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1 - CHECK YOUR ATTITUDE AT THE DOOR!

Written by Spencer McDonald

SAFETY MEETING PLANNER & AGENDA

Meeting Leader:

  • Prepare in advance to make this meeting effective.  Click HERE for a link to instructions on how to best use this information.
  • Print and read over this entire agenda (or download a pdf version here).
  • Think about how you want to lead the meeting.
  • Is there anything that is specific to your company or operation that you can include to personalize the information?
  • Review the video for this session.

Video Template

NOT A SUBSCRIBER YET?  You will see a watermarked sample of the video.  Get the ‘clean’ video for your meeting now by visiting the Tailgate Topics & Tips page on the Thinking Driver website.

START YOUR MEETING!

Opening Statement:

Even the best drivers can let their driving deteriorate when their attitude starts to slide.

The Questions for this Meeting:

Q: What attitudes can turn a normally good driver into a risk-taking one?

Answers:

road_rage[1]

  • A feeling that everyone is out to get me or hold me up.
  • Judgements about other driver’s actions “everyone else is a lousy driver” that leads to frustration.
  • Angry feelings that may have no connection with driving until you are behind the wheel like a fight with the boss or spouse or kids or co-worker.
  • A need to be right or “win” in a situation.
  • Can you think of more?

These things are called personal factors and they influence our driving behaviour if we let them.

Attitudes are a combination of what we are thinking and feeling.  These are things that we have control over at least to some degree.  Someone who regularly cultivates strong negative feelings and thinking including anger and blame will often have what is called a bad attitude but this is just a reflection of their emotional state.

Q: What kind of driving behaviour can result from negative attitudes?

Answers:

road-rage[1]

  • Aggressive driving like speeding or cutting others off.
  • Retaliation and road rage
  • Vehicle abuse
  • What others?

Taking personal responsibility for our thinking, feelings and attitudes is a key to safe vehicle operation.  When you are behind the wheel, it’s your responsibility to drive defensively regardless of the pressure that may invite you towards negative thinking and emotion.

Tailgate Tips:

  • If you believe yourself to be a good driver, realize that most others are not as skilled as you and give them a break!  Don’t expect perfection: in fact, expect poor driving from others and take the high road by not reacting negatively.
  • Remind yourself about everything that you have to be grateful for in life.  It sounds simplistic but if we forget that we have so much to be grateful for, and start focusing on the negatives, we can easily get caught up in an attitude slide.courtesy wave
  • Give the other guy a break regularly and make sure that if someone gives you a break to return a friendly wave.
  • Remind yourself regularly that you are in control of your emotional weather and that it’s your thinking that most determines if you have a sunny disposition or a stormy one!

Introduce the Video:

Spencer McDonald discusses the importance of keeping your attitude in check while driving.

Practical Challenge:

teen-driving2.s300x300[1]

For the next week, check your attitude and see if you can shift it in a positive direction by thinking positively about just about anything.  The easiest thing is to just think about everything that you can be grateful for in life.  Notice that choosing your thoughts really does shift your attitude towards everything including driving!

Spencer McDonald

President and founder of Thinking Driver,  Spencer McDonald, has over 25 years of experience in designing driver safety training curriculums and instructor development. He has driver safety qualifications in all vehicle types and expertise in psychology, education, training and motivation that uniquely qualifies him to develop the attitude-based Thinking Driver programs. 

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The Thinking Driver Program was created by Spencer McDonald, driver psychology and counseling specialist to improve driver attitudes and reduce aggressive driving and fleet incident rates.

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