What is Situational Awareness?

What is Situational Awareness Blog Image

“Situational awareness means being aware of what is happening around you, and understanding how information, events and one’s own actions will impact the situation, both immediately and in the near future.” – Shelley Klingerman, Vigilance: The Savvy Woman’s Guide to Personal Safety, Self-Protection Measures, and Countermeasures

At Stiletto Agency, we talk a lot about Situational Awareness, because when it comes to personal safety, it is one of the best ways to keep yourself safe. However, it is not something that is developed overnight. It requires practice and an active mindset. Here are a few of our tips and some habits you can develop to help yourself become more situationally aware.

Scan Your Surroundings

One of the biggest parts of Situational Awareness is learning how to actively scan your surroundings and notice the warning signs of a dangerous situation. This is especially true when you are in a new situation or environment. However, even if you are somewhere familiar, it is still important to always be on alert.

Take notice of the people around you. Do they seem normal or are they acting suspiciously? Is there anything happening around you that doesn’t seem right? Take a mental note of where your exits are and how to get to them, just in case. Eventually, this will become a natural process that you do everywhere you go.

Become a Hard Target

Predators want an easy target. Someone who looks weak, confused and unaware. So, one of the best ways to keep yourself safe in any situation is to become a hard target. Look and act confident, even when you aren’t. Keep your head up, shoulders back and always look around and appear alert. Body language plays a huge role in the way others perceive us and can be the thing that ultimately protects you.

Minimize Distractions

If you’re distracted, you’re not practicing situational awareness. How often do you walk down the street with your phone in hand, listening to music or scrolling social media? By doing this, you’re not paying attention to what is going on around you and leaving yourself open to being attacked. It’s important that when you go anywhere, you minimize the distractions and keep yourself focused on what’s happening around you.

Protect Your Back

Attackers often get to their victims by sneaking up behind them. We don’t have eyes in the back of our head and our back is one of our biggest blind spots. Utilize walls and other barriers to protect your back while also maximizing your field of vision to scan your surroundings. You can also get creative. For example, using your phone as a mirror to see what is behind you is an easy, lowkey way to have 360-degree awareness.

Visualize Scenarios

Practicing situational awareness also means being prepared for any dangerous situation you might encounter. To do this, start playing out different scenarios in your head. Before you enter a situation start asking yourself questions like, “If I were to be attacked here, how would I react? What would I do and how would I escape?” While you hope none of these scenarios ever happen in real life, visualizing your response keeps you better prepared and helps you pay closer attention to warning signs.

Trust Your Gut

Ultimately, trust your gut. If you are scanning your surroundings and start to feel uneasy about something, don’t just brush it off. There is more than likely a valid reason to why you are feeling that way. That gut feeling is an instinct meant to protect you. It’s always better to be cautious rather than putting yourself at risk.

Get Your Situation Awareness Specialist® Certification with Stiletto Agency

If you’re interested in taking charge of your own personal safety, Stiletto Agency’s founder Shelley Klingerman offers a Situational Awareness Specialist Training & Certification. This program has been designed to educate women in the discipline of situational awareness and create someone who is capable of understanding and dealing with the dynamics of random and potentially threatening events. Learn more and contact us to schedule your training!

On Key

Related Posts

safety tips for business travel

5+ Safety Tips for Business Travel

Though many business travelers will tell you that being on the road for work is anything but glamorous, it does challenge them to be street-smart savvy and require some safety tips for business travel.  Regardless of where you’re traveling to, it’s important to take safety precautions anytime you enter a new setting.  For the female business traveler, whether solo or with a group, it’s essential to keep safety as a top priority. Below we highlight our top safety tips for

what are the 5 types of imposter syndrome

Imposter Syndrome: What It Is And How To Beat It

Have you ever doubted yourself? Felt like you weren’t good enough? Like you don’t belong? You may be experiencing imposter syndrome. Imposter syndrome is currently a major topic of discussion and one that many employees, especially women, struggle with today. If you’re facing this issue, you’re not alone. Fortunately, there are ways to overcome it.  Below, we explain the definition of imposter syndrome, the causes, and how to conquer it. What Is Imposter Syndrome? People who face imposter syndrome believe

healthy work habits

Develop These 5 Simple Habits to Reach Your Goals for the New Year

Have you ever found yourself creating big resolutions for the new year, but struggle turning them into reality? Having trouble forming healthy work habits? We’re here to tell you the key to accomplishing them; developing simple, yet proactive habits (and sticking to them) for your every day. Below, we outline 5 healthy work habits to implement in your daily life to actually accomplish your goals this year!  1. Decide What You Actually Want To Accomplish  Determine what you want to

christmas shopping safety tips

Your Ultimate Winter Personal Safety Guide

As it gets dark out earlier and snow begins to fall, it’s important to retain your vigilant mindset into the winter and follow Christmas safety shopping tips. This is so you can avoid the many potentially dangerous situations that come with the colder months. Below, we outlined the key safety tips for Christmas shopping, or for traveling anywhere this winter—whether it’s a long road trip, or to your local grocery store.  Prepare Before You Drive Anywhere First things first, it’s