Healthcare and Medicine Reference
In-Depth Information
A Personal Reflection on Teams and the Importance
of Good Leadership
The following story is provided by Michelle Collette, RN, a highly
experienced OR supervisor in a large teaching hospital in the North East
of the United States.
“I was part of a team that was pulled together to implement educa-
tion for a change in care delivery in our department. We were informed
that a person who had no experience in our area would be our team
leader. Our group assignment was to come up with a spreadsheet identi-
fying all of the education that the department would need to implement
the new policy and procedures. We were given two 4-hour meetings as a
group to complete the assignment but completed it in one 4-hour session
and were pretty pleased with ourselves. We were told by our administra-
tor that our part was done and that our leader would contact some peo-
ple who were identified as content experts to add their input to the plan.
All of us left the meeting saying 'great, that's done and it wasn't as painful
as we expected it to be.'
About a month later our leader called us into another 4-hour meet-
ing. We were all confused about the reason for the meeting but, of
course, we went as we were told. Our leader informed us that we were
delinquent. We asked what that meant. He said that no one had con-
tacted the other content experts for their input and we are all in trouble.
We responded by saying that he was assigned to do that. A lively discus-
sion followed and our leader decided he would do it but he was very
unhappy about it. Once again we left the meeting thinking the work was
Fast forward another month and we all got summoned to an emer-
gency meeting about the original assignment and we were once again
informed that we were delinquent because we hadn't turned over our
standards and procedures to the 'educational designers.' We asked what
educational designers were, where did they come from, what they
needed, and why we hadn't been told? In response, our leader informed
us that this is the way it was done in the military and why didn't we
know what educational designers were? I have been an educator for 26
years and I'm still not sure what an educational designer is. Another lively
discussion followed and we turned in what was asked of us (we had the
items needed anyway).
I think what happened was that our leader (fresh out of the military)
thought that the world functions like the military and failed to fully
explain the expectations of the group or his role and just assumed that
we knew what he wanted. I don't think he really knew, either. The
interesting thing is that all the team members interpreted things the same
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