Exit row seating – are you ready, willing, and able to assist in the event of an emergency?

safety_emergency_exit_boratEarlier this week we talked about being prepared in times of crisis.  Like the oxygen mask in an airline, a well-designed plan can assist you in taking what could be a catastrophe and keep it from rising above a minor inconvenience.  I heard back from several readers who are frequent flyers and have experienced the loss of cabin pressure. Their summary of the situation was in a few words – no big deal.

Like I said on my previous post, I fly a lot.  I am not bothered in the least by any sudden unexpected changes.  However, I have witnessed panic in first time flyers when there is turbulence.  Utter terror sets in if the oxygen masks drop down due to a loss of pressure.

This is where today’s post picks up.  When you are a leader, it’s not about you and your comfort.  It doesn’t matter if the current crisis is no big deal for you; it’s about your team and what you can do to help them through their response to the emergencies.

Since I am a frequent flyer, I usually get to sit in an exit row if I choose.  This is where there is more leg room and more responsibility.  Before take-off, the flight attendant asks each person in the exit row if they are ready, willing, and able to assist in the event of an emergency.  That means you will open the escape door and help people to safety.  I have never heard one person say, “No, I don’t want to do that, I should move.”  Everyone says yes then gets back to their reading or conversation.

I may be a bit over zealous on this one, but I take my exit row leadership seriously.  I actually read the instructions that show you how to open the door to ensure a safe exit, and then I scan the passengers around me to see who I might need to help.  I know, I probably plan this out too much.

If you are a leader, you need to plan this much.  It’s your job to be calm and in control in a crisis. You don’t just need a plan for yourself; you need a plan for your team.


2 Responses to Exit row seating – are you ready, willing, and able to assist in the event of an emergency?
  1. Joy Jones

    This is a critical step in Leadership. Your team will look to you to see how you are responding. You are in a position of influence, so how you choose to respond to the crisis will determine how your team responds. Taking the time to plan ahead and do your research, will allow you to make quick and critical decisions effectively in a time of crisis.