Flyer69 (August 5th, 2012)
Is the ability to CLEARLY speak, write and articulate necessary in this industry?
Are you subject to a 'higher'standard as an Officer?
Does your company have a 'right' to only promote candidates who speak, articulate and write intelligently?
Should incoming employees be informed of such expectations?
Does the company that charters you expect these things too?
When making a professional (or personal) recommendation should 'anyone' get a recommendation simply because they 'want it'?
Is it appropriate to inform someone that there 'may' be an issue with some flaw in their presentation?
Isn't this the concept behind the Academy approach? Breakdown and then build up for a uniform character?
Flyer69 (August 5th, 2012)
The Maritime Industry encompasses so many different things.
A Rhodes scholar shrimpboat Captain that can't catch anything is useless, except to speak, articulate or write some lame excuse why he had a broker.
A Rhodes scholar tug cap'n that does nothing but damage is useless, except to write an amazingly good 2692.
I think the charterers talk to office guys and sign contracts long before they come aboard and meet the "Officers".
It's probably only critical in the yachting world, and then your physical appearance might even count more.
If the women don't find you handsome, they should at least find you handy. -Red Green
The old hands can probably get away with the communications skills (or lack thereof) that they currently have, especially if they stay in their current positions. For everyone else above the deckhand level, I think that half-decent communications skills are essential. I do not see a very promising future for the semi-literate and innumerate in our industry or our society.
It is assumed that academy graduates have good communications and numerical skills (although that is not always true). This is why most companies prefer to hire them. For those of us hawespipers that wish to move up (or around) in the industry, we need to display communications and numerical skills that are at least competitive with the academy grads or we may be left behind.
There is a difference between what is expected when writing a report for the boss versus posting on gcaptain. Most of us here make our share of typos, grammatical errors, spelling mistakes, but this is an information social media, so its no big deal. However, there are some posters here with a shocking lack of communications skills. When someone presents themselves like a person of inadequate education and intelligence, they should not be surprised or offended when others assume that to be the case.
Communication skills are important but not the end all be all. I agree with the other posts skills set to not damage equipment and keeping crews safe are priority.
A humble person with integrity and skills to operate a vessel safely for the company has far greater credentials than some i-dotting, t-crossing, bozo that likes to tell everyone he has a Masters license but can not function in that capacity to save his @$$. (IMHO)
seadog6608 (August 7th, 2012)
1. Yes because if you can't get your point across, how is anybody going to know your intentions, orders or desires?
2. I should be, I am in charge and should lead by example from the front.
3. Yes, it is the company's money and equipment, they can do whatever they want to do.
4. If you need to be informed you will move up quicker if you are well spoken and a good administrator, do you really think being told that is going to help?
5. Judging from the evidence of a percentage of the customer we work no, but that makes it easier to slap them around with their own Manuals.
6. No, some things need to be earned. If everyone is "SPECIAL", yada, yada, yada...
7. Yes, otherwise how will they know?
8. Don't know, never went to an Academy. Went to boot camp and they broke us down as individuals and built us up as a team which is the exact opposite of the product of a military academy which is to build great individual leaders. Not sure about maritime Academies.
Any other questions?
There is a subtle difference between military boot camp and academy orientation however. First, the physical intensity of an academy does not come close to boot camp. I've been comparing notes with my buddy who went through Paris Island (yikes). Second, I believe enlistees are trained to follow orders whereby cadets are trained to be problem solvers.
Regarding presentation skills, we get drilled on that frequently. Many projects are presented for grading via Powerpoint. At some time everyone is put in command of a detail and you are "coached" on your mastery of articulating clear instructions.
I can't yet comment on the expectations of industry, but I can tell you academys think communication skills are pretty important.
[QUOTE=Jetryder223;77481I can't yet comment on the expectations of industry, but I can tell you academys think communication skills are pretty important.[/QUOTE]
Presentation is especially important for me because most of my crew is foreign and their slang is a lot different than mine so I have to VERY specific notably where time is involved. On the islands a few minutr or just now can mean anything from 5 minutes to 7 or 8 hours.
It was tough at first especially with a military background but it is all good now.
There has been some discussion in various threads about European drilling and offshore construction vessels operating on the US Outer Continental Shelf, but failing to hire American employees as required by law. It has even been suggested that European managers prefer to hire European officers over Americans even though it costs them more to hire Europeans. Norwegians are well represented aboard these foreign vessels.
Norwegian managers and ships officers are typically very competent in English. (Yes, they have accents, but most of them they read, write, and speak English quite well.)
So what kind of image does it present when American mariners communicate poorly, or are unable to make themselves understood at all, in our native language --- English?
So how do the Norwegian react when they encounter American licensed officers with the type of very poor communications skills that we have seen displayed in recent threads? Do you think it inspires confidence in the US licensing system and encourages them to hire more Americans?
I think it more likely leaves the Norwegians saying: "Hva fy faen hellvete"!
lcx5 (August 7th, 2012)