From the Author

Welcome to the “Navigating the Human Element” Website.

Having been involved in the Human Factors area since the 1980s, I have come to be not only a passionate promoter of but also a committed believer in the science and its intended goals within our respective industries.

During my career, I experienced a number of serious incidents and emergencies only to be convinced that this soft skills training concept paved my road to success on each occasion.

In 2008, I moved my focus to the marine world, and soon I had the opportunity to train young and dynamic officers in soft skills of the human elements. This has provided an invaluable two-way learning experience: while they have learned many useful facts and tools from me, I have been swamped with information and feedback from them. It is an enriching experience.

My book, “Navigating the Human Element”, is the result of combining what I have learned during my career with what I have learned from you, “my” marine officers.

Whether in the classroom, in the simulator, enjoying some refreshment or a dinner together, I have listened and many have welcomed the opportunity to tell someone their stories and how they would like their world to be.

You are the new generation; most of what we have in common lies in the dynamism and thirst for knowledge that I also possessed in my earlier years. You, however, now live in a faster-paced environment with instantaneous communication and social networks that span your different cultures and your world.

Nevertheless, we are all human beings subject to the same frailties and limitations but we also possess similar and remarkable inner strengths. My respect and empathy for you is immense.

As stated in the book, I have no desire to turn the reader into a doctor or psychologist; I am not qualified to do either. However, I have attempted to enter into a casual conversation with you just as if we had a coffee or chai in our hands. I hope that I am able to waken an awareness in you that will add to your already professional experience and conduct thereby making your life on board more pleasurable, more satisfying and considerably safer.

I benefitted from the work and the writings of others as an airline pilot and I hope I have succeeded in extending a similarly helping hand to you, the professional officer of the 21st century’s merchant marine. This book will support and also likely expand on any BRM training you have had.

I hope, too, that browsing or reading this book will help to protect you, your ship and bring you home safely to your families – Safe passage to you all.

Book - Navigation the Human Element"For many years I have listened to your concerns about how to perform at your best in your careers. By becoming more aware of your natural limitations, not only will you gain more pleasure and satisfaction from your lives at sea, but you will also protect yourself, your colleagues and your ship from the challenges and risks that your world throws at you."

from our readers

"your book has all the potential of becoming the “Nories Concise Guide” of marine human factors studies." - Don Cockrill