I was re-reading an article in a prior edition of Business & Commercial Aviation, entitled Cockpit Cacophony. It states that
“The noisy cockpit environment certainly doesn’t help the communication of important information. A review of 250 NASA ASRS …. business jet flight crews found that fully 2/3 involved communication errors as a root cause and of those a quarter involved read-back errors and an equal number involved expectation errors … High noise levels can impair concentration and cause fatigue and insomnia. “
We know how important read-back is …. very much like summarizing a discussion. Can the noisy cockpit environment be compared to the noisy work environment? Do phone ringing, other people talking, emails dinging and music playing equate to a noisy work environment? Does your preoccupation add to the ‘noise’?
We know that the brain cannot multi-task …. your mind can focus on only one attention-needing activity at a time. We can walk and talk …. only if we don’t have to watch our step. If so, then our minds will focus on the rough terrain and not be able to maintain a sane train of thought. If your mind is sifting through the background noise, it is not able to concentrate on the words that are being directed towards you.
How about the expectation errors? How many times have you begun listening to someone and were sure you knew what they were going to say, so you complete their sentence? Or you expect something to happen so you disregard the signs contradicting your expectation?
It’s not what they said, it’s what you think you heard.