Trust the canary in the coal mine (Guest Commentary)

Listen to your instincts when trouble looms – failure to act could cause more problems
By Sharone Bar-David
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 11/03/2013

Before we had sophisticated scientific measures for detecting dangerous airborne substances in coal mines, a much simpler method was used: As they went into those dark tunnels, miners would bring along canaries in cages. If poisonous gases were present, the canaries would perish. Their deaths would alert the miners that lethal gases were threatening their own lives.

Consider this — somewhere inside you resides your very own built-in canary. Its job is to let you know when the invisible line between civility and incivility, right and wrong, has been crossed.