IS IT ALL THE SKIPPER-HEAD?
by Olimpia Ponno Training Manager at Cristiana Monina Nautical Events
We are at an inter-company fleet regatta, six boats of the same type entrusted to six skippers. We decide to rotate the boat to change to all six crews, in order to let them experiment with different styles of conducting.
At the end of the day, during the debriefing with all the crews, a participant raises a doubt about the ability of the first skipper of the morning to know how to communicate clearly, because he used a language that he said was too technical and therefore, according to his point of view, not understandable, convinced that he was penalized and could not perform properly, negatively impacting the outcome of the race.
Great cue for thought I would say. This observation gives us the opportunity to shed light on the role and skills of the skipper, and especially on the expectations that the participants have towards the boat captain and their own responsibilities.
Each skipper has his own style and brings with him his experience, his character, his personality, his background, like all of us. If the skipper is responsible for the well-being and safety of his crew, it is equally true that the crew helps to make the skipper good and make the difference on the boat.
Let’s try for a moment to move this situation and the game of the parties in the company, in our daily work system. We have a boss and we have a group-team of collaborators. If the leader – who is a human being with his merits and his defects and not a superhero – for any reason should not communicate clearly and shared with his collaborators, what prevents them from asking the boss for explanations?
To give him suggestions to tune in on the same “frequency” and to successfully complete a project, a business process, a meeting, a call for tenders? Change perspective: if the skipper from the language too technical, poorly understandable, decipherable, had the ability to promptly change his language based on the needs and perception of the applicant, the team could change gear, because the language can be modulated in function of people and circumstances and, consequently, results can change too!
In the boat as in the company the responsibility for communication and language is for everyone, both the skipper-leader-guide and the crew-crew. The key is the , in a regatta as in life the team game wins and each is a mirror and support to the other to achieve the common goal. We’re all in this together!