SMS Pro Aviation Safety Software Blog 4 Airlines & Airports

Let’s Talk Human Factors - Lack of Communication

Posted by Renee Dupont-Adam on Aug 24, 2015 10:00:00 AM

#1 of the Human Factors' Dirty Dozen Is Lack of Communication

Let’s Talk Human Factors - Lack of Communication

So, just what is a Lack of Communication? In the simplest terms, it is a failure to ensure the “mental pictures” match.

For example, I have a mental picture of what I hope to convey to you. If you have the same mental picture at the end of our conversation then proper communication has occurred.

Many times in Aviation and in other areas of our lives we have conversations with each other and we both assume that we understand each other 100%, but the sad truth is that only 33% of the average conversation is totally understood. This leaves a whopping 67% of our conversation misunderstood.

Lack of Communication Among Top Human Errors

Ground crew dirty dozen poster - Lack of Communication

A study done by Albert Mehrabian on how a message is transmitted and received in average conversation revealed that 55% of the message was transmitted by body language, 38% by tone of voice, and an unbelievable 7% verbally. With verbal communication being only 7% maybe now you can start to see how human errors can be made and why we consider Lack of Communication to be one of the top 4 human errors.

Is there a secret to good communication? You have:

  • Two ears
  • Two eyes
  • One mouth

You MUST try to remember to use them in that order and proportion.

Some things you shouldn’t do:

  1. Don’t Detour – To detour is to change the subject being discussed. Work on keeping the conversation on the topic being discussed.
  2. Don’t Preplan – The problem with preplanning is you are busy working on a response instead of listening to what is being said.
  3. Don’t Tune Out – If you tune things out, you don’t hear what is being said.

Some things you should do:

  1. Listen more and speak less
  2. THINK before you speak
  3. Ask questions
  4. Paraphrase
  5. Make eye contact
  6. Use positive body language
  7. Do whatever it takes to make sure the “mental pictures” match.

Final Thoughts on Improving Communication

The short simple message:

Related Aviation Human Factors Articles

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Last updated February 2024.

Topics: 2-Safety Risk Management

Site content provided by Northwest Data Solutions is meant for informational purposes only. Opinions presented here are not provided by any civil aviation authority or standards body.



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