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Specialist in focused outdoor management and team development, particularly for small and medium-sized businesses and teams in the public and independent sectors.

Paul Cousins
Outdoor Management and Team Development

Philosophy

There are many providers offering outdoor management development [OMD] or team development, and it is often difficult to determine whether the service on offer will meet your team's needs. On this page I have attempted to lay out the personal philosophy which underpins my work. I hope you will be able to use this information to decide whether my approach suits your team.

I am a psychologist with 20+ years experience working as an individual clinician, in teams, within both the public and independent sectors. I am a grounded individual who, throughout my working life, has remained interested in people. I am also a qualified mountain leader and have been mountain walking for many years. For me, the hills and mountains are beautiful and I regularly spend time hill walking to place the demands of working life into perspective. I am keen to balance work and leisure, and you will find this reflected in my outdoor team development programme.

During the 1990s many outdoor management development programmes emphasised competencies or diversionary 'fun' activities, such as paintballing. Whilst these are valid in themselves, they lack the process of review and integration necessary to make changes in team process - important if you're to enhance team functioning. Whilst I enjoy outdoor activity, I've not lost sight that this is merely a medium for tackling the primary issues - team functioning, particularly team dynamics. So, you will not be employing a hard taskmaster who prioritises outdoor activity over your team objectives. This, I believe, is the particular advantage of a psychological approach from an experienced practitioner.

Inclusion is fundamental to my work, and you can be assured that each member of your team will be monitored and consulted throughout the programme. I have purposefully restricted the range of outdoor activities to ensure that the focus remains on team dynamics and objectives, rather than offer a cluttered programme of events which lacks coherence. Our work will be in the mountains of western Lake District, including Scafell Pike, the highest peak in England.

I am a firm believer that outdoor events should not equate with undue hardship. The elements and the task of mountain walking itself will normally provide sufficient adversity, so I believe your accommodation should not! For this reason I have chosen the Wasdale Head Inn as a comfortable base for all non-mountain activity. The Inn is situated at the head of Wasdale, almost in the mountains itself, and provides comfortable rooms, good food and an unparalleled setting in which to carry out seminar work, in addition to a well-appointed bar for relaxation.

Finally, I am committed to my own professional development. I am involved in regular peer supervision and I maintain attendance at conferences and seminars to keep abreast of professional developments and ensure best practice. You can be assured, then, that my work with your team will be to a professional standard and based upon considerable experience of teams and hills.

Scafell Pike: outdoor management development programme in the mountains
Scafell Pike from near Great End. Photo by Walking Britain

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