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16 NAVY NEWS, JANUARY 2011 A smarter wa

OIL sizzles in a hot pan. A trainee chef is about to add garlic when the instructor

intervenes. “That garlic’s starting to burn – put the rest of the ingredients in. Let me show you...” Oil sizzles in a hot pan. A trainee chef is about to add garlic when the instructor intervenes. “What do you think is happening to the garlic?” “It’s starting to burn...” “Okay, how could you do that differently to prevent that from happening?”

apart in training terms – and the Naval Service (NS) wants to move from one to the other. Not from burnt garlic to fried

Similar scenarios, but a world

garlic; from lecturing to coaching. And the new initiative will see coaching become embedded in all NS training over the next three years – though it may take longer for the ‘old ways’ to die out. There are already examples of good coaching practice across the Naval Service, but Lt Cdr Rachel Smallwood, Deputy Chief of Staff for DNPS (Director of Naval Personnel Strategy), wants to see the message spread more widely. “There are pockets at the moment – places where little bonfires have been lit,” said Lt Cdr Smallwood.

the Naval Service to be a learning organisation.”

“But Second Sea Lord wants

many cases a workforce is so busy planning ahead that no one has time to look back. “A learning organisation finds

The officer explained that in

time to reflect and learn,” she said, “and we should be moving away from a blame culture to a learning culture.

“Coaching means unlocking the potential of an individual, so they can be the best they can be. “The Naval Service is adding

to that by looking at teams and organisations as well. “For example, in a ship on basic

operational sea training, we are looking at the CO or a chef, and making them the best they can be, but also looking at the operations team, and the ship as a whole, to be the best they can be as well. “And in the current climate

that’s what we need to do – get the best out of our people. “Coaching is nothing new,


is just a part of good leadership, drawing things out of people. It is ‘ask, don’t tell’. “It is not ‘don’t do that, do

this...’ but ‘what will happen if you do that?’ “If a navigation team is training

● A newly-qualifi ed member of the Divers Course takes to the water at the Defence Diving School

Picture: LA(Phot) Chris Mumby

in a bridge simulator, we want to see instructors saying ‘Think about what you are doing – what are the consequences? How could you do it better?’

“If they are thinking about it they are learning.


This model of the Leander Class Frigate represents the first batch of 7 vessels built with the narrow beamed hulls and the original configuration of 2 single 40mm Bofors guns, Limbo a/s mortar and variable depth sonar.

Models include HMS Leander, Ajax, Dido, Aurora, Penelope, Euryalus and Galatea Model measures 6.5” long mounted on a wooden plinth 11” x 2” with brass nameplate


+ £3.00 p&p UK Only

● Students training at HMS Sultan Picture: LA(Phot) Darby Allen

Empower train

THE creation of the Coaching, Learning and Development Team within the RN School of Marine Engineering at HMS Sultan is beginning to yield benefits, both to the individual and to the School. New courses joining the School

now receive a short package on learning


To order your model send your name, address and daytime telephone number, along with your cheque or credit card details to:

Skytrex Ltd, Unit 1 Charnwood Business Park, North Road, Loughborough, Leicestershire LE11 1LE Tel: 01509 213789 email:


which begins to empower students to learn for themselves and take responsibility for their learning. The team is also focussed on the development and wider employment of coaching principles across the staff, through a series of coaching workshops and leadership development sessions. An element of coaching is

delivered to instructors within the Train the Trainer initiative and

from this month a live action coaching day will be integrated into the course, leading to the ILM Level 3 Award. The team believes that success

is about unlocking the potential of both staff and students. The ‘golden thread’ throughout the coaching practice, at all levels, is about empowering individuals to learn for themselves and to take personal ownership of their issues/ learning/development, rather than a reliance on ‘spoonfeeding’ from instructors or line management. Things are still at an early stage,

but there is plenty of excitement at the progress made so far and the positive effect that a small group of people can have on the organisation.

Good to Greater...

“You may have heard of the Royal Navy’s drive to introduce coaching

development,” writes Second Sea Lord Vice Admiral Charles Montgomery. “Some may even have benefited from it

into our training regime and wider

establishments since it was introduced into Lympstone seven years ago, and then wider through BRNC, Raleigh and MWS. “It has, I am convinced, been a significant contributor to

improving the success rates in a number of training pipelines. “I have for some while been a supporter of coaching. The

article below sets out the ‘why, what and how’ of coaching. “One of my personal objectives is to reinforce the progress

made so far in the training world, and to expand the coaching methodology and mindset to the wider Navy – the front line and Headquarters. “Coaching techniques will come easily to many, less easily

to some. The Royal Naval Leadership Academy and the Commando Training Centre Royal Marines will put

be-all and end-all of developing our Service as a learning organisation, and it is but one way of developing leadership. “But I am certain it will improve both. “I look forward to the positive changes that coaching can achieve for all of us: Good to Greater.”

“The concept was introduced to the Defence Diving School two years ago, which helped the pass rate rise from 25 per cent to 80 per cent. “You go in there and there are

groups talking about learning. “It’s a culture change that will

policy as Naval Secretary, and now he can follow it through as 2SL.” The new coaching policy is due to appear in this month’s edition of BR3 (Part 5, Chapter 21),

two models that have been agreed on,” said Lt Cdr Smallwood. The two models are GROW

grow in the Naval Service. “Second Sea Lord started the

and two-star officers at Navy Command HQ will get a one- hour coaching induction, looking at both models.

explanation of what it is. “There are also two annexes,

(Goal, Reality, Options, Will) and the Feedback model – basically moving away from ‘you don’t want to do it like that’ to three questions – what went well? What didn’t go well? Next time you do it, what will you do differently? “Everyone can get their heads round those two and then review it and perhaps get a bit more ambitious,” she said. “The GROW model empowers and motivates people, while the feedback model means they learn from what they have done.” From this month all one-

providing a very simple

Lt Cdr Smallwood. “I want HQ to be a model of excellence for the rest – the Naval Service, Defence and (ambitious as I am) the wider public service.” Two current front-line examples are the Defence Diving School and HMS Richmond, acting as trailblazers for other units, while FOST is also blazing that trail. “The Royal Marines are probably the most advanced in terms of coaching – they’ve been doing it for seven years now to enable people to reach the required standard,” said Lt Cdr Smallwood.

springboard for other units and ships so that we can see best practice spread throughout the Naval Service and beyond.” Flag Officer Sea Training (South) – FOST(S) – can point

“Hopefully they will act as a

series – something senior officers would not normally expect to see, but simply staging a briefing to lecture them would be the exact opposite of the coaching ethos... “I hope they then generate feedback – hopefully they will see the benefit and ask for workshops for their departments,”

said There will also be a workshop is important to recognise that coaching is not the

programmes to help all. “Within the next year or so, all of our leaders will be introduced

to the two coaching models that have been adopted for use by everyone – from Leading Hands and Corporals upwards. “It

to the compulsory introduction to coaching for all sea riders in 2007 as being evidence of their long- standing commitment to the ethos. That

has since moved on

apace, and a post (at WO1 level) dedicated to delivering coaching support to FOST(S) staff is due to stand-up shortly. The aim of Basic Operational Sea

Training (BOST) is to maximise a unit’s operational capability – the ship’s company should already possess the individual skills required to undertake the tasks expected of them. What

they learn under the

guidance of FOST(S) staff is how to use these skills as part of the wider team. Many of the capabilities BOST looks to build up, such as teamwork, cannot simply be taught – they need to be developed, and coaching is one of the tools which enables the sea rider to maximise the team’s potential. Feedback received by FOST(S) highlights the value that coaching has, with sea riders regularly receiving praise from ships’ staff for the manner in which they have developed the teams on board. Commanding officers often comment that there has been a clear move away from the ‘green foulie’ FOST of old, reaffirming that the T in FOST stands for training, not testing. The correct use of feedback by

sea riders is essential to ensure that ship’s teams not only devise their own solutions for their mistakes, but also develop their skills to analyse their own performance and correct mistakes long after the ship has completed BOST. “Building a rapport with FRPP

team members is important to develop trust and establish a two- way understanding,” said WO1 Adams (SCDI2 to FOST(S)). “Credibility and empathy are

important to demonstrate to the ship’s team that FOST(S) staff were once upon a time also in their position at the ‘coal face’.” WO1 Garry Smith, X1 to FOST(S), said: “The old fashioned FOST approach was to focus on a long list of pick-up points. “Today FOST(S) tries to emphasise the positives and by using coaching techniques encourage the ship’s team to spread good practice across the whole ship whilst still maintaining the absolute FOST standard.” HMS Richmond has completed her pre-deployment training package

with FOST prior to

sailing this month for counter piracy operations in the Indian Ocean with the EU and NATO. The ship is working to encourage

every sailor to not just respond to the collective debrief and pick up points from training, but to actively seek their own individual ones. The attitude and skills required to challenge oneself in this way are something that will develop with experience and maturity, the ship believes. But that doesn’t mean it has to be done alone – there are many wiser, older hands on board who can help by not just telling their younger comrades where they are going wrong but also asking ‘what

together in our training personal

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