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Canyoning

Describe the task *


In detail, what was the aim of the task? How many teams? What was the team dynamic? Timings?
Rules & restrictions?
Our task was to climb a canyon in Lantau, Hong Kong. All we were given was a dry bag which kept
our food, towels and water in. We also had some ropes and harnesses to get up some more
difficult parts of the canyon. For our safety we were also provided a helmet and a life jacket, for
when we went through the water.
The aim of the task was to simply get to the top in one piece. To achieve this aim we all had to help
one another to get up, either by giving each other warning of dangers ahead or by simply giving
them a push up the rock. We all worked as one big team and we did not have much of a time limit,
safety was priority in this task not speed due to the high risk involved. There two rules were to keep
a bit of distance between one another and to follow the exact same path as the leader. We had to
keep some distance from one another because if we tripped our instincts would be to grab
someone next to us which could put multiple people in danger. The second rule was in place
because the leader was the most experienced in the group so he knew the correct and safest path
and if one was to go their own way this would add to the risk factor.
The team itself was fairly dynamic as we all followed the rules and therefore there were no injuries.
Also we all helped one another throughout the task and we were constantly communicating with
one another.
What was your role in the team? *
What did you do? How did you contribute? Leader or teamworker?
We all had very similar roles on the teams as we were all equally working together. We all to had to
warn one another if there were any loose rocks or dangerous obstacles up ahead. However since I
was a bit more confident with the canyon I did take on some responsibilities with the group. One of
them was being at the front a looking after the people who were slightly struggling with the climb.
My second role was when the group had to go through some deep water I decided to take initiative
and help them out because I saw some of them were very worried and on the other hand I am very
confident with swimming. What I did was simply help them cary there dry bag across the water and
also gave them some motivation by telling them they were doing good and I also game them so
advice when they were a bit frightened. The final role I had in the activity was given to me by the
leader. Some areas of the canyon were particularly hard to climb therefore he taught me the
correct technique on how to climb that part and then I stood there and instructed the rest of the
group members one my one and sometime gave them a push to help them up.
How did you perform as an individual? *
For the M & D criteria make comparisons with other individual performances in your team and
relate to theory.
I feel that an individual I was a vital part of the team due to the roles and responsibilities I took on. I
believe that without my help at times my team mates who have felt much more worried with the
activity, which decrease their productivity.
When looking at the Belbin theory I think that I took on the Team Worker role. I feel this because I
was very caring throughout the activity and kept the atmosphere happy by sometimes saying a few
jokes. Also by helping the members in my team when they were struggling I diminished there
worries by helping them during the canyon, gave them advice and also gave some motivational
support. All this helped increase the teams efficiency and productivity. When looking at the French
and Raven theory I think I had expert power. The reason for this is because my team mates were

listening to my advice and suggestions because they knew that I knew I was confident with water
as I do a lot of swimming. Also they were listening to my tips about climbing the more challenging
areas of the canyon as they were aware the leader had already instructed me how to get up
correctly.
Looking at the rest of the team I feel as if all the 8 roles were present, more than once. Some
people like Dominic was able to take on more than two roles. He was able to be both a completerfinisher and also an implementer. He was a completer finisher as he was very independent
throughout the activity and when there were parts he was a bit worried about it was evident that he
was self motivated, which is what pushed him through the activity. He was also an implementer as
he resolved challenges systematically and in an organised manner and he was still giving his best
when there were moments he didnt really want to be there. Personally I dont think that anyone
else in particular had my role.

How did you perform as a team? *


For the M & D criteria make comparisons with other team performances and relate to theory.
Analysing the team as a whole I think that we all worked together really well. We all collaborated in
our own ways and this helped make the team productive throughout the activity. Since all of the 8
bellman roles were present we were able to have a perfect team. The leader was also very
organised, he gave us a brief and gave us rests where we were allowed us to give any feedback or
improvements we thought needed to take place. This helped keep the team enthusiastic, motivated
and happy. The leader then made changes to satisfy our needs.
In terms of the way we worked as a team I feel like we clearly showed that we went trough the
stages stated in Tuckmans theory. We started off very slowly to see who had certain strengths and
who had certain weaknesses. We then made adjustments to our tactics for completing the task.
This was the forming stage. About half way through the hike we had a break and there was a bit of
tension and arguments, this was the storming stage. This was because the team accidentally was
not controlling their pace to satisfy the needs of the whole team which ended up in a few people
being left behind. The leader then made sure we took more breaks and payed more attention to
the people at the back of the group. By doing this we were norming. We then started performing as
the team now collaborating much better since we stuck all together, this kept the back of the group
much happier which also increased their productivity. At the end of the hike we had a de-brief and
all broke off, which showed the adjourning stage.
Since there was only one team I cannot really compare our performance to another team.
What were your strengths? *
Communication, problem solving, time management, supporting others, physical abilities,
confidence, motivation, resolving conflict, praise, questioning, body language, listening,
awareness, creativity etc
In this activity I showed that I had a few strengths which I used effectively. My first strength was my
communication. I was able to constantly talk with the leader and then report what he said to the
rest of the team and vice versa. Some of this communication was crucial as the leader would pass
on some serious safety hazards up ahead or some dangerous climbs up ahead. I was also able to
communicate the advice the leader gave to me for climbing the challenging rocks to the rest of the
team by standing as a checkpoint at that point. I then was also able to communicate
encouragement and advice from my own expertise when we were in the water, which helped some
of my team members feel much more confident in getting across. By doing that I also showed that I
was good a praising my team and at supporting them. My final strengths was my listening skills. I
was able to listen to my leader constantly and at the same time listen to the rest of the team. I then
would make adoptions to my style of working if needed or pass on the word.

What were your weaknesses? *


Communication, problem solving, time management, supporting others, physical abilities,
confidence, motivation, resolving conflict, praise, questioning, body language, listening,
awareness, creativity etc
During the canyoning I felt like I had two very evident weakness, which was my problem solving
and also by creativity. When I was struggling I would tend to immediately as the leader for help and
suggestions. If the leader was not there I would ask someone next to me to help. I would either ask
for advice or for a push, which at time was not very necessary. Instead I should have used my own
creativity and problem solving skills to solve it myself. Apart from these weakness I do not think I
showed any other ones.
How could you improve for next time? *
Make future recommendations for yourself, your team and other individuals / teams.
On a personal level if I were to redo this activity I would focus on improving my weakness which
was my problem solving and my creativity. To do this I would have to stop rushing the activity as
much but instead at times I would have to simply stop and think myself the best solution to solve
the problem. By doing this I would also allow my creativity to kick in as my creativity would be able
to help solve the problem.
When looking at the team I think it we all worked together really well but there is one improvement
that we could make for the future. Our awareness needs to be improved. We did become more
aware of one another half way through the hike but this was only because some pointed it out. This
could be resolved by the leader mentioning about waiting for one another and being patient in the
briefing so that we are much more cautious from the beginning of the activity.
My suggestion for the individuals in the group would be some people should have talked and
communicated with one another much more. With this sort of activity we all needed to talk to one
another as we were all relying on one another. This could be resolved by encouraging each other
to talk by asking questions about how it is going throughout the climb.
The leader himself needs to make sure that he follows the French and Raven theory from the
beginning of the activity. This is because the power he was trying to get from us was not very
evident. He was mainly quite quiet and did not give out may roles and instructions. This was a
major problem as you need an efficient leader to help lead the team correctly. If the leader cannot
gain much power from the group in such a team work demanding task everyone will start to do
their own thing and this can lead to mistakes and injuries. In fact we did have people left behind,
however the leader adjusted his approach and then gained informational power as he was giving
us information about dangers ahead or how to climb specific sections. Also before starting the
climb he should have discussed with us some SMART goals. This is because we were not very
organised when doing the task and some people were just being pushed to far beyond their limits
that they ended up becoming very exhausted and could not keep up with the team.
Was there any conflict in the group? *
If yes, describe why and how was it resolved? If no, what did the leader do to ensure this was the
case?
As mentioned before we did encounter one conflict half way through the activity. This was because
the front of the group was not very considerate of the people at the back. The front was going too
fast for the people at the back to keep up with, which resulted in a few people being left behind.
This was resolved by having a democratic discussion at our break. The people at the back
presented the problem to the leader. The leader then made sure we took more breaks and that we
slowed down the pace so that we could all stick together.
How else could you use relevant theory to analyse the overall performance today? *

Leadership styles, Belbin, Tuckman, Adair, Honey, Margerison & Mccann, Woodcock,
Overall today I think we preformed very well and this was mainly thanks to the leader and how he
lead us. He was very much a democratic leader as he would give out instructions and then would
take in feedback and advice and when he thought the feedback was good he made changes. I
believe that this style of leadership was the most appropriate for this activity as it kept all of us
happy as we felt like we were involved in the decision making. Being happy in a very physically
challenging activity is important as it keeps motivation high and therefore increase our
performance. At times he was autocratic as there was not time to discuss. The final theory that was
evident was the Tannenbaum and Schmidt theory. The leader at the beginning was empowering
us. We were all mainly focussing on achieving the task ourselves even though this was a team
activity. Therefore after we had our meeting half way through the canyon the leader decided to use
the selling approach, where he would present ideas and we would give feedback. However at
times he did take full control, meaning he was telling us what to do, because we had to move on
and their was no room for mistakes and no time for discussions.