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  • Reflect and analyze

    12/05/2015 | Newport

    In this 'Schouten Blog' Anje-Marijcke van Boxtel (director coaching Schouten Global and coach of Team Brunel) writes, among other things, about her experiences in the talent-selection process, the training sessions on Lanzarote, her presence in the ports of the stop-overs of the Volvo Ocean Race 2014-2015.

    It’s a strange stop-over in Brazil. The day after arrival just about the entire Team Brunel crew departs for home. Luckily there is enough to do; the work at Schouten certainly doesn’t let up either. When the guys return, the stretch will be on reflection and analysis; what went well, how do we hold onto that, and how do we expand on that?

    I’m not all that thrilled when the entire team, with the exception of three guys, takes off on a plane the day after arrival in Itajai. No time for reflection or fitness protocol concerning the first recovery.  Travelling about 19 hours to get home will take a lot of energy. But there is another side to the story: “This leg was extremely tough,” Bouwe says. “The result makes it even tougher. The guys worked really hard, struggled a lot, and had to deliver strength and power. It’s good to gear down a little for a while. You have to prevent sailing fatigue.”

    We’re familiar with that same insight in companies, as well. You avoid exhaustion and burnout whenever you turn your focus toward something else to gain temporary respite;when work isn’t the only thing that needs your attention and energy, and you’re committed to another area of interest as well, such as your family, a council membership, a course. Staking energy into both worlds, switching to the other side every once in a while and tapping into other energy sources, is an effective way to better handle workload and stress.
    So, get lost guys!  Go do something totally different for a while.  Besides, I wanted to reserve just one day to check out the scenery. Too bad, Itajai turns out to be famous for its beaches and the export of iron ore.  

    Plenty to dobrunel__0~0~0~vor_2014_-_macmini1_-_brunel~vor_hq_primary_http~0~0~_dsc4484_20150319_205440.jpg 
    There is no time for sitting down and doing nothing: creating video shoots for the Schouten Global training program, giving interviews, solving unfinished mail correspondence, having conversations with the three sailors who stayed behind, preparing seminars and thinking along with the PR people. Indeed, how the outside world behaves impacts the mental stability of the crew, not to mention the shore crew! They’re glad that the guys returned safely and that the boat is still in one piece, but they’re disappointed for the sailors as well.  They also need to stay positive and motivated, because, just as in business, without a well-organized back office, there is no strong front office.

    The title of my stop-over seminar presentation is “Growing Potential in High Performance Teams”. How do you draw out as much as possible from the existing potential, and how do you strengthen that? How do you empower people? Because that contributes to the sustainable improvement of performance. Reflection is the keyword and my primary focus once the guys return, as we still do too little of that. During the race there isn’t any time for reflecting, so we have to do it afterwards. Rewind the movie and analyze the data: what happened where? Where did it go wrong and why?  Above all, focus on what, where, and why things went well - in choices, behavior, skills, and communication. How can we consolidate, use and improve on that, as growing is building upon what went right. 

    Analyzing is a lot of work, as Team Brunel doesn’t have access to analysts who, based on all data, can piece the story together from behind their laptops. Our navigator constantly works on optimizing the playbook, while I continue to harp on reflection, analysis, making choices and testing things out; these you do together and are essential in order to keep on learning as a team. Of course, there are also conversations about dealing with loss and maintaining your mental strength, and experiencing the most significant deprivation of your life.  Some of the guys had to come face to face with themselves more than once, and that has an impact. It’s intense and confrontational, but once you work through it, you grow from it.

    Please click here for more information about Managing Teams, the keystone training from Schouten Global and the seminarsLeadership, the Human Factor’,

    Social support is an important source of energy. Whether it’s from your followers, sponsors, or from your mentor and colleagues, remember:

    • Celebrate the successes and give support through losses
    • Get information about the effectiveness of your behavior (feedback)
    • Accept appreciation from others (compliments, positive/constructive feedback)
    • Seek practical help or coaching


    Nothing from this blog may be reproduced without written permission from Anje-Marijcke van Boxtel of Schouten Global.

    Update Team Brunel, May 12, 2015 
    by Anje-Marijcke van Boxtel, Director Coaching - Schouten Global
    Coach - Team Brunel in the Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15


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