Off to Antarctica for a year – a study in team
preparation for the National Science Foundation
A small group of scientists and support staff were readying to live and work in a remote location for a year. They needed to spend intensive time together to develop a robust foundation of teamwork including Integration and orientation to each other personally and professionally and building a strong sense of team identity. Specific objectives included:
- Increased knowledge and skills in advanced cooperative problem-solving strategies and tactics
- Basic ability to analyze interpersonal conflict and provide peer mediation and coaching support
- Increased confidence in the ability to communicate effectively in a range of contexts
- Increased ability and confidence in giving and receiving feedback effectively
- Increased knowledge and skills in implementing situationally-appropriate decision-making methods
- Increased ability to analyze and respond to changing group dynamics
- Increased confidence in coping mechanisms for handling strong emotions (self and others)
- Increased confidence and ability to function effectively in times of crisis
This three-day workshop utilized highly experiential elicitive approaches for instilling knowledge and developing skills. Through a series of team simulations, participants faced increasingly challenging situations where solutions depend on applying effective leadership and team skills. Facilitators provided guidance along the way, including revealing helpful models, tools, and tips. Most importantly, the facilitators moderated reflective pre and post-activity debrief discussions aimed at uncovering wisdom and strengths within the group.
- Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI®)
- Build a Boat simulation
- Conflict Resolution Strategies and Tactic
- Cooperative Problem-solving and Mediation
- Team Performance Challenges – interactive team exercise
- GeoTrek practical scenario (large group outdoor navigation scenario)
- Next Steps: Action Items and Intentions
- Local chapter leaders returned home better equipped to lead proactively.
- Difficult situations can now be self-sufficiently managed as they arise.
- Stronger organizational identity and a robust network of peer leaders.
- More effective communication skills have decreased silos.