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NAVY NEWS, JANUARY 2011 ay of operating

do it, watch the fictional England manager’s half-time team talk. “Nothing

but blinding,” continued: effing “It’s and Andy added. “No

motivation whatsoever. You have to build a rapport with people.” He


unlocking someone’s potential – if they’ve got it in them. “If you scratch beneath the

surface then these are very capable people, but some might have fears or phobias – a fear of heights, or going through the tunnel on the assault course.

“The aim is to get sailors thinking for themselves, to solve their own problems. “It’s more about listening than teaching, but it’s not pink and fluffy – there’s still a place for the old ways.”

The Cunningham Division

● A FOST fi refi ghting exercise Picture: LA(Phot) Pepe Hogan

are we getting right?’ and ‘where do we want to go now?’

Richmond has benefited from the support of the Coaching Advisory Team (CAT) at the Maritime Warfare School. The CAT has provided on-board training to refresh the coaching and

mentoring skills delivered

at command courses or Junior Officers’ Leadership Course, and as an effective plug in the knowledge gap for the old and bold whose training was ‘less recent’... This knowledge is being applied across the ship in a changing attitude to debriefing. Rather than just telling the team or sailor where he or she may need to develop, there is a definite benefit in engaging them. Working on the principle that

two heads are better than one, the people closest to the action are asked ‘what will you do differently next time?’, ‘how do you think you have improved since last time?’ and then – hopefully – people will start asking ‘how can I be better?’ It is all part of the effort to individual ownership


and responsibility. Similar developments are taking place ashore.

There is already a six-

strong Coaching, Learning and Development Team at HMS Raleigh, set up by weapon engineer Lt Andy Anderson. He sees his task as getting the best out of fledgling sailors by encouraging them to think for themselves, from simple things like time management and personal organisation (ie sorting out kit) to getting through challenges such as the new high ropes course. But how do you do that? “Ask, don’t tell,” said PO Steve

Waudby. “You ask trainees how they would do something, rather than telling them.” A coach doesn’t have to be a subject matter expert – a mentor does – but he or she has to be good at bringing the best out of people. “Why did David Beckham go

to the World Cup?” asked PO Waudby. “He couldn’t play, but he still went because people respect him, listen to him.” So who’s not a good motivator? “Mike Bassett,” retorted Andy. If you want to see how not to

Leadership Team Coaching Session provides an insight into the new regime. After just five days in the Navy,

six recruits are given their first promotion – selected as part of the management team in the roles of Class Leader, Deputy Class Leader and Mess Bosun for their classes. It’s daunting, but a session with the Recruit School’s Coaching Learning and Development Team can calm fears and unlock their potential to fulfil their roles. For the recruits, a discussion with PO Waudby on what makes a good leader helped ease concerns. Trainee Wtr David Lowery said:

“We all thought it was going to be hard to get through the course and having been given these jobs we all think it’s going to be a lot harder now. “It’s a great privilege, though, to be selected as class leader.” For 16-year-old trainee Wtr Chloe Birken, her selection as deputy class leader was a surprise. She said: “At first I panicked. It

was a surprise because I thought it was an age-related thing.” Mess Bosun trainee ETME

Tommy Lacey said: “I feel there is a lot of pressure on my shoulders, but I’m mega-proud to be given the job.”

After an hour with PO Waudby discussing leadership qualities, voicing concerns and sharing their experiences, the team faced the challenge with more confidence. Trainee Wtr Lowery said: “The session really helped. “We are all in the same boat and it was good to hear that other people have the same concerns. “The biggest thing I think we will all take away is that even though we will be in competition at times with the

ultimately we are all one team and we’ve got to work together.” PO Waudby said: “It was a good

two-way session. “We recognise that most recruits selected for these roles have no leadership or coaching experience, yet they are expected to lead their classes for the next eight weeks. “Their instructors have obviously seen something in them to indicate that they are capable of doing these jobs, and our role is to help the trainees see that too. “My end product is when they

go away with the ownership of their skills, which they can then develop into their their classes.”

team within

● Royal Marines recruits on a 30-miler on Dartmoor before they pass out of the Commando Training Centre at Lympstone. CTCRM is considered a beacon of best practice in terms of coaching

Picture: PO(Phot) Angie Pearce Inspiring a deeper understanding

THE Defence Diving School (DDS) introduced coaching and mentoring as a result of the success of similar initiatives at the Commando Training Centre Royal Marines (CTCRM), as the parallels of diver training and RM basic training involve activities of a physically arduous nature and carries a risk of injury. High failure

rates had been

reduced at CTCRM. By way of contrast, the passing-out rates at the DDS continued failing to attain sufficient numbers of quality students and achieving the required high standards, in safe and capable military diving. It was agreed, in consultation with CTCRM, that the root cause at the DDS was connected with the instructional culture that existed within the training establishment.

The coaching process started by a mentoring session from Alexi Jansen (CTCRM) to the senior management at the DDS. With ‘buy in’ from these senior

staff, the DDS went through a process which was colloquially referred to as the ‘Big Bang’. This was initiated with two

two-day workshops, delivered by Alexi and staff from CTCRM to all diving training staff, whether military or civilian instructors. There was,

initially, a high other class,

level of resistance and scepticism amongst the older generation of instructional staff, but by hard work and a purpose to succeed, the Training Standard Team staff at the DDS drove the attitudinal changes required through. Slowly but surely, the instructors adapted, so that eventually the antipathetic instructor stood out as deviating from the norm. The coaching approach has

now been introduced as part of the Military Diving Instructor Course (Induction Training), which guides the new instructor from the

outset of a coaching

(instructor) billet. The key to good coaching is the feedback process, as this involves everyone

associated with the

learning process – strong students, weaker students and the instructor or coach – working together. Feedback, as a daily process,

gives ownership and empowerment to students, allowing them to


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use their limited experience to evaluate an individual’s and team’s performance,

and reflect on what they have learnt, thereby gaining further experiences which assists them to advance in the learning process. Take, for example, the Away Standby Diver Drill. At the DDS, have


learning points, as a lesson and demonstration, and they then apply these to the practical diving activity, such as recovering a diving casualty from the water.


would-be the

key solve problems

the activity, and to discuss the positive and the negative points. A spokesman is nominated who

– do it right next time!” Between November 2008 and

delivers the students’ findings to the course and the instructor. On completion of this phase the instructor, who has a list of his own observations, reinforces the positive points they have made, adding any further positive points, then exploring with discussion any additional points the students may not have recognised.

Each student is required to demonstrate competence in the activity, and all involved have some part to play, be it the casualty, the rescue diver, the recovery team in the boat or those observing. On completion of the drill the students are given space to assess

These additional findings are extracted from the students by effective questioning,

encourages reflection and evaluation of their own performance. In confirmation, the students summarise how they will improve their performance next time. The DDS is now in a place

far distant from the old-school approach of “You did this wrong


November 2010, 32 DDS students have been referred to the MWS Coaching Advisory Team (CAT), or the DDS in-house ‘Coaching Champion’. All were experiencing some

form of difficulty and causing concern for the instructor. Not all students will be suited to military diving, and the DDS has lost six of the 32. However, the remaining students

achieved the required standard through a better understanding from the instructional staff and an effective coaching approach. Before 2008 it would have been highly probable that all 32 would have been lost to military diving, as they would have been abandoned by the system as “not having potential”.




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