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Can you trust your own mind?

In the 80s, the pilots of Delta Airlines made more and more embarrassing mistakes, including landing on the wrong airport. Worried about these errors, the chief of Delta training looked for a psychologist to get a solution.

The Psychologist said: “You are not going to stop those pilots from making these mental mistakes. People can't tell when their own mind is misleading them. BUT… people often can see it when it happens to others”

In this way Delta Airlines dismantled the authoritarian system that they had until then in the cockpit.

From that point, first and second officers can and must defy the Captain’s decisions if they think that he’s wrong. More importantly, Captains must seek and encourageFeedback, and take it as a tool to save lives, not an attack against his authority.

Those mistakes haven’t happened since.

I have a couple of questions for you:

1. Do you listen to your people when they point out a mistake in your judgment?

2. Do you have a sparring partner to test ideas and decisions?

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