28 • MINING QUARTERLY, Elko, Nevada WINTER 2014
I feel so passionately about the benefits to business of building community that I have focused a career on helping leaders also see this benefit. With the deluge of material, training and consultants available to managers, I used be surprised that not more leaders approached their businesses from this community-building perspective. ‑ Ted Boyce
Building a work community that supports injury prevention
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THOMAS E. “TED” BOYCE, PH.D. A few years ago I was driving home to Reno after having been in Elko working with a group of miners that had entrusted me with their safety culture. Just prior to my departure, the safety director of another mine site asked if I could stop by to check-in on their behavior-based safety process and suggested we have lunch together. Upon my arrival to his site, he recommended we have our meeting at a pizza place he knew of, one a bit off the beaten path. As a pizza lover, of course, I agreed. He said that he had already placed the order and that the pizza would be waiting for us when we got to the restaurant. When we arrived at the pizza shop, the pizza was ready as promised. And, to my surprise when it arrived at our table I noticed it was loaded with mushrooms. The safety manager loved mushrooms and was proud of his decision to get “extra, extra mushrooms” on the large pie he had ordered. Little did he know that I am not a fan of mushrooms and, in fact, they make me nauseous. I did not say a thing and proceeded to eat the pizza, subtly picking off a few mushrooms before each bite. Other than the mushrooms, the pizza was good as promised. Now, this article is not about pizza. Rather, it is about community, communication and building relationships. Community is commonly defined as “a group of people with a common characteristic or interest living together within a larger society.” It has also been defined “as a feeling of fellowship with others, as a result of sharing common attitudes, interests, and goals.” It is
this latter definition to which I subscribe. I feel so passionately about the benefits to business of building community that I have focused a career on helping leaders also see this benefit. With the deluge of Ted Boyce material, training and consultants available to managers, I used be surprised that not more leaders approached their businesses from this community-building perspective. Then I became keenly aware that a vast majority of the resources available to teach the value of building relationships don’t provide practical tools for doing so. Thus, it becomes just a vision, an ideal that may not ever be achieved. I have come across many such stories during my career. Moreover, it is common knowledge and I have witnessed first-hand the rapidly aging workforce of miners and an imminent lack of skilled professionals with 10 or 15 years of experience to fill vacant management roles in mining. Thus, I recently published a book in which I introduce a communication model and leadership process. Each will help readers, the current and future leaders of mining, build a true community whether at work or at home. I call the communication model Participative Communication and the leadership process Evidence-Based Leadership. Neither should be conceived of as training. See BOYCE, 29
A look at mines and their support industries in Nevada. Published by the Elko Daily Free Press.