As cabin crew, you could find yourself working with a different set of crew on each flight you make.
Unfortunately, it’s likely that sooner or later you’ll come across someone who you don’t quite gel with. This is perfectly OK! Despite your feelings, you will have to stay professional and push your personal opinions to the side for the duration of the flight.
In this blog, our industry partner, Cabin Crew Wings, share their thoughts on how best to manage relationships with colleagues.
The Importance of Communication
One of your responsibilities as crew is to ensure the safety of passengers during the flight. To do this you need to work together as a team, and ensure good communication at all times. If you can’t, things can escalate quickly during an emergency situation.
Some people are naturally more abrasive to work with than others, but try to not take it personally. It is difficult, but unless their behaviour is unacceptably rude, aggressive or it jeopardises the safety of the flight, then try to remain civil. This can be more difficult than it sounds but try not to let your agitation get the upper hand.
As cabin crew, you’re the ‘face’ of the airline and it’s part of your responsibilities to remain professional at all times, whether you’re dealing with customers or colleagues.
Dealing With Difficult Colleagues
While it’s important to get on with your flight duties, you can still assess the situation with an awkward team member. You can also bring it to the attention of senior crew member if:
- Your colleague is doing something that is against protocol
- Your colleague is refusing to carry out their assigned duties
- Your colleague is being abusive, unprofessional or using inappropriate language
- Your colleague is acting against the diversity commitment of your airline
If you feel like you are being bullied or discriminated against, this is not acceptable. You are within your rights to calmly, discreetly and professionally talk to your colleague about the situation if you feel it will help. If it has the potential to cause disruption during the flight, it may be better to talk to a senior crew member or someone with more experience first.
Sometimes a situation with a colleague may not affect the quality of service on the flight, but it may make you feel anxious or irritated. Maybe you feel like you’re being left out, or that a more experienced crew-member is talking down to you.
It’s difficult, particularly when you’re just starting out in your cabin crew career, but you need to rise above it. For every person that you don’t get along with, you’ll meet many more that you will.
When a team member doesn’t do their fair share, or displays a bad attitude, there’s a risk that this can drag down the morale and productivity of the rest of the team; this can lead to poor team efficiency, lower levels of commitment and less focus.
In these scenarios, ignoring the issue can make things worse as other members of the team could get frustrated.
It’s important to consider the cause of the person’s behaviour. It could be that they are dealing with a stressful situation at home, or maybe feeling work pressures that you’re unaware of. It could even be that they lack confidence and they’re not sure how best to contribute.
Instead of tackling your co-worker head on with your frustrations, try and find out if there are any reasons which are contributing to their low output.
This way, you can find out if there is a root cause, or if they are just unaware or unwilling to contribute to the team. By having an open discussion, you can also give them a better understanding of what is expected of them.