Situational Awareness

Being alert and informed about your environment; reading patterns of interactions among individuals and observing what may be unique about the setting is Situational Awareness.

Situational Awareness is the valuable skill of being attuned to what is happening around you. By allowing your awareness to go beyond your own skin, you pick up on information, events, dynamics and emotions that might influence decisions and lead to greater effectiveness and possibly even greater physical safety. At work and at home, the person who can size up what is going on around her is better equipped to succeed in work, and in life.

If any of the following behaviors are true of you or associates with whom you work, you will find exploring this competency of great value at

  • Inability to track multiple layers of interaction
  • Unobservant of surroundings and what’s going on
  • Self-centered; failing to pay attention to the interpersonal dynamics among people in a group
  • Does not value the emotional elements in interactions

Action learning tips and learning assignments on the job are a click away at

You might also consider (a sampling of suggestions from

Banbury, Simon. A Cognitive Approach to Situation Awareness: Theory and Application. Farnham, Surrey, UK: Ashgate Publishing, 2004.

Corey, Marianne S., Gerald Corey, and Cindy Corey. Groups: Process and Practice. Belmont, CA: Brooks Cole, 2010.

Goleman, Daniel. Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ, 10th anniversary edition. New York: Bantam, 2006.

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