Wed. Jun 19th, 2024

Crew Resource Management (CRM)

Teamwork at Thirty Thousand Feet

Effective communication and coordination among crewmembers is essential for safe and efficient flight operations. Yet crewmembers often have different attitudes, experiences and responsibilities that can impact teamwork.

Within this section, members discuss:

  • Effective Communication – Clear and concise communication is the foundation of good CRM. Members share techniques for calling out checks, conveying updates and managing readbacks in high workload situations.
  • Assertiveness – Some members recount experiences where a lack of assertiveness led to problems, highlighting the importance of speaking up when necessary for safety. The concept of marginality – where concerns are withheld – is discussed.
  • Leadership and Followership – Good leadership and effective followership are both required for crew coordination. Members outline traits of captains that foster teamwork as well as responsibilities of first officers as followers.
  • Threat and Error Management – Members describe the need for crews to monitor for potential threats and errors, then manage them jointly before they can lead to an incident. Early intervention and open communication are emphasized.

By candidly sharing stories of poor and effective crew coordination, this section ultimately aims to cultivate CRM skills that improve teamwork and resilience at high altitudes.

While aircraft continue to become more reliable and automated, the human interactions within the cockpit will always be complex and imperfect. Only with an awareness of our social tendencies – and strategies to overcome them – can we establish crew norms that prioritize safety and efficiency above ego or tradition.

Through open discussions of communication breakdowns, lax assertiveness and cooperation issues, this section hopes to inspire future flight crews to approach teamwork not as a given but as a deliberate skill – one that when mastered can transform even the most disparate individuals into a cohesive unit capable of navigating any turbulence together.

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