People can memorize an incredible amount of information: memories, song lyrics, literature, jokes, instructions and so on. Getting the right information without errors in a stressful situation is much more difficult. That is precisely why pilots and medical teams work with checklists. Atul Gawande shows you in “The Checklist Manifesto” why checklists are useful and when you will get the most out of them.
Do you recognize this: someone scares you and asks you an silly question. But you suddenly do not know the answer anymore. You are stuttering and you want to say it but you’re unable to give the correct answer.
People generally perform well under a bit of pressure. But too much pressure or too sudden of a pressure is something different. And if the pressure is completely gone, it is not good either. Then we start to relax and we forget the most obvious things.
In those situations checklists are your best friend.
That is precisely the reason why pilots always work with a number of checklists: how much fuel is on board, what is the weather that we can expect, is this setting turned on, etc.
After a few months or years, you know all those things. But that’s not what it’s about. The point is that you always make sure you go thru the same steps. All of them. In all circumstances.
The author of ‘The Checklist Manifesto’ – Atul Gawande – has a lot of experience with checklists. He describes in his book why checklists are useful and sometimes even necessary. And what types of checklists you can use.
All in all, I found this a very interesting book. The book itself does not contain any checklist by the way. 😉
This book is interesting for all professionals out there. Whether you work in the office or somewhere else. Whether you have a hectic job or not. Everyone has to deal with things that you can easily forget. And that is precisely why you should be using checklists.