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The power of TOLERANCE onboard Ships: an imperative human virtue

Updated: May 4

This week we’ll be talking about the power of the human virtue of tolerance: how it can foster a Harmonious Environment for everyone working onboard ships

Female Ship Officers onboard a Commercial Ship

Commercial ships are a microcosm of diversity which bring together crews from different nationalities, cultures & backgrounds to operate as a cohesive unit. It forms a dynamic environment which brings its own challenges in maintaining harmony onboard. Hence, encouraging everyone to demonstrate tolerance is not just a moral imperative but a strategic necessity, which ensures the safety, efficiency & well-being of everyone onboard.

Tolerance can be defined as the ability to acknowledge, understand, respect & appreciate the differences of others, including cultural & religious practices, beliefs & viewpoints.

But why is tolerance so important? Let's explore together.

The importance of Tolerance

1. Enhanced Communication

Effective communication onboard is the cornerstone of safe maritime operations. Tolerance encourages active listening and understanding, while it reduces misunderstandings & helps overcome language barriers. Crew members (most importantly less senior ones) who feel valued are more likely to share critical information that can prove crucial.

2. Cohesive Teamwork

A tolerant environment onboard ships cultivates strong bonds onboard & promotes a sense of unity. Crew members work together more cohesively & they capitalize on their diverse skills and experiences.

3. Safety First

In our industry, safety always comes first. Tolerance promotes an environment where crew members can voice concerns, without the fear of retribution. This can prevent accidents & ensure prompt resolution of safety-related issues.

4. Positive Morale

Given the stress that crews can experience, maintaining positive morale is of paramount importance. When crew members feel respected & valued, their morale is boosted. This translates to increased job satisfaction, high levels of commitment & improved mental well-being.

How can we foster tolerance onboard

1. Cultural exchange

Encourage crew members to share their cultures, traditions and stories. Make it a habit of organizing events & activities that celebrate diverse backgrounds.

2. Open Dialogue

Create an environment where crew members feel comfortable voicing their concerns. Active listening & approachability (amongst all ranks) is key.

3. Lead by Example

Ship Owners, Managers & senior ship Officers play a pivotal role in setting the tone for tolerance. Treat all crew members equally & this will create a ripple effect throughout the crew.

The maritime industry's global nature brings together diverse crew members who are instrumental in the success of commercial ships. Fostering tolerance is not just a human virtue; it is an imperative for maintaining harmony, ensuring safety, and maximizing efficiency. A truly harmonious onboard environment is one where the rich tapestry of cultures and experiences is celebrated, leading to stronger bonds, improved teamwork, and shared success on the high seas.

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