The COVID-19 pandemic has taken over the entire world like a storm, and it has done so by surprise. In only a few months, humanity went from business as usual to being faced with a significant test in overcoming a global threat — a test for skills and ability to make difficult yet necessary decisions that are crucial for the positive outcome of this crisis.
In just under four months, the number of coronavirus cases has exceeded 700,000, and the virus spread across 177+ countries. The rapid growth of this pandemic has found its way into affecting almost every aspect of our daily lives. No industry, company or individual in these countries was left unaffected.
Governments have collectively begun to take drastic measures to halt the spread of the virus, and over the last few weeks, many of you would have experienced:
- Closure of borders
- Closure of restaurants, bars, cafes and other social gatherings
- Cancellation of major events
- Closure of offices
- Suspension of crew changes
- Quarantine and working from home
- Social distancing controls and more
Every one of the above measures carries a tremendous amount of burden and repercussions for industries, businesses and individuals. Burden and repercussions that may be perceived negatively by many of us. However, the implementation and correct execution of these measures are paramount in beating the pandemic.
An in-depth look beyond the drastic measures
We may not immediately realise this, but, every measure that we see put in place today is a direct result of a series of decisions and coordination by people doing their best to slow down the spread of this pandemic.
Making such decisions and accepting them requires a specific set of decision-making and resilience skills, both of which fall under the category of so-called “soft skills.” The people who make such decisions must be able to gather and evaluate all relevant information before reaching the conclusive decision. They must be able to identify the issue, analyse and weigh alternative courses of action and their potential consequences. On the other hand, the decision-makers must also possess strong resilience skills to maintain healthy and optimum performance, despite the stressful conditions.
Besides the government leaders, company directors and managers tasked with implementing such measures; all other people must also display such skills in adhering to the imposed rules and controls. All people combined must now practice decision-making, resilience, flexibility and self-control to ensure the safety of themselves and others.
Applying soft skills in such hard and challenging time is paramount in overcoming the COVID-19 pandemic. The same especially applies to the maritime industry, where seafarers are at the front line of this battle, and the protection of their welfare is critical.