Friday, October 07, 2011

An ATC What?



I heard this question the other day...

Athletes Have Coaches. Why Not Everyone Else?

...and I didn’t have a good answer.

”Atul Gawande, professor of surgery at Harvard Medical School, was watching the Wimbledon tennis tournament on television when he saw star Rafael Nadal's coach urging him on from the sidelines.

If one of the world's greatest tennis players has a coach, Gawande asked himself, why shouldn't doctors and teachers? In an article for “The New Yorker”, Gawande argues that coaches can help anyone, in any profession.”


Air traffic controllers are in a profession. Can you think of a good reason senior air traffic controllers don’t have a coach? How many times have you heard us complain, “Once someone is checked out they act like they know everything. They stop learning. They won’t listen to criticism.”

Like I said, I didn’t have a good answer to the question. I bet you don’t either.

Don Brown
October 7, 2011

2 comments:

Mark Rossmore said...

We had one of those, an early-20's hotshot whose ego was too big for our little tower. He always pushed it too far, managed to walk away only through blind luck-and then gloat about how much of a badass he was. He was a liar, a snitch, a shmoozer, a manipulator, a rampant leave abuser, and the kind of person who blamed everyone else for his mistakes. He consistently called himself the best controller in the facility, while constantly proving he was among the worst and most dangerous.

Thank goodness he's gone up the trail. The news of his character had spread so far and wide around the ATC community that he had to bid dozens and dozens of facilities before one finally took him. Sucks to be them.

DTWND said...

It used to be called "Peer Pressure" when one controller commented on another controller's performance. That was until the one being coached felt it was a "hostile work environment" and supervisors without a spine (they also had a similarly poor technique) put a stop to the practice.