I talked a little bit at the beginning of the show and I said, you know, this is where it gives us the chance to read the future and I feel like we’ve, we’ve covered some of the topics that deal kind of in the, the current situation and the relative immediate future.
Like so what’s happening in the arm suite, what’s happening in the next 30 seconds, one minute, five minutes, right span. Like how is the situation unfolding if you’re at a command level, if you’re looking at things on a larger scale, if you’re dealing with larger scale incidents, if you’re dealing with military actions, if you’re dealing with, you know, a much broader spectrum, the same thing can blow out a little bit. Right? When I stepped back from kind of the the tediousness of certain aspects and get a view of what’s taking place and get a real awareness of, you know, she stepped back into half of my world, right? To get a real awareness of the battle space, what the current situation is and then where that situation is moving, right? Where are the trendlines going? How are we beginning to move in, you know, the space that we’re operating.
When I can do that, I can then begin to really understand what is taking place and begin to see kind of the options for progression, right? So I can really begin to say, okay, well if this is currently happening and this is all true and factual information and it’s not tainted, at least to the best of our ability, this is as accurate as we can have a picture we can create and get. Then you can see that there are only a few, you know, lines of approach forward and you can exercise those, you can look at those, you can run those out, you can run the scenarios based off that. And it really gives you an opportunity to be predictable in a way, you know, predict the future in a way that you may not normally do. But if that current picture is based off biases or assumptions or you know, you the ways you think it should be, or frustrations or past incidents if you’re not coming kinda raw to the table, then you’re going to miss some stuff.
So I think the essence of today where I want to leave you is a stop cropped in the files, right? Stop corrupting the data and, and take the time at the incidents where you can to see what might be impacting you and just have the conversation with yourself. Just be honest with yourself or a little bit like really assess or go back and look at some of the incidents that maybe didn’t go well or you think they could have gone better. You kind of know maybe you screwed something up or you didn’t screw something up, but it didn’t quite play out the way you expected. Like there was something off from it. Take those, take those into an internal state first. No blame, nobody else gets rained. Responsibility for it. Just you, you get to sit back and you’d be like, okay, what, what did I see?
What did I not see? Why did I see what I saw and why didn’t I see what I didn’t see? Right? And so you’re able to kind of just ask those questions and look at it in a way that enables you to begin to see where things interfere, where the interference is coming from, where the disruption is happening. You know, you, maybe you were just frustrated. Maybe it was you were, you know, hadn’t done the trans, the mental transition from the last call to this call and you know, maybe this was your 500 time to the same house or the same people you know, and basically the same call except this time, you know, it went completely arrive. What, what did you miss? Not from like a guilt standpoint, but from what caused you to not be hyper present to that situation as it was that time, right?
Not the 50 times before, not the multiple calls before. What happened in this one? What didn’t you see in this one? What indicator didn’t you pick up on? You know, and so that’s a, that’s a healthy thing to do, especially when you do it in that way. Cause you know, you’re not a, you can’t get into the blame or the guilt aspect or the something you did something wrong. You can’t do that. You know, if you did something wrong, you did some wrong but, but don’t dive into that world. This is an exercise that enables you to really create a different pattern, a different brain pattern moving forward. So I really hope that makes sense to you. I hope that adds to your capacity and then kind of expands the conversation from Tuesday. I’d love to hear thoughts on it. So whether you’re commenting on the article online, on mindset radio, you know, the show notes and stuff, or in Facebook or send us a note in the mindset radio on Facebook.
You know, get in comment under the post when I make it right. And give me your thoughts on it. I’d be curious. This is a good, this is a good conversational topic to have, right? This is a, this is one of these that, you know, if you’re listening, you know, maybe you guys are talking about in the squad car, maybe you’re using this episode or kind of the foundation of this episode for an in station training or you know, if you’re doing the chalk talk or the whiteboard talk or something you know, this is a, this is a good one. This is a good one to exercise is a good thought exercise to play out. And a lot of ways and you know, if you need some help, formulate some training, shoot me a note, let me know. I’ve got some great stuff around this.
Things I used to do, you know, across all the spectrums of my life and, and the various places I operated or worked. I’ve got some really good techniques that seem to always prob really cool conversations and get you in touch with what each other, what you each other seeing. So feel free to shoot me a note wherever it is. You live, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, email, whatever it is, just send me note, knows a Hey dude, send me some of that stuff or you know, let’s talk about it. Happy to share that with you. Happy to make that available to you. So, all right Joe, we’re going to wrap this episode up today. Thursday next week is going to be pretty cool. We’re going to continue this month through with really these aspects of mental acuity and taking a look at some stuff. Again, a hundred day challenge if you’re up for it, if you’re ready to step up to it and really take on some stuff.
Don’t forget swing by mindset, radio.com backslash hop your life up into the program. All those, it’s donation-based, all that goes to the foundation and supports the podcast and the training that we’re delivering. And again, if your interested in bringing some of the training to your department as you hear in the spots on the show, get over to the, get over to the site, fill out a grant app. That’s a, that’s an empowerment tool for me to go raise money. And really get some good stuff out to you guys. So we’ve got some things coming up this year with some departments that look like they’re going to be a lot of fun. So you’ll see some more stuff from us and you know, as always, be safe out there. Keep your head in the game, step up to it. If you ever need anything, don’t hesitate to ask. So, all right, we will yeah, we’ll talk to you next week. Have an amazing weekend. Enjoy it. Thanks for listening. I’ll talk to you soon.