View Full Version : Where do the "shrinks" get this #*@#?

Kaptin M
29th Jun 2001, 05:30
Recently I was speaking with a company psychologist relation who informed me that "it is well known" that (cabin) crews who don't get on with each other, perform better than those who do, and that airline companies are being advised to roster their crews this way.
What a load of bollocks!!

My experience - and that's worth more imho, than the "studies" and results of questionairres upon which these conclusions have obviously been drawn - indicates that technical, and cabin crew, who "get along" achieve their objective more efficiently, more often, than those who are at loggerheads with each other. Now it would appear that I am not alone in my thinking, as Singapore Airlines (who have built their reputation as Number 1 for inflight service) utilise a "team" system for their cabin crews, and if a new member is introduced, the rest of the team see how well he/she fits in - if the new team member doesn't get on, then they are moved to another team by mutual agreement.

Each of us who has flown with in a multi-crew cockpit has experienced the "square peg in the round hole" crew member, and even with sops has realised that the operation displayed a lacklustre overall effect.

In an environment where Safety is always the overriding consideration, the opinion of psychologists spouting this sort of rubbish to airline management, needs serious debunking for EVERYONE'S sake.

29th Jun 2001, 10:56
How odd that an occupational psychologist should be unaware of the concept of teamwork.

Is this person really a psychologist or have they forged the certificate?

Through difficulties to the cinema

29th Jun 2001, 12:04
Before anyone has a go at my I have no experience of team working on an airline (Yet).

In an office environment I also believe that if a team is made up of members that get on very well a social bond is also formed. This relationship very often leads to spending a lot of the day discussing individuals experiences, problems, relationships and less time is actually spent of doing the job in hand.

HOWEVER. These people are more likely to stay with a company as they don't wish to disrupt their professional AND social lifes by leaving. The teams where more work is performed are more likely to have a higher staff turnover and therefore more disruption to their work, perhaps ultimately, in a customer service environment, more disruption to the customer.

Your thoughts?

29th Jun 2001, 14:45
Sorry FalconJock

I think that you're confusing teamwork with social groupings. If the team are quite comfortable and sitting round discussing work, they're not necessarily doing work. Real teamwork happens when everybody has predefined roles, but if someone's busy or can't cope, the others will rally round to achieve that person's duties so that the consumer doesn't suffer.

OK it could be that there's a 'mentor session' where other more experienced people give guidance on specific problems, but I've seen too many "teams" who are just trying to avoid doing the work they should.

29th Jun 2001, 15:38

I agree with you. A good team, not a social chat group, performs better than a bad team.

I flew a 45 minutes stretch just yesterday with a cabin chief that had the ability to upset a crew of five within a few minutes. Where with a "normal" crew there would have been ample time to complete the service I now found and attitude where everyone just barely did his own work, and stretched it so there was no time to assist anyone else with her/his task. Eventually the service had to be cut short, to the annoyance of some SLC, and we had to extend the approach for about ten minutes. My next stretch was with someone with an attitude not unlike our beloved Flaps40. The difference was amazing!!

Falcon, on shorthaul flights there is a certain amount of work to be done. There is no time for idle chat, unless this work is done. If the atmosphere in the team is good there is time after the last flight in the nearest bar to "spend the rest of the day discussing individuals experiences, problems, relationships".
As "disrupting a social life" is concerned. That is very efficiently achieved by crew dispatch. Flying with an other F/O twice a week and a new load of stews twice a day really avoids any problems in this respect.

There is really nothing as enjoyable as to fly around with a good team. No bad weather, technical malfunctions, raging pax, stupid company regulations, hours of slotdelays or even a flight to malpensa can disrupt such a team.


Final 3 Greens
29th Jun 2001, 16:19
Kaptin M

I am not an psychologist, but i do have a masters degree in a related area and human performance is central to my work.

The statement from the occupational psychologist that you quote is very black and white and psychology is a very much a grey area.

What s/he may have meant is that some high performing teams are not socially friends nor do they necessarily like each other on a personal basis, but that there is a common strong team bond derived from their ability to deliver strongly in a work environment.

Often the leadership is crucial to this aspect; if you are really interested, I could suggest a couple of source books to look at. However the great thing about the soft sciences is that your opinion is probably as valid as anyone elses!

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[This message has been edited by Sick Squid (edited 29 June 2001).]