Spinnaker Sailing: A platform for individual & team learning, coaching and engagement

July 11th, 2010 by Amanda Potter Leave a reply »

Using expert skippers and experienced crew some of whom are also experienced business / occupational psychologists and managers, Zircon and Spinnaker Yachts can offer you an experience that resonates with many people.  Sailing can be challenging, physically and mentally demanding and exhilarating or calming, relaxing and just pure enjoyment.

By being able to tap into some of the varied and unique characteristics that sailing has to offer, and support these with sound psychological insights from our experienced team, Zircon and Spinnaker can provide a range of corporate activities ranging from tough and demanding personal development to relaxed corporate entertainment to suit your needs.

Personal Development and Coaching

This could be one of the ultimate challenges in personal development.  Being put into a potentially alien environment where even to stand up provides a constant physical challenge.  Then to quickly grasp the basics of sailing, apply these to changing circumstances, work closely with others, perhaps lead a team, solve problems.  And all the time thinking about staying on your feet, concentrating on what you’re doing, keeping a keen eye on changes, on what others are doing and how they’re doing it.

It could be tough.  Yet supported by our experienced crew and psychologists both on the yacht and back in the workplace, the potential for learning is huge.  And this is where the Zircon difference comes in.  With psychologists who sail, we can support the learning both on and off the boat, relating it back to the workplace and helping to embed changes where they matter.

So if individuals in your organisation are undergoing significant change or promotion, or you are looking to Assess potential, we can tailor a range of sailing activities to suit any needs and importantly any weather.  All accompanied by our expert support and guidance back in the workplace.

A typical personal development and coaching programme could involve:

  • In-house briefing – aims, objectives, completion of psychometric tests
  • Sailing event – that can include elements of competition, leadership, problem solving, reactions in emergencies, team working, resilience and tenacity, and communication.
  • Immediate post event de-brief – key learning points
  • In-house coaching and support – applying the learning back to the workplace, gathering more data and feedback for example via a bespoke 360 feedback tool


What better way to identify how a team will operate or what underlying strengths and weaknesses already exist?  Similar to the activities for personal development and coaching, we can devise sailing experience to facilitate the exploration of embedded behaviours and learned behaviour patterns within a team as opposed to focussing purely on the individual.  This can be of real benefit for:

Existing teams

The benefit of identifying and strengthening positive team behaviours and identifying and changing negative team behaviours is enormous.  Even seemingly high performing teams can get stuck into a way of working that whilst it is delivering results may still ultimately become limiting. 

New teams

Setting up a project team?  What are the potential costs of ineffective and inefficient team working?  What price to identify and resolve potential problems beforehand?  Or perhaps embedding a new leader?  How beneficial for them to see the team ‘in the raw’?  A sailing experience can provide just the environment to quickly and clearly identify potential strengths, weaknesses and ultimately costs and benefits.

A typical engagement programme could involve:

  • In-house briefing – aims, objectives
  • Sailing event – that can include elements of competition, problem solving, reactions in emergencies, team working, resilience and tenacity, and communication.
  • Immediate post event de-brief – key learning points
  • In-house facilitation – to give the team the tools to applying their own group learning back to the workplace

The Zircon / Spinnaker difference

The yachts are sailed by experienced skippers to ensure safety and security.  The activities are designed by our psychologists who have both sailing and management experience in conjunction with the experienced skippers.  This ensures that whatever your needs, and pretty much whatever the weather, we can provide an experience that will fully meet these.  With our experienced team we can provide all of the relevant support before, during and after the event to provide a seamless suite of personal and team development activities that will ultimately support your business development.

Please contact Amanda Potter 01737 555 862 amanda.potter@zircon-mc.co.uk for more information.

Written by Richard Cooper and Andy McBurnie, Zircon Business Managers, Trained Psychologists and Master Mariners.

Be Sociable, Share!

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.