Driver and Passenger

Next time you are traveling by car, consider the different ways people experience the trip – based on “roles”. A driver feels the experience of the trip in a very different manner way than a passenger. Whether they are in the front or back seats, a passenger’s experience can also vary. The experience can be one of monotony from the time spent focusing on traffic and road conditions to the motion-sickness that plagues so many backseat passengers.

A driver enters a sharp turn and their grip on the wheel, the choices of peddle they press, and posture in their seat are all based on the anticipation of the g-forces depending on the sharpness of the turn.

On the other hand, the passenger, to varying degrees based on what part of the car they are in, experiences that turn differently.  Even if they are aware the turn in about to happen, they may not be able to anticipate, to the fraction of a second, what the driver instinctively knows is coming.

It is a small difference but a big impact and the further removed from the driver’s seat (back seat vs front seat for example) the worse the impact of the motion is.  Some can happily ignore the motion but others are more sensitive.

Spotlight thought

When you are leading a team (driving), you are dealing with the day to day decisions and updates that are involved in the steering of the organization.  Be conscious that even though your employees are not passengers, they are also not in the driver’s seat and the turns may be felt differently by them than you feel them.  They do not have the pressures of driving, but they may still feel the uneasy road conditions.  You may not be able to change the road you are on, but you can let the team know you are aware of the rough ride – and will avoid the potholes you can.  You can even “crack a window” and give the team some room to breathe.