Team dynamics

We have a really great bunch of folk on our crew, a mix of nationalities, backgrounds and very different reasons for being on a racing yacht across the Atlantic.

For ten of us it’s just one of eight legs around the world, for nine they disembark in Rio and another two stay with us until Australia.

We all started this race thinking we’d be in Rio in the next couple of days when in fact we’ll be five days later due to Mother Nature’s vexation that was the doldrums.

And that delay in part is what I think is contributing to a few twinges of grizzle, passive aggressiveness along with a genuine mix of exhaustion and the realisation last week that after such a long leg there’ll be very little personal down time when we arrive in Rio.

Human behaviour being what it is, with all its complexities, is fascinating. For example the basic courtesies of please and thank you seem to have been replaced with demands in the same tone as we shout “ease” or “grind” during a sail trim exercise …..
And couple that with wind in your ears baffling your hearing, the dark preventing you from taking cues from facial expressions, the language differences – eight crew for whom English isn’t their first language along with your own tiredness, the physical demands of staying upright being effective, safe and fast doing your job – it’s an interesting challenge to communicate well.

So having raised the opportunity for our watch to raise our game we’re having a lunchtime meeting, pre watch handover and come to an agreement as to how we improve.

I hope that the Arabic saying that goes along the lines of “is it true, is it kind, is it necessary” will frame the way in which the conversation unfolds.

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