Situational Awareness, often called SA, is the ability of a person to become clearly aware of his or her surroundings, to determine what is normal and then quickly anticipate and correct for future changes before they happen. Much has been written and discussed during the past 15 years about SA training and implementation in fields like aviation, security, defense and safety, but this concept has yet to become widely used in the business world.
Ace combat pilots, front-line military personnel, police in hostage situations, firemen in burning buildings and Coast Guard officers during drug interdiction are all using Situational Awareness. They have learned to calmly observe a situation from all angles, consider only relevant data, recognize their actual environment and react accordingly. Skilled users of SA learn to understand the true intentions of others, process information in real time, anticipate unusual future events, take corrective action (and possibly adjust), before it is too late. It becomes second nature to think ahead; they know their well-being depends on it.