Making crew comfortable with speaking up during crew dialogue

The dialogue on board and between ship and shore is a key element in Safety Delta. The dialogue is an opportunity for the crew to talk about their safety culture, share their opinions and be involved in identifying areas of improvement based on the Crew Safety Diagnosis (CSD) report.

Dialogue makes the crew feel confident at work

Most of the vessels are very happy about the crew dialogues, as they experience that the positive effects of the dialogue are also brought into play during work on board. They notice that crew become more confident; they dare speak up, intervene and share their opinions and ideas more often. Also, crew become more reflective of their own and others’ safety behaviours, making it easier for them to act as role models and positively influence the safety culture on board.

Despite positive experiences, we have also received feedback from vessels that struggle with the dialogues. Especially, they have a hard time getting the crew to speak up and participate in the dialogues.

Confident crew dare to speak up.

Make crew feel comfortable

Try to conduct the dialogue sessions in small groups.

The best dialogues are those where crew take active part and share their opinions and views. For crew to participate actively, it is important to establish a conducive atmosphere during the dialogues so crew feel comfortable and encouraged to speak.

We know from courses and workshops that group work can help make crew speak up more as they feel more comfortable in smaller groups.

“There are situations where we would like to raise some issue about safety, but it is very difficult to speak up when many are listening.” – Rating

Here is what you can do

We have designed a two-step dialogue process that includes group work. We think it will help senior officers and crew to have more comfortable dialogues. Try to follow the short guideline below. The session will only take 40 minutes:

First, conduct the dialogue in small groups (20 minutes)

Sort the crew into small groups of 3-5 crew members
Group the crew members so they feel comfortable: for example, according to nationality, rank, age, - or a mix of ranks and nationalities.
Place the groups at comfortable, ‘private’ locations where they can have confidential talks.
Let the groups discuss the report and fill out the crew dialogue sheets together.
In groups with only ratings, consider having a junior officer in place to help facilitate the dialogue – if needed.

Then, all groups meet for the crew dialogue (20 minutes)

When all groups are gathered, each group share what they have discussed in the small groups together with the interesting points they have noted in the crew dialogue sheets.
Crew discuss input and exchange ideas.
It is important that senior officers and crew show interest in each other’s ideas and points and positively acknowledge each other..

In this way crew can participate more actively without being intimidated by the presence of the senior officer.

You can download a more detailed agenda here for your next meeting.

More inspiration for the dialogue

If you would like more inspiration and good points on how to conduct the dialogue on board and between ship and shore, go to the Safety Delta Learning Library (use your client login details) and browse the section Dialogue

Office staff also has a role in promoting dialogue

Therefore, we are happy to announce that the Safety Delta Shore-based support guide is now finalised and ready for use.

Our existing Safety Delta clients will get the PDF version free of charge. It is also attached to this bulletin. A hard copy version can be purchased at a price of 6EUR/piece.

Don’t hesitate to contact your Safety Delta liaison person in Green-Jakobsen if you would like to hear more about this new supportive product.

Contact the Safety Delta Admin Team to learn more.

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