Malgorzata Hunter

Self-control in Cabin Crew Performance – How to Train for Professionalism and Deliberate Calm in Emotionally Charged Situations

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Malgorzata Hunter, Head of Cabin Crew Training, LOT Polish Airlines

Malgorzata Hunter is a business psychologist, human factors and training specialist. Her passion for training and aviation psychology has gradually evolved throughout years of professional involvement in the aviation industry: from operational roles onboard the aircraft to managerial experience in human factors and training discipline. While working at Qatar Airways for most of her career, she graduated from the City University of London with a MSc in Air Safety. Recently Malgorzata returned to her home country as Head of Cabin Crew Training at LOT Polish Airlines with a goal to build with her team a strong and innovative training brand. 


Self-Control in Cabin Crew Performance – How to Train for Professionalism and Deliberate Calm in Emotionally Charged Situations

Emotions affect the way people respond to events. Reacting to impulses induced by the amygdala (the part of the brain responsible for impulsiveness) often leads to disadvantageous short and long-term consequences. The attempt to apply a rational and clinical approach in an emotionally charged situation is a challenge for everyone but is of the utmost importance for those responsible for safety onboard the aircraft. During training sessions cabin crew must be provided with tools and knowledge regarding how to prevent emotional hijack or at least mitigate its adverse effects. 

The main objective of this presentation is to discuss the role of self-control – an acquired cognitive skill that enhances an ability to manage impulsive and emotional responses by cabin crew in order to engage logical decision-making and adherence to SOPs. Self-control is a competency that allows cabin crew to strengthen and activate deliberate calm to enhance the positive management of unexpected, unusual or highly stressful events. The above objective will be met by analyzing the impact of emotions on cognitive processing, discussing the most common barriers to cognitive control and ultimately providing training methods of self-control in the aviation environment.