I just had the opportunity to join two pilots in the cockpit of a Bombardier DHC-8 passenger aircraft going from Austria to Germany. I can´t wait to tell you what I have learned from watching pilots communicate in the cockpit: it will help you reach your destinations in our business and private life faster!
Take a look at these three points:
1. CONSTANT COMMUNICATION
In order to adjust the many little buttons, lights and instruments in the cockpit that assure we get safely to the desired destination, the pilot is constantly checking settings and check lists. Furthermore, he is communicating with more people than you probably think: the copilot, the tower to double check position; the crew, ground staff for aircraft check before departure, ground staff to park the aircraft, …; every instance is supporting the pilots, helping them to get all passengers safely to the destination!
ASK YOURSELF: Who is your support system on the way to your destination? Who are the people you share your goals with? Who do you talk to when you feel discouraged to reach your goal? Who are the people who want you to succeed and reach your goals? Where can you find them? Who could you ask to hold you accountable? Who are the people who check in with you, believe in you and help you get through some turbulences and remind you to focus on what´s important in the moment to reach your goal?
2. CLEAR CHECKLISTS
Pilots have little notebooks with checklists. The lists look quite simple from a distance, almost like a shopping list. ;) But what they show are very serious, clear steps a pilot has to follow in certain situations. Some to just check the settings and instruments, others for emergency situations. They are trained to follow clear steps and routines, so that in stressful situations they know exactly what to do and rely on what they have trained.
ASK YOURSELF: What STEPS do you need to take to reach your goal? What do you need to do in case of unexpected distractions on the way to your goals?
Write your own check list with the things you need to do to get what you want or be the person you want to be.
Write down what you will do, if you fall back into old habits (e.g. If I watch youtube videos instead of doing my work, I will get myself a cup of tea, find one small reason why its important for me to do my work, then sit down and work) Keep in mind it´s your individual check list, but sharing it with a friend or someone of your support system (see point 1), can help you reach your goal faster!
Keeping a log book about what you are doing to reach your goals, including date and times alá: July 29, 2018 - 8 AM to 1 PM – Preparing training for client xyz
You may also call it the pilots´ coolness, literally. In the heat of the moment or an argument, we sometimes “loose our cool”. We allow this to happen when: things don’t work out the way we want, when we get caught up in the moment, when we are impatient and loose the focus on the goal or sometimes the moment, we don’t loose that weight fast enough, we can’t wait to hear back after a job interview, or when we are angry because the other person “just doesn’t listen or understand me”. A pilot doesn’t have time or space to do that. Period. Pilots are trained (and you can learn it too) to stay absolutely calm in serious, unexpected, or even “life threatening” situations.
ASK YOURSELF: How do I react in unexpected or stressful situation? What do I need to stay calm? How can I keep “my cool” and focus only on what I need to do now? - Don’t get me wrong, its very important to look at our emotions and allow them, but we don’t always have to act on them! We can learn to stay calm, observe the situation/emotions and communicate effectively. Paying attention to your body helps most people! By breathing fully (!) your body will get more oxygen, which usually calms down your heart rate and you can relax more, no matter what is going on around you.
If you like, let me know how this is working out for you. Don’t forget to have fun along the way! And if you ever get the chance to get a seat in the cockpit, go for it!