Originally Posted by exMaggieDrum
I have seen skippers like this, not very many, but some, who get defensive about being "criticized" by the crew. Sometimes just because they don't want to seem like they don't know it all, and sometimes because they think they know it all.
What the OP describes in his intro is way over the top though. I was confused about the introduction
of another skipper
being the idiot and then the questions led me to believe it might be about the OP. Just call me confused and dazed. It was just the way it was worded I think.
Sorry for being unclear. I wrote more for my first post, but cut paragraphs to be more concise for a forum. I evidently cut too much.
My goal is to have a conversation about leadership styles. Because I see situations on other boats that are dysfunctional, and, at least on two boats, I feel set them up for serious accidents (losing the boat
and almost losing the boat) as much as any technical mistakes
For ourselves, we emphasize teamwork and strive for everyone to be able to do everything. It's not a democracy, and some of us know a lot more than others, but everyone is treated like an intelligent adult who is capable of learning
any role or task. I feel it's safer to be surrounded by capable people, that I trust, who think and talk and take responsibility for safety
. And there is a joy in teamwork, because after a few months everyone is good enough that cruising feels more and more effortless.
One of my more satisfying moments, in this vein, was a few weeks ago. The couple that is our long term crew swapped roles with my wife and I, and played skipper
to move the boat between anchorages
. It was funny
to see their marriage communication dynamic between helm
and foredeck, with lots of "sweetie's" added in, and when the hook was down and set, they said "You know, that's pretty stressful."
That said, this hasn't worked well with some people I've had on board. Some people can't emotionally separate themselves from their ideas, and become invested in them. They view discussions as arguments, with winning and losing, rather than a kind of dance to play through ideas. This is highly annoying for me to manage, since I have to "bring them down" so that they don't lose face in their own mind, because what is invariably next is mopey passive aggression. Which I can't stand. I'm not compatible with people like that when on a sailboat. I find that around them I do turn into a different manager, who talks less and cuts off other ideas more quickly, before it turns into an "argument." I've had to gently (and not so gently) push people like that off. People have to be adults, emotionally, for teamwork to be fun.