Leadership and Teamwork in the bush!
We’ve just got back from the mighty Flinders Rangers where we spent six days working with two groups developing their leadership and team work skills. We enjoyed fantastic weather and of course some stunning scenery and some successful outcomes!!
The program, ‘An introduction to Outdoor Leadership’ was designed to use the outdoor environment as the ‘workplace’ and the participants as the team within the ‘organisation’. This structure provides the opportunity for participants to work in an environment that replicates the challenges and opportunities of the workplace and provides instant feedback on behavioural effectiveness, ie. the outcome of problem solving, decision making, time management and interpersonal relationships
Groups were to safely and successfully complete a three day bushwalking scenario, camping at different locations, carrying all necessary equipment and supplies for survival. Each participant was to take on a leadership and support role at some point throughout the walk.
A number of safety and emergency response scenarios were played out throughout the program to challenge participants different skills sets, leadership and teamwork ability.
All groups sucessfully completed the training with a heightened awareness of the impact of their behaviours on the rest of the group, their current leadership skills and in what areas they need to develop.
The Power of Experiential Learning
Time and again we see the powerful effect of experiential learning in providing feedback to facilitate behavioural change for more effective outcomes. By structuring scenarios that replicate those challenges faced withing organisations, teams receive instant feedback on their behaviours. This feedback creates awareness, which in turn generates the necessary discussion around aligning effective behaviours for effective organisational outcomes.
There is little value in heading and outdoors and playing out scenarios if there is no discussion and reflection on the experience – the debrief.
Debriefing the events of the day was done after dinner at camp. Questioning along the lines of; ‘What happened?’ ‘What was effective?’ ‘What challenges did you face?’ ‘What would you have done differently?’generates valuable discussion around effective and not so effective behaviours.
Various issues aourse between the groups throughout the programs, such as getting lost, having to back track, low morale levels and stressed relations between participants.
Discussions identified a number of key issues
- The impact of poor communication
- The effect of not having a shared vision/goal or not effectively communicating it
- How do you motivate as a leader when morale is down
- The role and impact of confidence in your ability to be an effective leader
- The impact of not being accountable
- Situational Leadership – ability of the leader to use the appropriate style for the situation
High Performance Organisations
The above issues identified are exactly the same issues faced by leaders and teams within organisations- a lack of shared vision, a lack of accountability, poor and ineffective communication along with many others
Thinking about your organisation, can you relate to these issues? Has your team taken time out recently to reflect on where it is at and the effectiveness of its current culture? Does your team operate at a high performance? Is your organisation achieving effective outcomes?
If not, why not?
We would love to hear your thoughts and ideas!