Crew » Career & Training » Yacht Crew: Are You Being Difficult?

Yacht Crew: Are You Being Difficult?

Alison Rentoul crew coach22

We’re getting into that part of the season now when tempers start to fray and patience is wearing thin. Getting along with people is all very well in theory… but when the chips are down and people are tired, almost all yachting relationships are put to the test at some point.

When there’s a breakdown in relationships it’s very easy to blame it all on the other person and label them as being ‘difficult’.


But relationships are a two way street and there is a chance that the other person is actually only reacting to something you’ve said or done. In other words, could there be a tiny chance that YOU are the source of the problem?!

Sometimes we can be so blinkered about problematic situations we are blind to the fact that we could actually be contributing to them. You might have heard the expression “If you’re not part of the solution, you are part of the problem” – and as much as we all like to point the finger at other people, it’s actually rare for a disagreement to be completely one sided, so it’s quite likely that even if you are not the source of the problem, you may well be contributing to it in some way.

swearingDifficult people tend to share common behaviours and I’m sure you will be familiar with many, if not all of the behaviours listed below. The tricky thing is you might find that some of them are a little closer to home than you realised! If you are displaying any of these behavioural symptoms you could struggle to create rapport with people and your relationships, professional and otherwise, are likely to suffer.

As uncomfortable as it is to realise this, It is far better to be aware of your shortcomings because then you can start to do something about them. Here is a list of some of the most common behaviours of difficult people:

  •        uncontrolled temper

  •        super-critical

  •        perfectionist

  •        arrogance

  •        lack of communication skills

  •        overpowering personality

  •        insecurity

  •        aggression

  •        avoid decisions

  •        hog conversations

  •        bully others into agreement

  •        won’t open up to you

  •        irritatingly detailed

  •        don’t listen to you or others

  •        think of big picture but ignore practical details

  •        bogged down in details, ignoring big picture

  •        poor time keepers

  •        procrastination

  •        need to always be right and prove themselves so

  •        judgmental

  •        passive aggressive

Any of these behaviours can impact the relationships between the crew onboard your yacht, which will impair performance and productivity within the team. Even if you do not personally see them yourself there are telltale signs that these behaviours are present in your team. You could find a lack of discretionary effort, i.e. a reduction in their desire to exceed expectations and go ‘above and beyond’ the call of duty. You may notice attention to detail or care in their work is lacking, and careless mistakes are being made. When there are difficult people in a team displaying behaviours such as those listed above, those around them begin to do the bare minimum to stay out of trouble rather than really being passionate about what they are doing.

These are just a few reasons why these behaviours do not serve people and especially not leaders. It’s therefore very important to be able to identify difficult traits in yourself and in others so you can address them, turn them around and restore harmony onboard.

Do any of these apply to you, or anyone in your team, or do you have any others to add to the list? Post your thoughts in the comments below.

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Alison Rentoul is ex yacht crew with 15 years of yachting experience, and a professionally trained personal development coach working with crew worldwide, helping them realise their highest potential at every level. See www.thecrewcoach.com for more information.

crew coach4

Alison Rentoul is ex yacht crew with 15 years of yachting experience, and a professionally trained personal development coach working with crew worldwide, helping them realise their highest potential at every level. See www.thecrewcoach.com for more information.

crew coach4

- See more at: http://www.onboardonline.com/industry-article-index/career-and-training/how-to-spot-flakers-and-fakers/#sthash.TZ3dH9ei.dpuf

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