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  • Communication and behavior in challenging situations

    09/10/2014 | Newcastle

    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.

    After Team Brunel completed the safety course successfully, some related safety issues arose. Such as who was the safety officer on board? And what if you really have to abandon ship and the only thing you can do is wait for help. Knowing yourself and others is essential to deal with situations like that.

    Training Newcastle1.jpg‘In training groups of firefighters there’s always someone who gets a panic attack’, the instructor told me. Because it is quite claustrophobic in the fire-resistant suit when you can’t see anything.’ But our guys kept their cool. They focused on being fast and effective, always competing, and considered it a good experience to go through.

    Optimal use of differences

    It got us reflecting on communication and making choices about safety issues. When do the guys wear lifelines, for example. Because lifelines can be dangerous; not being able to unclick quickly can make you drown. And who’s call will it be to challenge the team making decisions around safety. One of the under 30’s already is responsible for making sure all the safety equipment is there. But deciding what to do and giving directions in a panic situation is of a different order. A more experienced crewmember might be more fitted to take on this role. In creating high performance teams, on board and in business, it’s always crucial to make optimal use of the different qualities in a team. Using strengths that are present in favor of the whole team, definitely makes teamwork faster, smoother and more creative.

    Waiting is the worst
    ‘You hope you never have to go through that’, they told me after the life raft experience. You’re packed like sardines, the raft smells nasty, and in a rough sea you have to fight the nausea. (To imitate that a diver had made the raft spin like hell.) But what if it does happen? Capey put it this way: ‘Despite all the discomfort, the worst is the waiting. Imagine you just stepped off a race boat where it is all about winning and suddenly there is nothing you can do but waiting, totally dependent of others to find you.’ How do you manage yourself and be together to prevent losing all hope? The instructor confirmed this to be a real risk. ‘When the Titanic capsized somepeople that made it into a lifeboat died despite their fur coat that kept them dry. Just because they gave up hope.’

    A great plus in that regard is knowing yourself and knowing the others. If you are aware of your mental roadblocks and the ineffective things you incline to do - or avoid - when the going gets tough, it becomes easier to tackle them and change your mindset to a more productive state. Recognizing these patterns in others gives you something to hold on to. It helps you to stay connected better by not reacting automatically to ineffective behaviors itself, but to the need beneath it. Managing yourself is part of every course and coaching at Schouten Global, because it helps people to push forward in any type of weather .

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

    Update Team Brunel, October 10, 2014 
    by Anje-Marijcke van Boxtel, Director Coaching - Schouten Global
    Coach - Team Brunel in the Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15


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