Bradley Hartmann is El Presidente of Red Angle (www.redanglespanish.com), a Spanish language training firm focused exclusively on the construcción industry. Hartmann has been successful improving Safety, Productivity and Profitability by speaking Spanish on the jobsite. Hartmann lived in Guadalajara, México during his undergraduate studies and later earned his MBA. Hartmann also teaches Construction Spanish at Purdue University’s Building Construction Management Program. He has authored 2 books - Spanish Twins: Start Speaking Spanish on the Construction Site with Words You Already Know and Safety Spanish: Simple Spanish Skills for Solving Safety Problems. Hartmann would love to hear your thoughts digitally at email@example.com or verbally at 630.234.7321.
Two teachers start their respective 8 am classes.
Both classes have talkative students.
Teacher Uno raises his voice, demanding the unruly students quiet down.
Teacher Dos quietly opens a desk drawer.
A cowbell is removed.
After a pause, she clangs a few laps around the triangle.
Which is more successful?
In the classroom, the cowbell wins.
The cowbell is an auditory interrupt.
The cowbell interrupts the chorus of voices instead of adding to it.
The chatter pattern is broken by the cowbell.
Along with cowbells and 24 mph signage, attention is captured by breaking a pattern. The human brain is incredibly adapt at ignoring consistent messaging.
Are any of your daily messages consistent?
Are they easily ignored?
Pattern recognition (and subsequent disregard) is the reason most jobsite injuries occur doing routine tasks.
The work is repetitive and routine.
Workers become numb to the risks.
Injuries while doing the most common tasks.
One pattern easily broken is your lack of comunicación with Hispanic construction workers. Due to language barriers (perceived or real), you or someone like you walks by Hispanic construction workers everyday without the slightest acknowledgment.
No head nod.
Certainly no verbal exchanges.
100% lack of acknowledgment.
As if they were human pieces of equipment.
Like a ladder or a wheelbarrow.
Want to manage your job better?
Want to lead more effectively?
Break the pattern of Hispanic disregard by saying this one word to Spanish-speaking construction workers… and then keep walking.
Just keep walking.
You don't need a conversación.
You just need to BREAK the pattern.
This single word will break two patterns - your pattern of non-comunicación and the workers’ pattern of completing routine, but potentially dangerous tasks.