A Human Approach

Jae Rang Headshot

It’s No Fun Getting Cut Off

Aha! Moment Monday

There was a great video circulating on Facebook February of 2017 featuring an Indiana State Trooper enthusiastically demonstrating an amazing piece of technology in motor vehicles.  “It’s pretty incredible” he says, “It’s called a turn signal.”

You’re right.  Turn signals have been standard equipment since the early part of the 20th century.  In fact they were invented by a Hamilton, Ontario native, Florence Lawrence, a successful actress who could afford her own car – a luxury at the time – and in 1914 developed a mechanical signaling arm that, with the press of a button, raised or lowered a flag on the car’s rear bumper that told other drivers which way a car was going to turn.

In the YouTube video, the officer deliberately demonstrated what happens when you flip the control up or down, that it flashes a light to other drivers signalling your intention to turn left or right or shift lanes ….and …. that these light flashes are visible in both the front and the back of the car!  Wow!!!

This video went viral in no time.  You see this officer – and all others – bear witness to the resulting accidents when drivers don’t signal lane changes or turns.  (There is actually no such thing as an accident so I think they should change that word to “misintention” but that’s another Aha!)  And we’re so conditioned to automotive light patterns that when the vehicle in front exhibits no flashes of light, you expect that no change is on the horizon.

And then they cut you off.

Aha!  ~ Tune into subtle clues

Everything is always changing.  Your mate, the economy, your health, the weather, technology, opinions, buying patterns, access routes and information are always changing.

In some cases there are obvious clues; dark clouds and wind could indicate rain is coming – but not always.  A change in political leadership could indicate a healthier economy – but not necessarily.  Your teenager descends from her room, puts down her phone and gives you a hug could mean she’s turned a corner – but it might have just been a moment.

Now Florence never received the recognition she deserved from her invention of turn indicators – or her braking mechanism that flipped up a “stop” sign on the bumper – but she chose to give more obvious clues of her intentions on the road because she loved her car and driving.  But not everyone follows suit.

When it comes to things and people that are important, we need to become more sensitivity in tune, ask questions, watch for subtleties in pattern shifts, and allow these glimpses to guide us to knowing how to respond to the changes.  Not all indicators of change will be as visible or obvious as flashes of light or pop up signs, but they’re there and help to eliminate misintentions or getting cut off.

KPI’s aren’t just for discussion in the boardroom.

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