Cabin Safety Officer, Finnair
Developing Resilience Through Cabin Crew Training
Developing resilience is one of the many tasks that training organizations must fulfill in order to produce EASA compliant CRM training. But what is resilience in flight operations?
In general, resilience is understood to reflect a person’s ability to regain function after a sudden event. This sudden event could be a positive or a negative event. In flight operations, it is crucial that the crew is able to regain function immediately after sudden events. This begs the question, what is it that makes crew lose their ability to function? Ability to function should be understood as having cognitive abilities, e.g. being able to think rationally and to make decisions.
Our human bodies have been built so that we have many automatic mechanisms that work for our benefit. One of those mechanisms is emotions. Emotions make us take action very effectively which is why they may sometimes impede our cognitive capabilities. Thus, emotions are the reason we lose our ability to function.
If emotions are what causes us to lose our ability to function, then resilience is the capacity to manage emotions. How can we develop this ability through training? To save energy our brains give us our emotions based on our past experiences. This information can be used to our advantage in cabin crew training by making sure that cabin crew feels calm in every emergency training situation. This leads to their brains learning the way to feel in emergency situations. And this helps them with managing their emotions in emergency situations leading to enhanced resilience.