Leadership Quality #3:Draw on knowledge and experience

UK MCA has issued a guide to help leaders and senior officers in the maritime industry improve their leadership and people management skills in order to ensure safe operations.The guide contains tips and best practices for ten core leadership qualities for effective safety leadership, split into five categories.

Today's article is about confidence and Authority.

It is self-evident that adequate knowledge and experience are prerequisites
for effective leadership. In the context of safety leadership this means in particular:

  • Good knowledge of safety-related regulations, codes and standards
  • Experience and skills not only in technical and operational issues but
    also in people management.

Why is it important?

Without factual safety knowledge, leaders cannot convince their crews that
they are on top of safety issues and take it seriously themselves. Without
people management skills, effective implementation of written safety
regulations, codes and standards is very difficult. Research indicates that
people management is an area for further improvement in the maritime
industry. There is little dedicated formal training in this area at present.

What can I do?

Things that tend to work

  • Ensure that you are up-to-speed on safety requirements - do a
    refresher if necessary
  • Consider your own strengths and weaknesses in people skills such
    as communication, motivation, team working, conflict resolution,
    crisis management, coaching and appraisal, discipline. If necessary
    apply for coaching or training in these areas
  • You can't be an expert in everything - so be prepared to acknowledge your own knowledge gaps and seek advice whenyou need to.

Things that tend not to work

  • Concentrating only on technical safety knowledge without
    considering people skills.

Above article is an extract from UK MCA's Leadership for Safety Guide