Seven Principles of Successful Dive Leaders

December 10, 2007 by Scuba Herald 

Exceptional Dive Leaders have that “special something” that sets them apart from the crowd. It’s not as mysterious as it sounds. Most of the time, that “special something” is the sheer determination to maintain positive habits of learning and teaching. Do you want to join the ranks of highly effective Dive Leaders? You can start with these seven proven boosters.

1. Increase Your Self-Discipline – If you are like most people, you find it easy to do bang-up job when you are in high spirits. The real test comes when you are not feeling motivated or particularly energetic. Are these good enough reasons to snap at customers or behave like a nasty martyr? No!

As Dive Leaders, like it or not, you are a role model. You set the standard when it comes to personal behavior, so make sure that standard is high. A moment of impulsiveness can tear your students learning ability. The signs of self-control include “being unfazed under stress or handling a person without lashing out in return.”

Remember people learn because of curiosity and frustration. Sometimes it is even both. Notice that in frustration you see three very important letters – F U N… Make it fun and rewarding

2. Show Consistent Kindness – Good Dive Leaders don’t throw their weight around or rely on intimidation to get results. Do you? Any job–especially Dive Leaders–involves the support and assistance of others. You can’t perform effectively as a one-man band.

One impressive Dive Leader was aware of the power of this habit. This person always made it a point to say “good job” to the students. The class may have been large, but this did not ! deter he r from interacting with everyone. She would arrive at class early to chat with the students. Talk about a feeling of respect! This person knew that many of these “students” were either comfortable or uncomfortable. The more encouragement they felt, the more pride they would take in “their” scuba class.

3. Stretch Goals – What if the following words came out of an airplane loudspeaker: “Folks, I have good news and bad news. The bad news is we have lost our direction finder and one engine. The good news is we have a tail wind, so wherever we’re going we will get there at a rate of 600 miles an hour.” The bad news certainly outweighs the good, right? So it is with your ability to encourage or discourage students. You should work toward one goal with every student. “The only way you become successful in life is by helping someone else become successful first.” Make sure your students are successful divers and they will bring so many more customers and MAKE you successful. Thus, the quote!

4. Welcome Criticism – Criticism may sting, but you must embrace feedback and not avoid it. After all, how else will you know what to improve upon? Don’t fool yourself into thinking other opinions don’t matter. In the business world, your credibility and reputation play a key role in how far–and how quickly–you move ahead. Soliciting input from others always leaves you with a clearer view of your blind spots. Becoming defensive and hostile when faced with constructive criticism will insulate you from the truth and greatly limit your potential.

Have you asked your students what you could be doing better? You might be surprised at how revealing their answers will be. Are you worried that they won’t be candid with you? Ask your questio! ns in a non-threatening manner. For example: “I’m always interested in improving my people skills. Can you give me some insight on how I can be more effective?” This tactic is safe, constructive, and much better than bluntly asking, “What am I doing wrong?”

Are you listening to the customer who ultimately writes your check?

5. Be a Solution-Finder, Not a Problem-Identifier – It takes no particular talent to find fault, but many behave as though their “gift” must be shared again and again. You may know people who constantly nit-pick about decisions. These professional problem-identifiers generally get you stuck in life. Choosing to criticize or blame shows great disloyalty and sets a lousy example. You have a duty to stand behind the powers that be, regardless of whether or not you agree whole-heartedly with their decisions.

Do you have to suffer in silence when you disagree vehemently with something? Not at all! You can develop the habit of criticizing positively by recommending a more perfect solution.

6. Show Boundless Enthusiasm – Enthusiasm is contagious, and successful Dive Leaders realize the effect their attitude has on their mood and productivity. Constantly whining and complaining depletes valuable resources of energy. Can you afford it? The same situation, when presented to positive and negative personalities, will be perceived differently. An optimist looks forward to change and solves tough problems with enthusiasm. Good things seem to routinely come their way!

Students will absorb your energy if you show a passion for diving. In fact, many will mold themselves after you in terms of their energy level and equipment. If you refuse to show enthusiasm, don’t be surprised when you find yourself ! not lead ing a group to go diving or to not be called the next time a class is available.

7. Embrace Those Opportunities – Great opportunities are often disguised. Are you like so many other Dive Leaders, content to sit back and wait for opportunities to appear on a silver platter? You could wait forever. Instead of waiting for “them” to take care of it, get busy, show some initiative, and take a risk. Organizations change when Dive Leaders seize opportunities with boldness and confidence.

Developing successful habits isn’t easy. Like anything worthwhile, it takes commitment and conviction. If these habits were simple, every single Dive Instructor would have already put them into practice, and that’s just not the case. Are you up to the challenge?

Good Luck!

SSI Working Harder to Ensure Your Business Success!

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