Research Paper By Sabrina Sassi
(Life Coach, SPAIN)
The objective of the paper is to identify why coaching should be incorporated into the yachting industry. Benefits that can be achieved include: creating more effective crewmembers, increased leadership awareness, self-development and improved personal skills, all of which are needed to improve the quality of life onboard.
This paper is divided in three chapters to explore how coaching and yachting can collaborate successfully:
- The challenges of the industry
- The benefits of coaching for crewmembers
- Coaching for Captains
What is the yachting industry? According to the Luxury Yacht Group:
Private Yachts range in size from 50 – 450 ft and for the most part, they are owned by wealthy individuals, who vacation onboard. Standards of service, while usually very high, vary from yacht to yacht.
For the most part, yachting is an industry that brings together likeminded people as crew, that are prepared to work hard as a team to look after the vessel and provide the highest standard of personalized service to the owner and their guests.
What is coaching? According to the ICF,
Coaching is partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential.
The challenges of the industry.
Without a doubt, one of the major challenges of the yachting industry is how crewmembers live and work together in such a confined environment. Each person has his or her specific task and some can work individually, such as a chef or engineer, or as part of the deck or interior teams but they are all members of a larger team, which is the entire crew itself. For each person on board there is the daily challenge between individuality, teamwork and
how to find a balance between them.
Yachting demands perfection in every detail, in every way, inside and out on deck, the crew strive towards creating the idyllic holiday experience for the owners and this can only be achieved through long hours, with limited periods of rest and the result is that personal struggles are seldom given the attention or time they deserve.
Each crewmember has completed appropriate training to their position onboard and while they are certainly schooled on what they need to do physically there has been no guidance given about how to live and work together, or how to communicate effectively. An individual’s success onboard depends largely on the personalities of the other members of the crew and on their collective capacity to adapt to each other.
From personal interviews with many Captains and other senior crew, both current and past, when asked what was the most challenging aspect of the job, the great majority said crew management. When asked what changes they would like to see in the industry the majority of these, said management training.
Other challenges of the industry include: adapting to very restricted personal space, maintaining normal relationships with friends and family and the difficulties associated with leaving the industry when transitioning ashore.
The following chapters will focus on the two major problem areas identified, namely how to live and work together and secondly, teambuilding and communication from the perspective of senior crew.
The benefits of coaching for crew members
Coaches help people improve their performances and enhance the quality of their lives.
(ICA, iE-101-CWIT p.2)
Coaching results in crewmembers gaining awareness, which empowers them to effect changes in every aspect of their lives. In addition advantages for integrating coaching and yachting include:
Coaching is adaptable to the crewmembers ever changing itinerary, both geographic and time, as the yachts move around the world. Through modern communication forms such as Skype the coach can follow up and keep supporting the client despite last minute itinerary changes, as it is not restricted by place or time. Through diversity and flexibility it is possible for one Coach to approach a spectrum of issues. For the yachting industry they include: communication, performance, time-management, dealing effectively with conflict, team building, increase of health and wellness, relationships, dealing with general business issues, balancing personal life and preparing for the transition of leaving the industry.