S2.E17: Increasing Situational Awareness with Jerome David

Increasing Situational Awareness with Jerome David

How can we improve our situational awareness so that we don’t miss important information? Situational awareness is the ability to perceive, understand, and effectively respond to one’s situation. This includes being able to recognize the hazards around us, the state of ourselves and the people we are with, changing conditions, and the overall direction that the situation we are in is likely to go.

When it comes to delivering adventure, a lack of situational awareness can impact our judgment in ways that can either boost or degrade our decision making and our ability to react to the situations that we are in.

In this episode of Delivering Adventure, ACMG Ski Guide Jerome David joins us to explore how we can boost our situational awareness. Jerome shares some examples from his career as a Heli ski guide and bike park patroller as well as some practical strategies we can all use.

Jerome currently works at Whistler Heli skiing as the lead guide and guide manager. He has also worked as a ski and bike patroller and trail builder.

Key Takeaways

To improve our situational awareness we can:

Take Time to Refocus (When Needed): Living in the moment by concentrating on the task at hand can reduce distraction and complacency. It can also help us to switch from system 2 thinking where slower reasoned thinking can consume our bandwidth at the expense of being able to process information and react faster with our system 1 thinking.

Boosting Bandwidth: People are like computers, they only have so much processing power at anyone time. To boost our ability to process everything around us, we may need to slow things down.

Be aware of Transitions: When we switch activities or change the intensity of tasks, we need to make sure that we refocus. Failing to do so can cause our minds to become focused on what we were just doing, instead of paying attention to what we are doing in that moment.

An example of a transitions to be aware of include going from low risk to high-risk situations or vice versa.

Reduce External Distractions: This can include storing phones, giving people less instruction in complex situations or waiting for other people to pass you on a trail or climb so that you can stay focused.

Plan Ahead: This can include making lists so that you don’t miss anything. Briefing people on what to expect, what they should look for or be aware of can also help to switch people on.

Guest Bio

Jerome David has been working on Snow and Dirt in Whistler since 1998. On the road to becoming an ACMG ski guide, he worked 11 years with Whistler Blackcomb Patrol. He has been ski guiding for the past 7 years. In the summers, Jerome has previously had a long career working as Whistler Mountain Bike Park patrol. The last years he has been building and maintaining Mountain Bike trails. Currently, he works for AlpX and oversees the summer program there. In the Winter Jerome is lead guide and guide manager at Whistler Heli-Skiing.

Guest Links

Thinking Fast and Slow: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thinking,_Fast_and_Slow

Whistler Heli Skiing: https://www.whistlerblackcomb.com/explore-the-resort/activities-and-events/whistler-heli-skiing/whistler-heli-skiing.aspx

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