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SAN’s Danish sister organisation, Seahealth, has published a brochure on how communication between land and sea can be improved. Based on surveys of seafarers, among other methods, they have identified five areas that must work to have a good dialogue.hello
1. Cooperation at a distance. Try to get to know each other by arranging mutual visits. Organise social events and start projects together. Have regular contact with the ships. Do not only call when something needs to be done, but also for general updates on the situation onboard. It is appreciated!
2. Communication. Be aware of the difficulties of communication. Ask questions when you don’t understand what the other person says and give constructive feedback to show that you understood what was said. Try to put yourself in the other person’s shoes and have the courage to talk openly about cultural differences.
3. Create trust. You cannot order someone to have confidence in you; it must be won. Keep what you promise, be honest and fair, show confidence in others and show that you are willing to learn from your mistakes. Don’t forget to show appreciation to others. It can be difficult when you do not meet on a daily basis, but it is still important. Say when someone has done a good job, and show an interest in work that is done onboard as well as ashore.
4. E-mail us with feedback. E-mail facilitates communication between ships and land, but it has its limitations. Avoid e-mail for complicated issues – it is easy to have misunderstandings. Do not send e-mail when you are upset about something. Go through your formulations and think how your message may be understood. If you are unsure, ask a colleague to have a look before you press the Send button.
5. If you have a difficult or complicated message, use the telephone or book a personal meeting. The opportunities for meeting are often limited, but it can be worthwhile. This is particularly important when it comes to new strategies, tasks and procedures.
The Seahealth brochure Ship and office on the same wavelength – two worlds meet can be read on www.seahealth.dk. It can also be ordered from www.weilbach.dk/netbutik. asp?t=5&ID=750247. The price is DKK 175 excluding VAT.

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