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Old 01-07-2016, 14:46   #1
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Accidents caused by dysfunctional relationships

I’ve talked to the crew on a few boats that have run aground in the South Pacific.

The skipper's obviously made a mistake with navigation. But what's interesting is that they also had a dysfunctional relationship with their crew. They set a tone where the crew took no responsibility for the boat. The skippers were unwilling to walk other people through their decisions and were aggressive when people had even slightly different opinions. The crew eventually stopped caring and “checked out”, leaving the skipper alone to make (huge smack-forehead class) mistakes. Mistakes that I don't think three or four “checked in” and thinking adults would make together.

I don't know if there's a way to be helpful and prevent this kind of thing. I feel you “can't fix stupid”, that there's no way to reach through the Internet and knock sense into people. So maybe this is a futile conversation to have.

But people could die, so maybe there are a few red flags for skippers to self evaluate their leadership style?

Do you feel that you are surrounded by stupid people? Who are incapable of learning how to operate the boat independently?

Do you have to do everything important yourself?

Is your crew only involved in the boat as far as pulling on ropes and doing household chores?

Do you trust them to trim the sails? Reef? Navigate?

Does your crew read charts on the navigation equipment?

If you were incapacitated, could the other adults on board safely weigh anchor and get back to civilization?
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Old 01-07-2016, 15:03   #2
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Re: Accidents caused by dysfunctional relationships

On behalf of Mssr. Chas. Darwin and company, I must say that I think your question shows a totally wrong-headed approach and attitude.


If "you", obviously not meaning you, are too stupid to check out your skipped before going ocean hopping, it might be a good thing for the species if you DID run aground and die. It would certainly be a good thing for the global economy, as it creates job building and replacing the wreck, removing the wreck, and creating a need for the SAR services.


There's a saying that's been around for a while:
Lead, follow, or step aside. Cause you're gonna get steamrolled if you just stand around like a speedbump and block everyone else.


Obviously, a slightly more complex and charitable rule of thumb should be applied to those who are not capable of caring for themselves. Allah takes care of madmen and fools, they are under his protection. Childern may need the intervention of Childrens' Protective Services.


But by and large? Skippers and crew on an ocean hopping boat? If they can't work it out among themselves, that's none of your business, or mine. Except for making sure that someone gets the cleanup bill for the environmental damage.


If you'd prefer to swoop down and rescue them, and then lock them up in a padded cell for the rest of their lives while you take FULL and permanent responsibility for them. In which case I applaud your generosity, but remind you that you're going to need an awful lot of padded cells.
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Old 01-07-2016, 15:03   #3
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Re: Accidents caused by dysfunctional relationships

The people you are talking about are not stupid, and do not need to actually do everything themselves, but they lack the quality of self doubt. If they are absolutely sure that they are right, and don't make mistakes, there is no reason to listen to others, or to take seriously the very valid concerns you have raised. Those concerns don't apply to them. They exist in every profession I have worked in or observed. Let's do try to keep this thread from becoming a discourse on current American or British political personalities.
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Old 01-07-2016, 15:35   #4
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Re: Accidents caused by dysfunctional relationships

if you know in advance ye donot get along then bring a third party and mebbe 4th so ye each can get away from each other while on watch. make sure your co watch is able to pay attention and follow simple commands and instructions to the letter if need be, as occasionally that is needed.
whatever happens, it is your choice.

personally i will not go to sea with someone who will not or cannot follow my instructions.
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Old 01-07-2016, 16:02   #5
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Re: Accidents caused by dysfunctional relationships

I understand the intent of this question but its not one that can be answered. A narcissist on land is the same at sea and isnt inclined to self check. With a couple the relationship is generally co fullfilling. In otherwords a narcissist will attract someone who wont stand up to them.
If the crew is non-related, its the crew who must know whom they are sailing with. If they cant trust their captain they shouldn't go.
There is no way to fix the dynamic is all parties are willing. Sail with your captain at your own risk.
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Old 01-07-2016, 17:38   #6
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Re: Accidents caused by dysfunctional relationships

Quote:
Originally Posted by zeehag View Post
.
personally i will not go to sea with someone who will not or cannot follow my instructions.

I have no choice, she is my wife. If only I were a better captain..
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Old 01-07-2016, 18:14   #7
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Re: Accidents caused by dysfunctional relationships

Any captain should be willing to delegate responsibility ... if you can't delegate you are unfit for command.

That said... the buck still stops with you so you need to know who you are delegating stuff to...

All comes back to Bridge Resource Management....

and you can't pass the responsibility down the line....
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Old 02-07-2016, 09:23   #8
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Re: Accidents caused by dysfunctional relationships

the 7 P method works here.

prudent prior planning prevents piss poor performance.

before i'd ever take on a crewmember i'd give them a meyers-brigg test and see how they would interact with me.

61 questions and about 10 minutes and you and they know if you're suitable together.

humanmetrics.com they cal it a jung typology test, developed by karl jung, sigmund freud's colleague.

astrology and blood type work too.
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Old 02-07-2016, 09:41   #9
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Re: Accidents caused by dysfunctional relationships

What I meant to say...

Quote:
Originally Posted by El Pinguino View Post
Any captain should be willing to delegate the work load ... if you can't delegate you are unfit for command.

That said... the buck still stops with you so you need to know who you are delegating stuff to...

All comes back to Bridge Resource Management....

and you can't pass the ultimate responsibility down the line....
Hopefully that makes more sense..
Note to self... do not reply to posts late at night.....
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Old 02-07-2016, 10:09   #10
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Re: Accidents caused by dysfunctional relationships

I think you ask some valid questions.

Whenever there are any crew, be it just a mom and a pop, interactions and characters become as much part of the success story as anchor rodes and dead reckonings.

In my book, it is always the duty of the driver (=the person that will be legally responsible for the mess when it happens) to ascertain the feasibility of all the people onboard in their assigned roles. And this starts with the person in the mirror.

I must say, my gut feeling is that us, drivers, mostly suck at playing the game. Few are stars and majority are very poor. I may be biased from looking at myself.

Is it because of how we are brought up? (in competitive and non-emphatic societies?)

Is it because the dominant (mostly male) will give orders rather than listen to "too faint" a feedback?

Etc.

I simply do not know.

But I know that you asked valid questions and I want to thank you for this. I must look in the mirror myself too. Now and tomorrow.

BTW As for the crew to be able to handle things, I do not think this is universally achievable. When this is the case, just sail it as if you were alone, and treat your crew as 'phantom helmsmen'. Let them know which red button to press, should you part ways with the ship or with the life before the boat lands on the other shore.

Cheers,
b.
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Old 02-07-2016, 10:23   #11
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Re: Accidents caused by dysfunctional relationships

I often make mistakes caused by dysfunctional relationships...


and I sail solo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!



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Old 02-07-2016, 10:24   #12
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Re: Accidents caused by dysfunctional relationships

Quote:
Originally Posted by Guy View Post
I have no choice, she is my wife. If only I were a better captain..
We have a saying in our marriage, "Every day's a choice, baby. Every day's a choice."

Always said with a smile and a laugh, but we both know it's true.

And, after 20+ years, life together keeps getting better and better.
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Old 02-07-2016, 11:17   #13
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Re: Accidents caused by dysfunctional relationships

The military, commercial and general aviation world learned that cockpit resource management (CRM) went a long ways in preventing accidents. "Crew resource management or cockpit resource management (CRM) is a set of training procedures for use in environments where human error can have devastating effects. Used primarily for improving air safety, CRM focuses on interpersonal communication, leadership, and decision making in the cockpit."

In a nut shell, it is the practice of fostering the delegation and
sharing of responsibilities in a non-threatening atmosphere while (for the captain) inviting the opportunity to be second guessed.
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Old 02-07-2016, 11:33   #14
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Re: Accidents caused by dysfunctional relationships

Part II: as a sailtrainee captain of many years, I have found it expeditious to invite the crew to ask a lot of questions. This is good for everyone and the welfare of all. When I ask "will you please?" It is understood to mean "you will please." There are times when questions are appropriate and times when just hopping to is the only option. It doesn't seem to take long for the crew to learn when hopping to is the only appropriate option.
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Old 02-07-2016, 11:47   #15
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Re: Accidents caused by dysfunctional relationships

It is like management. A good one involves his crew but retains the final decision.
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