Editor’s Note: This is part of a series from Charley Hogwood of P.R.E.P. on mutual assistance groups.
Just because a group of people finds themselves together in a situation doesn’t mean they are capable of performing as one, no matter how motivated they are. Training and regular teamwork projects are necessary to develop the cohesiveness needed to better their chances of success.
MAG Blind Spots: It Starts with Exercises
Well organized mutual assistance group exercises will force everyone to participate as a team to break down the walls of animosity and self-confidence. The MAG will enjoy more open communication.
The exercises will facilitate sharing of information and expectations among members. By improving the social bonding through team exercises, the mutual assistance group will reduce that awkwardness of being around relative strangers. Members will relate and understand each other better which in turn will increase loyalty and trust. These exercises will also show who is not a team player and may not be compatible with the group’s stated goals.
MAG Gap Analysis for Blind Spots
A gap is a missing dot that is needed for continuity. For example, you make a plan to extinguish a fire at the MAG retreat location. A fire breaks out and everyone rushes to their stations. Is there a working fire extinguisher? Is the fire extinguisher trapped on the other side of the fire and not by a doorway?
For our purposes there will be three types of blind spots that can become problematic to the survivor:
- Physical blind spots are the most obvious and refer to the area behind a physical obstacle. Such a blind spot might shield someone approaching our position. For example, think about a shed that an intruder might hide behind as he advances on your home.
- The next type of blindspot is an unknown condition in a plan or activity. You can only plan for what you know or imagine.
- The most overlooked blindspot is actually a fatal flaw in the decision making process. It is very hard to plan for something you didn’t even know existed.
An effective leader will find a way to walk it back where such a problem does not jeopardize the task at hand.