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Thread: Team Training for Geocaching

  1. #1
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    Default Team Training for Geocaching

    I would like to start a tread about teamwork. Please add any thoughts or ideas you may have that will help us all work together.

    There has been a lot of discussion recently about getting organized. This thread is not about getting organized, but about working together as a team. Please do not bring up any specific issues. If you feel the need to present an issue to illustrate a point, please use an anecdote from some other, unrelated experience. Feel free to discuss any strategies that cachers outside of New England use, but do not mention ANYTHING about local cachers.

  2. #2
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    Four stages of team development
    1, Forming:
    A gorup gets together to achieve ceratin common goals.
    I beegins to set goals and objectives, identify problems and develop and assign roles.

    2. Storming:
    Members test their roles with the group
    Memgers determine friends and foes.
    There is conflict and frustration.

    3. Norming
    The group addressed expected and proper behavior of individual members and the group. Norms can include:
    Social norms, how to behave in the group and when representing the group.
    Allegiance norms, the loyalty expected from group members in good times and bad.
    Leadership, formal and informal designation of leaders.

    4, Perfomring:
    Group cohesiveness exists if five factors are present:
    Loyalty
    Satisfaction or indiveidusl members needs
    Conformity to group norms by majority of group
    Flexibilty, acceptance of differences of group members
    Open Communication.

  3. #3

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    tat : Four stages of team development

    With the exception of "forming", I don't think that those really apply to the sort of "team" that has relevance to geocaching... The rest of that sounds like dealing with power struggles and pack dominance issues, which would make something "fun" turn into just another form of "work".

    Allegiance? Loyalty? Conformity? Open communication? Aside from deciding when to call it a DNF, those simply don't come up. The de facto "leader" owns the transportation when between sites, and the GPS when at one, no negotiation required.

    Personally, I'd like to see some concrete suggestions in this thread - Not management-speak , for which I have no patience (no offense - many endeavors do take good management, but I don't think that applies on the scale of interest here).

    For example, given two to six people, and any number of GPSs up to the number of people, how best do we divide the labor? I usually go as a group of just two, and just one GPS, so we find ground-zero, put the GPS down to mark the spot, then search out from there. Once we find the box, Laura usually does the logging in, while I photograph the box and keep an eye out for unwanted visitors.

    With more than two, Dave (or Mainiac?) mentioned the other day that some otherwise too-visible boxes become possible, in that a group of people can block unwanted eyes from the actual spot even while managing to log in right in otherwise plain sight.

    Not sure how more than one GPS would work, particularly if they disagree by a substantial distance...

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by ribnag
    I usually go as a group of just two, and just one GPS, so we find ground-zero, put the GPS down to mark the spot, then search out from there. Once we find the box, Laura usually does the logging in, while I photograph the box and keep an eye out for unwanted visitors.
    I watched "THe Group" looking for my "Moxie Trail Crossing" cache yesterday, There were about 10 people, the first couple walked up to where the cache was (obviously), and waited for the rest to come along. Then the debate about who was going to move the pile of sticks! LOL!

  5. #5
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    Default Example

    2 people agree to do some caches. Ahead of time they discuss time to meet. Once a couple of times are presented, a compromise is struck and the time is determined. They also discuss vehicles and decide which one and who drives. They find out one of them is a better navigator and the other has the better vehicle. An unspoken rule has been formed. One will now be the driver the other will be the navigator. If a disagreement comes up, the alpha dog, usually wins. When they get to the cache it is a multi, full of math and clues. Each one will put forth their best effort. Alas the time has come to perform, either find the cache or, admit a mistake and try again. If the team is to survive, and cache together again, those rules that have been made will most likely stay in place. After doing several caches, the team has discovered strengths and weaknesses. Using each other, they capitalize on each other's strengths and have very few defeats.
    Why not live life like it is your last day....instead of pretending to be a member of the Peter Pan Club and believing you will be around forever.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by ribnag
    Personally, I'd like to see some concrete suggestions in this thread - Not management-speak , for which I have no patience (no offense - many endeavors do take good management, but I don't think that applies on the scale of interest here).
    I'll try to use more concrete examples. I also hate management speak. I don't get much done with managemnt it the way. If anything comes off like a bad Dilbert comic strip, please help rewrite it.

    If the some of the other posts are any indication, we (the geocaching comunity) are at the "storming" stage. It's good to know that this is normal, we don't need to panic, we don't need to hate each other. I do think Maine has a good bunch of cachers who clearly want to do right.

    Many of us seem to have common goals such as ensuring access for caching, making another coin, making caches more plesant, etc. Traditionally, a small group of managers tell everone what to do. This is not acceptable to most of us here. We need to make a new model for working together.

  7. #7

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    tat : we don't need to panic, we don't need to hate each other.

    Oh dear - Did I write another one that sounded too hostile? Sorry, quite unintentional.


    Traditionally, a small group of managers tell everone what to do. This is not acceptable to most of us here. We need to make a new model for working together.

    Agreed. I suspect something more like the open source model of software development would work - Something less hierarchical and more "from each according to his abilities", if you'll forgive the source of the quote.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by ribnag
    ...I suspect something more like the open source model of software development would work - Something less hierarchical and more "from each according to his abilities", if you'll forgive the source of the quote.
    This is exactly the point of the discussion. It is obvious from the poll regarding organization that consensus is: We do not want to be organized, at least not in the traditional, dues paying, elitist sense.

    We need to get any ideas together to create a non-organized way of getting things done. I think the two key things are: being able to get things done and making sure everyone has equal input in decisions.

  9. #9
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    My head is hurting from all of this heady reading.
    "Courage is not the absence of fear, but the realization that there is something more important than fear."

    "Death is only one of many ways to die."

  10. #10
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    The Alpha Dog analogy is good. That is what most people are forced to deal with at work. On this site, I don't think we have anyone that can take that role because we won't let them. But, we don't let Idea people have much of chance either. As soon as an idea is presented, the Analyzers come out of the wood work shooting things down, grasping onto a bad idea and mostly arguing the subject to death. Then, the Get ‘Er Done people try to stop all discussion and move to resolution.

    What we need to do is find a way to get the Alpha Dogs get things started, the Idea people to come up with good ideas and wacky ideas. Then let the Analyzers hash out what will really work. The Get ‘Er Done people will probably have a clear consensus and may not need to vote.

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