Recently, I was lucky enough to be a part of Education Through Expedition (ETE) a leadership training course consisting of some initial workshops and then finishing with an expedition in Dartmoor, putting to the test what we learnt through the workshops.
We worked through several activities, these included;
Good Boss, Bad Boss
The first activity was to identify what we thought made a good leader and what makes a bad leader. Across the groups the criteria we chose was very similar, however when we were asked to rank these in order of importance, no groups order was the same. This really highlighted the fact that everyone has differing preferences when it comes to leadership.
How large groups and small groups function differently.
The group was divided into different sized groups, we were all given the same task to complete. First as an individual you had to prioritise a list of equipment you might need if you were stranded on the moon. Then as a group you had to decide what you thought were the most important items. Both lists were then compared to the list compiled by NASA.
We found that although larger groups took longer to complete the task they were more accurate when the group list was compared to the NASA list, this may be because there were more opinions to hear.
The different ways we can categorise management styles
Finally we learned 4 different ways to categorise team behaviour. The 4 different categories are shown in the picture below.
All of us have elements of all of the colours, however, some people are more of one colour than the others. Are you able to identify yourself as one of these colours? If you’re interested to find out more visit this website.
The expedition consisted of two days and a night on Dartmoor. We were in small groups with a trained ETE leader, we paired up and took it in turns to navigate to different points on the map. At times this was challenging especially when we weren’t sure what on earth we were looking for! My teams approach was that if you were unsure you would discuss with the group and based on evidence would decide what the next step would be. This seemed to be quite an effective way of working together and we navigated successfully through Dartmoor.
One unforeseen challenge of the expedition was that storm Ophelia rolled into town and caused havoc. There were high winds, so much so that we were unable to put the tents up and so instead stayed in a little cabin in the middle of the Moors.
The second day, instead of leading the group as a pair we lead as individuals. This did require you to be a little more assertive, which is something that I personally find challenging, but I was able to successfully navigate the group to our next checkpoint.
Later in the day we were lucky enough to have a workshop with Dartmoor search and rescue, who showed us some first aid which we later used in a simulation of a search and rescue.
After this it was time to walk back to Princetown where we had a debrief before going home.
Overall I found the experience rewarding and I learnt some new things about the way I work in a team, and ways in which I can improve. I was able to identify the fact that I am more yellow than the other colours, this is helpful going forward as I know how I work best in a team. Also I am able to identify more easily how other people function in teams and will allow me to get the most out of those people. I would definitely recommend this experience to others wanting to improve their leadership skills.
Morris, C., no date. Are you a red,blue,yellow or green personality type. Available: http://www.evancarmichael.com/library/colette-morris/Are-you-a-Red-Blue-Yellow-or-Green-Personality-Type.html (accessed: 9 November 2017).