1. Do Not Form Groups:
This is a very common phenomenon on board yachts, especially large ones. If people belonging to the same group or region get together on board yachts, they tend to form groups among themselves, avoiding everyone else, intentionally or unintentionally. Many from this same group start interacting with each other in their regional or national language even in the presence of seniors and other fellow crew members. This is an extremely bad habit which is not only a grave insult to other professionals on board, but also creates unnecessary tension and misunderstanding among crew members. Therefore avoid forming groups and involve everyone to form a solid team effort irrespective of colour, region, race, or religion. The senior crew/Captain must therefore ensure that everyone communicates in only one language which is understood by all on board.
2. Do Not Blame Others:
In case of any accident or mishap on board, it is a common tendency to blame other crew. Technically, as humans, we are programmed to hide our mistakes and shortcomings by default. We are ashamed of them and the consequences they would bring. However, if you are a true professional bound by discipline and grit, you will come forward and accept your mistake, instead of blaming others for it. On the contrary, your colleagues will respect and trust you for honesty if you willingly accept your mistakes.
3. Compliment Others Often:
Have you every noticed how many senior crew never miss a chance to shout, insult, criticize or advise when you make a mistake, but they seldom make an effort to compliment you when you do a great job? Complimenting, by human nature, is a difficult task. People tend to get more joy from others failures than from their accomplishments. As a crew member, one must strive to compliment fellow crew when they deserve it. Congratulate them on their great performance, it costs nothing and won't hurt your pride.
4. Shun Your Ego:
Ego is the reason for most of the professional trouble on board yachts. Some people put more effort into cultivating their own egos than in improving their skill sets. On board yachts, having an ego will only lead to lack of efficiency and massive misunderstanding among the crew. We often hear people on board saying things like: “All Stewardesses are stupid, they don't need any training and years of experience like us Engineers" or something similar. I once had a Chef who, after a successful charter, said: "You know the only reason we got such a big tip was because of my excellent food". Some officers even see it as "below them" to talk or hang out with the junior/younger crew on board. They would restrict themselves to only talking to senior crew and the Captain and avoid any other kind of “after-work” interactions with the rest of the crew. Unfortunately, they fail to understand that on board yachts, no individual rank matters. The only thing that matters is TEAM WORK. Such people forget the fact that when they are in danger, only their crew members and subordinates will be able to come to their rescue. Do yourself a favour: next time before boarding a yacht, leave your ego at home!
5. Help Your Crew Members:
While working on yachts, one often hears stuff such as “I won’t do it, it’s not my job”, ”Washing dishes is a Stewie's job, why should I bother?”, ”It’s my break time, I won’t help bring the Chef's shopping on board” and so on… It is a common tendency among crew to avoid every possible job that is not closely related to their duties. When asked for help, they make excuses, act cocky, or just walk away. But in the process, no one will be willing to assist them in the future. Instead, help your crew members irrespective of their ranks. They would go out of their way to return the favour when you need help.
6. Don’t Mix Professional and Personal Life:
While working on board yachts, differences in opinions and small arguments or debates are very natural. However, many crew members have a tendency to make it a big issue by converting it from professional to personal, unnecessarily spoiling the interpersonal environment. On yachts, one must learn the art of “letting go” professional differences as they can turn out to be a huge problem if allowed to escalate. Leave all the professional differences at the workplace before entering the crew mess. Try to “kiss and make up” before the issue is blown out of proportion.
7. Don’t Indulge in grapevine, negative gossip and badmouthing:
Being a part of small team of people on yachts, crew need to talk to each other as frequently as possible. However, one must make an effort to avoid grapevine, negative gossip and badmouthing – the three evils on board yacht that can lead to lost productivity, breakdown of trust and morale, and increased anxiety and hurt feelings. With a limited number of people on board, even a harmless negative comment can lead to major arguments and differences. Instead, if you have a problem with someone or something, go to the right person and tell him/her directly and make him/her understand your point of view. If you are badmouthing someone, there is a big chance that someone is also doing the same about you - behind your back.
Working and living on a yacht with only a handful of people and resources is not an easy task. Team effort is the key to solving every problem and tackle difficult situations. Not resolving differences and unsolved issues will do more harm than good. Learning the art of preserving healthy relationships is imperative for ensuring work productivity, maintaining personal safety, and a harmonious crew.
How do you avoid futile arguments, differences, and politics with your fellow crew members? Any handy suggestions?