HOW TO PREPARE YOURSELF PSYCHOLOGICALLY FOR YOUR FIRST SHIP
Keep these things in mind before boarding your first ship and you will (most probably) be mindful and ready:
1. Effective communication
Onboard, communication is important, but more important is effective communication. Hundreds of shipboard accidents take place due to this basic reason-ineffective communication. This purpose can be achieved by
- Speaking clearly to the point
- By acknowledging what has been said and repeating it (Closed loop communication).
“To err is human”. Humans make mistakes. But we should keep in mind the fact that a small mistake onboard can cost millions and even the priceless lives of the crew onboard. Therefore, every task should be done with proper precautions and even if an incident occurs, it should be honestly notified to the responsible person before the Chain Of Errors can build up.
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3. Cultural Awareness
“Culture is more often a source of conflict than synergy”. People of many cultures are placed on a ship having a common goal-keeping the ship running. But so that the ship may run smoothly, people should be aware and welcoming of different cultures. They should build synergy and shouldn’t impose their own beliefs on every other person. The same goes for people of different religions and nationalities.
4. Stress Management
It was, in the early ages, that there would be 50+ people onboard and the vessel was like a colony in motion but not now. With the new automation in the shipping industry and regulations in regards to the safe manning level, it would be a blessing if you have a crew of more than 25 people on your ship. This reduced manning has lead to increased stress in seafarers due to an increase in the work load and also a feeling of isolation.
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This has made Stress Management an important talk of the shipping industry. We should therefore know how to manage stress on a personal level. Stress depends upon how you take it.
People indulge in hobbies onboard during leisure time. Companies arrange for ‘Social Sundays’ and sometimes parties on weekdays so that it may help seafarers reduce stress. Stress can also be physical which can be coped with proper sleep, nutrition, leisure and exercise. Mental stress can be removed by talking more and involving in activities with the crew members.
Wishing you fair winds and following seas!