Have you ever been in a situation where you didn’t know what to do and been given the advice to “just be yourself?”
Depending on your mood, that might not be a good idea! Let me explain...
Here’s an example: when I’m driving somewhere and realize that I’m lost, I figure I’ll just keep driving and by some clairvoyant insight, I’ll find my way.
Correct me if I’m wrong here, but the ladies are much smarter than most of us guys in this situation. They’ll stop and ask for directions.
But in other situations when I’m exercising good Emotional Intelligence, I ask for advice, like; “What do you think about this?” Or, “How do I get to the Shoreline Restaurant?” Or whatever.
When I’m in a lousy mood, angry, upset “just being myself” is not the best advice especially since I’m a “typical guy.” And a pilot. But most often people will say, “Relax, just be yourself and you’ll know what to do.” If your EQ is below average, you might reconsider...
What is Emotional Intelligence or EQ and How Does It Impact Safety?
The term was made popular by Daniel Goleman in his 1996 book of the same name.
He defines Emotional Intelligence as the ability to recognize, understand and manage our own emotions as well as recognize, understand and influence the emotions of others.
In practical terms, this means being aware that emotions can drive our behavior and impact people (positively and negatively), and learning how to manage those emotions – both our own and others – especially when we are under pressure. Obviously this has big implications for aviation safety.
We all know people who are in full control of their emotions. They're calm in a crisis, and they make decisions sensitively, however stressful the situation. I think we would all agree that Captain Sully comes to mind here.
Some people can even read the emotions of others. They understand what to say to make people feel better, and they know how to inspire them to take action.
People like this have a high EQ. They have strong relationships, they’re personable and they're likely to be resilient in the face of adversity.
This kind of high EQ is something that most of us aren’t inherently long on. Given our potential EQ shortcomings, it’s important to be aware of this and compensate accordingly. Henry the Nerd, “Relax, just don’t be yourself! What??”
“Just be yourself” wasn’t the best advice for Henry, a young nerd. Henry was 21, still lived at home with his mom, was basically anti-social, still in college, spent a lot of time isolated in his room, playing video games, without a lot of friends. But he did have a few buddies at school.
But he was lonely. So, one day he was surfing the net and came across a dating site. He figured, “What the heck, I might as well give it a shot.”
He saw the profile of a girl who looked like someone he might be able to have a relationship with. Then he began to freak out; what am I going to say to her, how should I act, what should I tell her about myself? Those kinds of questions.
The next day at school he saw his buddies hanging out so he went up and told them about meeting this girl online. Then he asked them the same questions he was asking himself, what am I going to say, how should I act, what should I do with her, etc?
These guys knew Henry pretty well. They knew he was a loner, never been on a date, and spent way too much time alone. So they circled up and started talking amongst themselves.
After a few minutes, one of the guys broke away from the group, came over to Henry, looked at him and said, “Hey Man, we like you and we know you pretty well but we also know that you don’t have much experience with girls.’
So, after thinking this over we decided that when you meet this girl, the best thing you can do is... “Just DON’T be yourself!” (True story...the guy was my former brother-in-law!”)
What’s Your Emotional Intelligence Quotient (EQ)?
Is your IQ in the genius category, above 140 but your EQ (Emotional Intelligence Quotient) is below 100 and descending?
Most of us are intelligent, some highly so, with corresponding high IQ’s (Intelligence Quotients), or else management wouldn’t turn us loose with people’s lives and some very expensive equipment.
For example, one of my new hire pilot buddies at TWA had a photographic memory. He studied very little but maxed the frequent exams that we had in B707 systems ground school. I mistakenly thought I could keep up with his extracurricular activities, going out and partying every night, and maintain a similar grade.
It only took me a couple of weeks to figure out, after partying with him and watching my weekly exam scores plummet, that no way was I going to be able to keep up my after-hours antics with him and continue my flying career.
A Fighter Pilot’s Challenge in Staying Safe While Exercising Good Pilot EQ
One of the pilots I met and interviewed at Oshkosh for an article was Dr. John Marselus. John is a graduate of the United States Air Force Academy with over 3,000 hours in the A-10 Thunderbolt and F-15E Strike Eagle along with commanding at several different levels in the USAF.
In his own words, “One thing I found out was that the way I acted when strapping on $50M worth of a sleek hound of death fighter aircraft and how I relate to others in more normal circumstances had to reckoned with. As a fighter pilot, we’re taught to make split second decisions with precision and accuracy since it’s really the most disciplined flying in the world.
I discovered that those fast reactions with short concise communications do not work well in meetings or when listening to people. I still catch myself analyzing someone’s idea before completely listening to them. Your article on emotional IQ is good and perhaps my example might help others avoid learning the hard way.”
The Crucial Connection Between Pilot EQ, Situational Awareness and Stayin’ Alive!!
Situational awareness has been an aviation buzz word for some time. Situational awareness is knowing what’s going on around us, taking it all in, processing it and coming up with a judgment of whether what we see, feel and experience is good or bad, dangerous or safe, threatening, friendly or not, approachable or should I stay away.
Some pilots are better disposed to good situational awareness than others. For example, different personality types have different emotional qualities. There’s an ancient psychological personality typing system called the Enneagram that classifies all personalities into one of 9 categories, or types based on a predominant emotion, i.e. fear, pride, anger, etc.
Personally, I’m predisposed to fear, which makes me suspicious and very vigilant to my surroundings. My usual first response to a situation is something like, “How hard is this going to be?” “Am I smart enough to handle this,” etc.
But this makes me highly attuned to situations and people around me. Consequently, I have good situational awareness. I always felt like I would have made a good cop; able to sniff out possible suspects, etc.
This could be because of some threat that I might have sensed as a kid and, as a result, I’m always on the alert for a potentially threatening situation.
This personality trait has paid off in a flying career free of incidents and inclusive of friendships with people that I trusted and found that I could let my guard down and, yes, “just be myself.”
If your relationship life and your situational awareness are not what they should be, here are 10 tips that will help increase your Pilot EQ. These just might help make you a safer pilot, and help you extract more joy from your flying career as well...
10 Simple Tips to Increasing Your Pilot EQ
These are some very basic tips that I have practiced for years and have found helpful. Now they come naturally, most of the time.
1. “Reach out and touch someone.” (In today’s paranoid culture, be careful how you use this one!) It’s been proven that a simple, often apparently unnoticed touch when you’re talking to someone, “bonds” you in some small but important way.
2. Introduce yourself to others first rather than waiting for them to do so. This gives you the advantage of getting their first name which leads to...
3. REMEMBER THEIR NAME! This takes practice since we’re so focused on our own agenda that their name usually just flies by.
4. USE first names. This is an oft overlooked, yet powerful way to convey to another person that you care about them. As you go about your day, observe how few people use first names in conversation. Also notice how impersonal that feels and how those people who do use someone’s first name seem to get a better response. Try it; you’ll like it!
5. Compliment others when you recognize a job well done or see someone who goes out of their way to help in a situation.
6. Recognizing and complimenting someone’s efforts is a great way to cultivate a “servant’s” heart. Look for ways to help others without a reason to do so. It’s the old, “Practice random kindness and senseless acts of beauty.”
7. Concentrate on asking other people how they’re doing. And then.....wait for their answer and listen with passion! Too often we’re rehearsing our own agenda in our head and could care less about their response. This drastically lowers your EQ!
8. Listen more. It’s amazing how great a conversationalist people think you are when you just listen to them.
9. Let go of having to be perfect. That doesn’t mean not being accurate. Perfectionism is different than accuracy.
10. Focus and expand on the positive in situations, people and events.
This is obviously not a complete list of EQ qualities. Come up with your own. Sometimes the best way to do this is to examine your own life and the areas where you rank low in EQ and just do the opposite! That would be a good place to start.
If any of this makes sense, here’s an EQ quiz that you can take: http://www.ihhp.com/free-eq-quiz. After you take the test if your results don’t meet your expectations get back to me and let’s talk.
The quiz just might help you see if you’re good relationship material, if you’re going to have a fun, productive, happy flying career, if you’re going to rank high on the flight attendants (or your mates) list of favorite pilots or, like Henry...you shouldn’t “just be yourself!”
(Dr. John Marselus is involved with a collegiate aviation flight program that he built for flight and UVS (Unmanned Aerial Systems) students at San Diego Christian College. He has been formally trained as a safety officer, had been selected to serve on a number of safety boards and has a deep perspective on safety. He is the Aviation Department Chair at San Diego Christian College and is also a world-wide recognized expert on UAS operations. http://sdcc.edu/
The SCAA would like to introduce Bert Botta. Bert will be a guest writer for the SCAA blog and facebook posts. Bert is a former TWA and Netjets Captain and Professional Standards Committee chairman, the editor of the Private Jet Pilots monthly newsletter, an Aviation Writer and Copywriter, , author of ‘Fast Lane to Faith: A Jet Jockey’s Search for Significance’, and a former Licensed Professional Counselor. He is a people person, networker par excellence and enjoys bringing people together around their common interests through interviews, sharing their stories, and helping to shape their legacies. You can reach him at mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org or 415-320-9811 We look forward to working with Bert!
Washington, DC, July 26, 2019 – The National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) today thanked Dr. Peggy Chabrian for her many contributions to the aviation community, most notably as the founder, president and CEO of Women in Aviation International (WAI). Dr. Chabrian announced her upcoming retirement from the organization earlier this week during the WAI Connect Breakfast at EAA AirVenture 2019 in Oshkosh, WI.
Recognizing the need to support the encouragement and advancement of women in all aviation career fields and interests, Dr. Chabrian founded the first WAI conference in 1990 and drove its incorporation as a non-profit organization in 1994. Among the group’s members are astronauts, business aviation pilots, maintenance technicians, air traffic controllers, journalists, flight attendants, high school and university students, air show performers, airport managers and many others.
“For 30 years, Dr. Chabrian has been a source of inspiration to women in aviation, and a tireless advocate for educational initiatives and other resources to ensure their success and career growth in the industry,” said NBAA President and CEO Ed Bolen. “NBAA thanks her for her passionate commitment to mentoring and encouraging women to pursue career possibilities within the aviation community, and I know she will continue to inspire lives well into the future.”
NBAA Vice President, Educational Strategy and Workforce Development Jo Damato, CAM, pointed to Dr. Chabrian’s influence on her own career.
“In addition to steering the direction and accomplishments of WAI since its inception, she has touched countless lives throughout the aviation community, and has directly influenced the paths of so many of our industry’s female leaders today,” said Damato. “Dr. Chabrian created a place for ‘women who liked to talk about airplanes’, and I’ve looked to her as a role model since the day I first heard her speak.”
Throughout Dr. Chabrian’s tenure, WAI has awarded more than 948,000 scholarships totaling $12.5 million and established a $1 million endowment fund. The annual International Women in Aviation Conference attracts thousands of attendees each year, and the organization will hold its fifth international Girls in Aviation Day this October.
Dr. Chabrian is a 2,200+ hour commercial/instrument multiengine pilot and flight instructor. She will continue to serve as WAI’s president through April 2020.
# # #
Founded in 1947 and based in Washington, DC, the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) is the leading organization for companies that rely on general aviation aircraft to help make their businesses more efficient, productive and successful. The association represents more than 11,000 companies and professionals and provides more than 100 products and services to the business aviation community, including the NBAA Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition (NBAA-BACE), the world’s largest civil aviation trade show. Learn more about NBAA at www.nbaa.org.
Members of the media may receive NBAA Press Releases immediately via email. To subscribe to the NBAA Press Release email list, submit the online form.
Washington, DC, July 24, 2019 – National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) President and CEO Ed Bolen today welcomed Senate approval of Steve Dickson’s nomination as administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).
“NBAA has had a close working relationship with Steve for many years, and we’re confident he’s the right man for the job,” Bolen said. “Having a permanent Administrator at the FAA is key to ensuring the continued advancement of important work being done on aviation-system modernization, equipment certification, workforce development, safety and other top priorities.”
In conjunction with Dickson’s nomination, Bolen sent a May 14, 2019 letter to the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation commending his selection by the White House for FAA Administrator, which was officially announced March 19. “The more than 45,000 FAA employees who work tirelessly to operate a safe and efficient aviation system deserve a leader with the proven management experience that Steve Dickson would bring each day,” the letter states.
Read Bolen’s letter regarding Dickson’s nomination.
Dickson also has leadership experience on Federal Advisory Committees, providing him with a comprehensive understanding of the nation’s air traffic control (ATC) system. He served as chair of a task force that made key recommendations to advance ATC modernization goals while creating a business case for investing in NextGen technologies. This work led to formation of the NextGen Advisory Committee, which Dickson served on until his retirement from Delta.
Dickson is a graduate of the U.S. Air Force Academy.
The FAA has been overseen by FAA Acting Administrator Dan Elwell since January 2018. Bolen praised Elwell’s leadership and professionalism during the transition period.
Washington, DC, July 23, 2019 – The National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) today joined with other aviation groups and unions in voicing support for S.2198, Aviation’s Next Era Act of 2019, also known as the “PLANE Act of 2019”.
The PLANE Act, a bipartisan bill introduced by Sens. James M. Inhofe (R-OK), Chairman of the Armed Services Committee and an avid pilot, and Angus King (I-ME), member of the Armed Services Committee, sets the stage for positive growth and future development for the aviation industry.
“The general aviation industry is poised for a critical phase of innovation and progress – an era of advancement not witnessed in decades,” said NBAA President and CEO Ed Bolen. “This legislation would help ensure that general aviation, which is an essential contributor to the nation’s economy, can continue its advancement in a safe and efficient manner for the benefit of all citizens.”
Bolen joined several other aviation leaders in signing a July 22, 2019 letter supporting the legislation. View the industry letter in its entirety.
The PLANE Act would ensure fairness for pilots by expanding the Pilot’s Bill of Rights, enhancing protections for the aviation community and guaranteeing timely resolution of investigations. These protections would help current and future pilots meet the ongoing challenges related to pilot hiring.
The bill also encourages investment in general aviation infrastructure including hangars and tarmacs by establishing public-private partnership programs at general aviation airports. The legislation recognizes the important role that airports play in national disaster relief efforts, as well as providing new access to funding for airport development and other projects.
The PLANE Act also seeks to provide the fair distribution of aviation federal fuel tax receipts, a portion of which are currently diverted to the Highway Trust Fund. With this change, the PLANE Act would ensure aviation-generated user fees are fully distributed to the Airport and Airway Trust Fund to support aviation-related projects.
Bolen further stated that “we thank Sens. Inhofe and King for their leadership on this important aviation legislation and look forward to working with them–and our aviation industry colleagues–to obtain Senate passage of this important aviation legislation.”
When your day-to-day responsibilities touch on every aspect of business aviation, it’s critical to have a broad perspective of the industry.
Certified Aviation Manager (CAM) Scott Ashton knows firsthand about the wide range of decisions aviation executives must make. For Ashton, president and CEO of Corporate Service Supply and Manufacturing, earning his CAM certification has proved an asset in confronting the diverse array of challenges arriving at his desk each day.
“The CAM exam forces you take a comprehensive look at business aviation in its totality,” said Ashton. “As you evolve as a leader, having more familiarity with areas sometimes outside of your comfort zone is extremely valuable.”
A 25-year aviation veteran whose robust resume includes leadership experience in leasing, aircraft management and air charter services, Ashton knows the benefits of seeing a broad cross section of the industry. He points to the rigor and depth of the CAM curriculum as a key value point for industry leaders seeking to enhance their expertise.
“As you move up in your career, you need a broader perspective in terms of the market, management, personnel, dealing with state and regulatory agencies,” he said. “CAM helps prepare you to, if not always be an expert, know enough to ask the right questions of experts in those areas, which as a leader is extremely important.”
Ashton has also found significant value in the reputation benefits CAM certification can offer within the business aviation world.
“Part of the value of any accreditation is the credibility it gives you with the people whom you do business with,” he noted. “The CAM credential instantly signals that you have credibility as a leader in the industry.”
Learn more about the Certified Aviation Manager program.
Washington, DC, June 21, 2019 – The National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) today applauded Bob Quinn, the association’s Central regional representative, who will retire June 30, after 13 years of service on behalf of NBAA members in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio and Wisconsin.
Since joining NBAA in 2006, Quinn has been a tireless advocate for the interests of business aviation in the Midwest. His significant communication talents and extensive knowledge of the business aviation industry have made him a highly credible and knowledgeable advocate for aviation at state legislatures, regulatory agencies, airport organizations and more.
“Bob’s networking skills have been highly effective in bringing a variety of interests together and in facilitating successful programs and partnerships,” said NBAA President and CEO Ed Bolen. “His strong operational background and understanding of airspace and airport issues have greatly benefited business aviation operators in the Central region.”
Bolen noted that Quinn’s input for airspace redesign efforts – including RNAV arrivals and departures – in the St. Louis, Chicago and Detroit metropolitan areas was instrumental to their successful implementation.
“Bob has ably represented a large region of the country, and his knowledge and advocacy for business aviation will be missed,” said Steve Hadley, NBAA regional programs senior director and Southwest regional representative. “We wish him all the best in this new chapter of his life.”
Quinn is a past president and 30-year member of the Greater St. Louis Business Aviation Association (GSLBAA), considered to be the second-oldest regional business aviation group in the nation.
After graduating from Purdue University with a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering and a master’s degree in industrial administration, Quinn began his aviation career as a design engineer with McDonnell Douglas, later working for the Trane Company and Emerson Electric in engineering and marketing positions.
Over his more than 50-year aviation career, he has accumulated almost 17,000 hours with eight type ratings on his ATP, plus an A&P and Inspection Authorization, and has 25 years of experience as a business aircraft pilot.
Prior to joining NBAA, Quinn was a Gulfstream captain with TAG Aviation, and has flown an array of Gulfstreams from the G-2 thru the G-550, operating them in every continent except Antarctica. He is still flying his Christen Eagle II biplane, which is based at Spirit of St. Louis Airport.
(Van Nuys, CA) Van Nuys Airport Manager, Flora Margheritis, received the 2018 National Air Transportation Association (NATA) Airport Executive Partnership Award given annually to recognize an airport manager for his or her outstanding efforts in fostering relationships between aviation businesses and airport operators.
NATA, a public policy group representing the interests of aviation businesses, selected Margheritis for her leadership in developing and maintaining a partnership between airport operators and airport tenants. Christian Moreno, Van Nuys Airport’s (VNY) Chief of Airport Operations, received the award on Margheritis’ behalf at the NATA 2019 Aviation Business Conference in Washington D.C. on June 17
“Van Nuys Airport is leading the way on environmental sustainability, safety and innovation, and Flora Margheritis has helped make this happen by building strong relationships with our tenants and contractors,” said Deborah Flint, CEO, LAWA. “Operating a general aviation airport is a team sport, and thanks to the partnerships that Flora and Curt have helped foster, we have successfully undertaken a $26 million taxiway improvement project, installed more solar panels than any general aviation airport in the state and ensured that the businesses operating at VNY are certified through the L.A. Green Business Program. My congratulations to Flora, Curt and the entire Van Nuys Airport team for this well-deserved recognition.”
Margheritis has served as airport manager at VNY, one of the world’s busiest general aviation airports, since July 2016. Her aviation career spans over 34 years, with 28 years at LAWA.
“I am honored to receive this award on behalf of Los Angeles World Airports and our Van Nuys Airport team, as it recognizes the work we do every day to balance the needs of our tenants, businesses and local community,” said VNY Airport Manager, Flora Margheritis. “Creating strong partnerships is critical to any airport operation, especially at one of the busiest general aviation airports in the world, and I am grateful to National Air Transportation Association for their recognition of our efforts. Congratulations to Curt Castagna for his selection as NATA Chair, which is further evidence of VNY's national leadership status.”
Margheritis earned her Bachelor of Science Degree in Aviation Administration from California State University, Los Angeles. She is a certified member of the American Association of Airport Executives and an active member of Women in Aviation International. Additionally, she also holds a private pilot license certificate and is the proud owner of a Vans RV-8 Experimental Aircraft.
About Van Nuys Airport:
VNY is one of two airports owned and operated by Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA), a self-supporting branch of the City of Los Angeles, governed by a seven-member Board of Airport Commissioners who are appointed by the mayor and approved by the Los Angeles City Council. One of the world's busiest general aviation airports, VNY serves as a valued San Fernando Valley resource, providing ongoing leadership in general aviation, business and community service. Dedicated to non-commercial air travel, VNY had over 260,000 operations in 2018. More than 200 businesses are located on the 730-acre airport, including four major fixed-base operators and numerous aviation service companies. Annually, the airport contributes approximately $2 billion to the Southern California economy and supports over 10,000 jobs.
As a covered entity under Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act, the City of Los Angeles does not discriminate on the basis of disability and, upon request, will provide reasonable accommodation to ensure equal access to its programs, services, and activities. Alternative formats in large print, braille, audio, and other forms (if possible) will be provided upon request.
Broomfield, CO (January 7, 2018) – Sheltair, one of the nation’s leading aviation services companies, announced Craig Foster as its new General Manager for their full service FBO and hangar complex at Rocky Mountain Metropolitan Airport(KBJC). Mr. Foster will be responsible for Sheltair’s first corporate presence west of the Mississippi, underscoring the company’s strategic decision to meet the needs of a growing and dynamic general aviation community in that part of the country.
“Sheltair is highly regarded in the East and I’m honored and excited to be a part of extending Sheltair’s reputation for service into the Western United States,” said Foster. “The Denver area is growing rapidly and Rocky Mountain Metropolitan Airport is a great location for us to launch our commitment to this market.”
Foster joins the Sheltair team with more than twenty years of FBO management experience, playing crucial roles in FBO startups, negotiating airport leases, new facility development, and charter and maintenance operations.
An experienced professional
He began his career with a start up FBO at John Wayne Airport in Orange County, CA (KSNA) before moving to a management position. After it was acquired in 2005, Foster was named Regional Director overseeing Orange County and Palms Springs FBOs for Atlantic Aviation. Prior to joining Sheltair Aviation, he was the President of Jet Source (KCRQ).
Foster holds his private pilot’s license along with an instrument rating. He also served as the recent past President of the Southern California Aviation Association. Foster holds a B.A. in Business Administration from Walla Walla University in Washington State. He currently resides in Denver, CO.
Sheltair, a privately-owned aviation development company, operates award winning FBOs and manages almost four million square feet of aviation related properties throughout Florida, Georgia, New York and Colorado. Sheltair services include fueling, VIP handling, ground handling, crew and passenger amenities, hangar and office leasing, and turnkey design and build of aviation properties. Sheltair is currently engaged in a series of new hangar construction projects designed to meet the 21st-Century demands of business aviation and the new generation of aircraft. For more information about our FBOs and development projects, visit www.sheltairaviation.com.
FAA Reauthorization is a hot topic at this time, and the bill prepared has two great features that allow NBAA to offer it strong support. One great aspect is its 5 year duration, giving us a period of time that we can enjoy relief from many ongoing budgetary challenges. The other, greater feature is actually something that the bill does not have, which is ATC privatization. We - all of us in business aviation - have stood up together to make sure that privatizing air traffic control would not move forward, ensuring that access and representation of our sector remains unharmed. Thank you all, and I hope you all feel a sense of pride in that accomplishment.
Santa Monica Airport is an ongoing battle of which we remain dedicated to a front line role. The reality is that the airport is not scheduled to close as many say, but only that its federal obligations end in 2028; there are no firm plans to close the airfield at this time. NBAA will remain actively involved to represent the aviation community in hopes of allowing Santa Monica Airport to serve their great city with the economic and public safety contributions that it delivers.
Workforce challenges remain the biggest obstacle facing our industry today. All roles in aviation are aching for more personnel in the roles of pilots, mechanics, instructors, operations/dispatch and more. NBAA has developed great initiatives with scholarships, mentorships and internships that will empower those who are either already stepping into aviation but could still use some coaxing into the corporate/business sector, or to inspire others from outside of the industry as we aim to widen the pipeline of entrants. Specifically in the Western Region, the forming of regular events to interact with young people of all ages, in addition to veteran outreach, are actively under construction or underway.
Though we can facilitate these forward steps, none of it can be done without everyone’s help. We need all hands on deck, offering a variety of resources to build up local inventory of scholarships, mentorships and internships so that the young people that in our schools today can be on your aircraft and in your airports, and offices tomorrow.
To learn more, volunteer on workforce initiatives, or for any assistance as an NBAA member, please email Phil Derner at email@example.com.
SoCal Aviation Association
Images provided by