For those of you who are regular readers of my blog, you may recall a recent installment titled “Not Everything Goes Unnoticed.” The story from that installment was from an experience I had behind a tractor-trailer in an extremely long construction zone. The story was about how the driver paid attention to the road, the road signage, and simply did everything the way a professional driver should.
This being a new year, I decided to make an initiative to observe or to focus my attention on what and when my fellow professional drivers are doing their job properly. How often do we brush it aside when we see a driver get out to help another driver in a tight spot? Do a thorough and complete pre-trip inspection? Follow the proper conduct and etiquette in a construction zone? Along with many other things that would be considered “going the extra mile.” After making these observations much like in the previous blog, I plan on taking the time to contact the company they drive for or lease to and pass on that “someone noticed their actions in a positive way!”
It’s easy and natural to notice what is going wrong in our industry for a good reason. It’s human nature to see the need to fix what appears to be incorrect or broken which directs our attention to see what is perceived as “wrong.” After all, why would we feel the need to tell someone they did their job correctly? Let us do this - let's focus on what they do right!
When you think about it there are social media pages just dedicated to displaying videos and pictures of drivers messing up. If we as fellow professional drivers want to see more drivers doing the right thing, wouldn't positive reinforcement be a good course of action towards this goal? This doesn't mean that we should turn a blind eye to unsafe acts we observe in the workplace. Correct what is wrong, praise what is good!
Getting back to the original story, I took the time to contact the person who would be able to notify this driver and send him a big “Thank You!” for driving so professionally. As it turned out, a few days later, I heard back from my contact who shared with me how ecstatic this driver's employer was to hear the positive accolades of their driver's professional driving demeanor.
With all the negativity that is going on in our world, after a difficult 2020, it was my thought that reinforcing the positive would be an uplifting action to take for the year 2021. Won't you join me in this positive initiative by taking the time to call, contact, or email employers when we observe one of our fellow drivers displaying professional conduct? Let's take it a step farther and extend this to the technician who works on our trucks, fuel desk attendants, shower attendants, restaurant wait staff, and let's go out on a limb and even include D.O.T. Officers. Strangely enough, I had a D.O.T. Officer conduct himself professionally while at the same time observing my professionalism and we eventually became friends on Facebook. Here is the story of my encounter with this officer.
Let's have a positive 2021!