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Crew in leadership positions (aka Heads of Departments) should always be open to receiving feedback from their peers should they want to strive to become better leaders onboard. One shouldn’t command respect because of their ranking; you receive respect through your ability to demonstrate self-awareness, empathy and open-mindedness. I often hear reports of bullying, psychological abuse towards co-workers, the perpetrators more often than not are those in leadership positions. This is certainly not the leader you want to strive to be.

At The Crew Coach we want to give you the skills to become a leader who has the emotional agility to manage difficult situations with grace and intelligence. Through equipping crew with these skills will help pave the way for more authentic, positive leadership within the industry.

If you are currently in a leadership position and want to excel in your position or if you are transitioning into a leadership role or even if you have career ambitions to climb the ranks. This article will be valuable for you all.

Self-awareness helps individuals gain a powerful understanding of their strengths and how they can overcome new challenges. It builds confidence and helps people to further develop their soft skills.

This exercise can be confronting and uncomfortable, however, it is necessary if you are wanting to make positive personal or career changes. Often we shy away from asking for feedback in fear of the feedback being something we don’t want to hear. This is normal and usually stems down to our core belief system which influences the way in which we view the world. This is a separate topic, however of vital importance to address. Your core beliefs are what usually impedes you from achieving your ambitions.

In this instance, we are going to use Johari’s window as a tool to discover more about you as a person and how we can optimise your value. Use this worksheet as your template to gather your information.

What I suggest is for you to take the opportunity when you conduct your performance reviews or when you have some down time with crew to ask then for feedback on how they perceive you. Gaining feedback is so important regardless of your position on board.

Once you have downloaded the worksheet you will notice that there are four quadrants which are divided into the following categories:

1. Open area:

What you know about you and what other’s know about you. (For example, You know that you are a good at staying calm in stressful situations and others know that you are too).

Think about some of the positive and negative traits that you may have that are also validated by your peers.

2. Blind Area:

These are things that you don’t know about yourself, but OTHERS know about you. Personally, I see feedback as a gift Feedback, it doesn’t come by very often so it is an opportunity to either learn something new about yourself, validate something you have been feeling or have been uncertain about or make you aware of a behaviour that has been unhelpful or helpful.

How do we discover aspects of our Blind area?

Asking for feedback, whether it be through questionnaires or having discussions with others. Bare in mind these are other people’s perceptions of you. It is up to us to determine whether they are rooted in validity.

3. Hidden Area:

This is what you know about you, but others don’t know. It could be imposter syndrome or it could be an insecurity or fear you may have that you don’t want other’s to see.

4. Unknown Area:

This is what is unknown about you and also unknown about others.
This is usually to do with subconscious fears, limiting beliefs or reoccurring patterns that are holding you back. This area will not be discovered through your feedback enquiry but rather through the work you do through your coach. For further information on coaching feel free to view our services here.

Right let’s get to the crunch!

Tips on asking for feedback:

Step 1: Timing

Take your feedback seriously, it is golden. The way in which you approach people for feedback must be taken into account. Respectfully ask whether they would be willing to give of their time to help you out with the exercise. Ask them whether they would be open to having a chat or if they are busy, would they be open to completing their feedback online when they have time. (Survey monkey is a great tool for this)

Step 2: Appropriate questions

Select specific questions and I wouldn’t go for more than 10.

Step 3: Questioning style

Use the open ended style of questioning

Examples of questioning:

  1. What traits do you admire in a leader?
  2. What attributes do you appreciate in my leadership style or as a crew member?
  3. How can I support you better?
  4. What are your current frustrations relating to your job
  5. How do you think I handle difficult situations
  6. Do you feel that the work load is evenly distributed if not how do you think it could be done better?
  7. How do you think I manage the team under high-pressured situations?
  8. What do you like about my leadership style, what don’t you like about my leadership style?

No matter what your position is onboard, from stew to chief stew, from deckhand to captain, you should be engaging in self-reflection on a regular basis. Developing yourself as a leader takes time and hard work. Be open to taken on feedback and I have no doubt you will be become a well- respected leader.