Link to all articles in the series below
Activities that improve an individual’s talents, potential, employability and ability to realise their dreams – these are all classed as acts of self development. In other words, what you do to improve yourself and your prospects in life. Personal development is a vital part of an individual’s growth, both personally and professionally, and when it comes to working on board a superyacht, it’s vital for crew to keep growing and progressing so as to maintain a competitive edge in the industry.
Superyacht crew have unique insight into the requirements of their own role and the skills needed to make their career a success. And whether this involves training, vocation or learning from a mentor, it’s not only the responsibility of the individual employee. One of the most important things a captain or head of department can do to nurture and retain talent is to provide their crew with development opportunities.
It’s not surprising either that self development is on the rise, with benefits including:
Improvements in the employee’s skills and performance
The creation of an upwardly mobile workforce which is more likely to result in promotions from within
An increase in productivity
A competitive edge in the industry for your superyacht
As we grow, our motivations to develop ourselves are powered by our desire to fulfill certain needs, as neatly presented in Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs and, on a professional level, this manifests as a desire to rise withing the ranks. As a force for growth and progress, personal development is an important aspect of life which each of us should strive for. To understand how this translates for professional yacht crew, we spoke to three experts in the field, and here’s a summary of what they told us.
Make Wellbeing a Priority
Working on board a superyacht most likely means working long hours for months on end, often in challenging conditions – a situation that, if not addressed, can take its toll both mentally and physically, often resulting in burnout. In order to be the best version of yourself, it’s imperative to make wellbeing a priority, whether it’s through regular exercise, a positive support network, sleep, meditation and nutrition – measures that are discussed in more detail in our series.
Analyse Yourself Through Others
Feedback is key to learning and progression, but this doesn’t have to come only from your leader. When seeking growth, Karine Rayson of The Crew Coach recommends performing a SWOT analysis that you submit to a variety of friends, family and colleagues to gain a broader perspective on a situation.
“If you are seeking growth, it is important to understand yourself, and that includes knowing how others perceive you,” she says. “One of my clients was experiencing difficulties with managing her team and their respect for her authority. By undertaking this self-analysis, she discovered that her team felt they were not getting the recognition for their efforts that they hoped for. With guidance, my client was able to resolve this issue, improving the interpersonal dynamics and morale of the team.”
Be a Good Listener
It’s not just down to crew to work on their own self-development – this is a crucial aspect of good leadership, too. Strained relationships and conflict among colleagues are often blamed for the high turnover among crew members so, as a leader, it’s vital to be tuned into what is going on around you.
For your crew to grow, be sure to make every effort to engage in active listening, respond to their needs and work together to get them to where they want to be. The same rule applies among team members, with Karine explaining, ”If you can actively listen to your peers, you are in a better position to understand your individual crew members which, in turn, will enhance team cohesion and reduce the possibilities of disharmony and conflict.”
Manage Your Time
Be it getting out of bed half an hour earlier, making a detailed plan for the day ahead or keeping a strict time limit on team meetings, there are a number of tips to help you feel like you’ve got a couple of extra hours out of the day. Working smarter and not faster is the key to managing your time effectively, tackling procrastination and working more efficiently for the desired results.
Work with a Mentor
Trying to succeed in today’s fast-paced world is difficult enough, so why do it alone? From Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg to Bill Gates and Oprah Winfrey, all successful people have mentors, and for good reason. “Through working with a mentor, you’ll be able to gain a deeper understanding of yourself and enough confidence to challenge any limiting beliefs you may have which can get in the way of your continued success,” says Karine.
“In addition to this, coaching will build on the skills of empathy and compassion, aka your emotional intelligence. These two skills are renowned as being the most effective problem-solving skills you can possess, and I think we can all agree that successful people are no different to anyone else – they have been influenced by their life experiences and are not immune to life's problems either.”
Here's a round-up of the topics we covered in 2019:
Why Listening Gives you the Leading Edge by Karine Rayson
How Crew can avoid Burnout by Karine Rayson
Using SWOT to Direct Your Next Move by Karine Rayson
Work Smarter, Not Faster: Time Management Tips by Karen Passman
Mindfulness Trends in the Workplace by Karine Rayson
How to Choose the Perfect Job for You by Karine Rayson
Managing Perception vs Perspective Onboard by Sara Ballinger
Here’s Why Successful People have Mentors by Karine Rayson
Choose your Mood – Positive Thinking versus Negative Spiral by Sara Ballinger