Responding quickly and effectively

In critical occupations where events can unfold rapidly and change suddenly, the professional must be able to make rapid and accurate decisions in order to respond effectively – and in many cases, stay alive.

How do we actually make decisions? Why do some people seem to make extremely poor decisions in a crisis? How is it that some people seem to possess the ability to maintain ‘grace under pressure’ and respond effectively? Why do some hyperventilate, panic or freeze?

How do we train and prepare ourselves to be able to rapidly assess a complex or dynamic scene and make appropriate decisions?

The Human Factors in Crisis Decision Making course will cover the following components:

  1. Types of human error (categories of errors and mistakes)
  2. The ‘near miss’ – capturing and learning from close calls (yours and others)
  3. Root causes of decision errors (underestimation of risk, failure to recognize risk cues, conflicting goals, failing to plan for potential consequences)
  4. The three common components of adverse events (latent factors in the ‘system’, failure of safeguards, ‘trigger’ events that initiate an error trajectory)
  5. James Reason’s ‘swiss cheese’ model of human error
  6. The primary human factors causing fatal errors (judgment, lack of necessary skill, inadequate knowledge)
  7. The three levels of decision making (skill-based, knowledge-based, judgment-based)
  8. Root causes of fatal judgment error (overconfidence, inflexibility, selfishness, complacency, communication breakdown).
  9. The neurology of human decision making (non-stress vs stress arousal environments).
  10. Recognition-Primed decision making (Klein’s Naturalistic Decision making)
  11. Context cues and decision making
  12. Heuristic models and decision making
  13. Heuristic “traps” and how they kill us (‘killer decision making’)
  14. Heuristic errors and how to recognize them in yourself and others:
    • Familiarity
    • Consistency
    • Over Confidence
    • Expert halo
    • Social facilitation
    • Scarcity
    • Complacency after reaching objective
    • The ‘look but fail to see’ trap.

This fascinating and dynamic course is typically presented in an 8-hour module although 4-hour sessions can also be delivered. The Instructor will utilize several real-life case examples of crisis decision making and errors. The student will leave this course with an understanding of the various levels of decision making and strategies and tools to enhance their personal decision-making skill and safe guard against serious decision error.

To book this course for your organization, contact Chris Butler at