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What Dr. House's SafetyDNA Says About Him

August 10, 2016

workplace-safety-1.jpgToday, we're diving into Part 3 of our series about SafetyDNA profiles. Click here to read Part 1 and Part 2.

House M.D. fans, including myself, are still going through withdrawal after the show ended in 2012. House, the main character of this series, was a character who the viewers loved because of his risks and personality. House’s propensity for being right was what made him such an intriguing character. In his mind, the end always justified the means.

When I think of the Maverick safety profile, the first person that comes to mind was House. House truly embodies what it means to be a Maverick. Let’s take a look at how Dr. Gregory House stacks up when applying the S.A.F.E. model.

Aware of Surroundings

House has a keen awareness of his surroundings, so much so that it’s a very rare occurrence if he does miss something. This applies not only to his patients, but to those he works with daily. In the words of House, “Everybody lies,” so it’s not enough to take what they say at face value. What’s truly important is to assess the situation and observe what’s going on, and not always believe what others are telling you.

House views medical cases like a puzzle, and to solve a puzzle, you have to look at every piece from every angle to see how things fit together. Just because someone tells you something fits doesn’t necessarily make it so.

Follows Rules

Does House follow rules? Not so much. House trusts his own abilities and awareness far more than others. In his mind, he lives by the question, “Why would I ever listen to rules created by someone not nearly as talented as myself or my team?”

As far as House is concerned, rules are arbitrary guidelines created by someone in order to cover their tail. House sees breaking the rules as a requirement for doing a job well, and thinks about things differently than most and encourages others to do the same. That thinking does not lend itself to rule following.

House may not like following the rules of others, but that didn’t stop him from creating his own set of rules. He sees these rules more as truths. If we look at some of House’s rules, you can see they’re more ‘anti-rules’ than anything else. I call this list below, What I learned from watching House:

  • Everybody Lies

  • People don’t change

  • We are who people think we are

  • Normal is overrated

  • Truth begins in lies

  • The eyes can be misleading

  • Cancer is boring

  • We all make mistakes and we all pay the price

  • When you want to know the truth about someone, that someone is probably the last person you should ask

  • Reality is almost always wrong

Exhibits Caution

A casual observer might think that House doesn’t exhibit any caution in how he goes about his job. However, if you take a closer look at how he engages cases, you’ll notice that’s not all true. House exhibits caution, but he does it differently than most. House looks at what the outcome of a given decision might be, and then contrasts that against the outcome of not proceeding in that direction. In his mind, it comes done to these two questions;

  • Do I trust my knowledge and ability in this decision?

  • Does the end justify the means?

If the answer to both is “yes”, then chances are he’s moving forward with the decision. This approach isn’t for everyone which is why there are different profiles. This type of decision making can make some very uncomfortable, however, a person such as House who fits the Maverick profile will see things and take risks that others simply won’t.

Next time we’ll take a look at the Adventurer profile.

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David Juristy David Juristy is Vice President of Sales, and the executive leader of PSI’s safety practice. He has used his background in Industrial Operations and military training in Quality & Safety compliance to work with many of today’s top companies to implement safety solutions.