The team management experience at Kepplewray shall now be explored in depth.
Teams have been traditionally defined as “dynamic, emergent and adaptive” units that are rooted in systems involving multiple levels (Kozlowski & Ilgen, 2006). The Kepplewray project also required us to form teams that adapt to multiple situations such as climbing on uneven rocks, aiming at the right target and jumping into the water. As part of this project, all team members were required to engage in activities such as Ghyll Scrambles, Rock Climbing, Abseiling, Canoeing, Archery, Mountain Walking and Tree Climbing. However, this project was not merely a venue for recreation but also a venue for learning team management with diverse members as it brought together both disabled and non-disabled individuals. One of the first steps in this project was that of building a team. This is necessary to enhance the effectiveness of the team, satisfy members’ needs and enhance work conditions (Brawley & Paskevich, 1997). Tuckman has explained the stages of team development as forming, storming, norming and performing which occur as the team sets goals, expands, faces challenges, tackles issues and finds their solutions and delivers the output (O'Connell & Cuthbertson, 2009). Although Tuckman suggests storming to be the most difficult stage, performing proved to be the most difficult stage in our case (Scholtes et al., 2003). While forming a team, identifying the issues (in this case the problem of climbing up steep rocks and canoeing in fast waters) or setting mutual goals was not a problem, executing tasks such as abseiling was. At the very least, group dynamism was weak as some individuals lacked energy and vitality to take up challenges owing to fear. It is believed that successful coaches possess the quality of creating and developing a vision that incorporates the differing levels of ability amongst group members as well as varying motivations, perceptions and personal characteristics (Desjardins, 1996). Good visions have the power of enhancing the emotional commitment of group members and uniting them around a task (Stevens, 2002). Since our group also contained individuals who were either disabled or obese, our coach set realistic targets and assigned certain activities such as abseiling only to those individuals who were not obese. This way group conflict was minimized. Cohesion has primarily been defined as social cohesion (the extent to which team members “like each other” and task cohesion (the extent to which members work together to achieve common objectives) (Hodge, 1995). Although social cohesion was weak at first, as time passed a positive environment was created as members got to know each other and started interacting. Task cohesion was also reflected in instances where one of us got stuck while climbing the mountain which urged one of my friends to assist that person so that he could catch up with us. Role acceptance also generates significant challenges for the team. Furthermore, role clarity and role acceptance are generally interrelated (Weinberg & Gould, 2011). One of the major issues our team faced was who will do what? There was a lot of ambiguity initially; however, right before the activities were to start the coach clarified everyone’s roles which enhanced our team’s cohesion. Although everyone would be a part of the activities, someone had to lead the team and coordinate with the coach. While climbing for instance, one of the leaders was supposed to be behind the team and one was