Definition: “A group of players forming one side in a competitive game or sport.”
Very interesting wording: “forming one side”. Over the years we have worked with many practices with different quantities of staff, from one doctor and one staff member, up to a practice that had 6 owners and 32 staff. Even in the little ones we have seen the doctor and the staff member on opposite sides, fighting each other’s ideas and productivity. In the bigger practices with more players, we have seen cliques that are pitting themselves against each other like they are on opposing teams.
These situations reduce the effectiveness of the staff’s efforts, distract everyone from delivering high level care to the patients and clients, and generally lower the pleasantness of working at a meaningful job. Coming into work in the morning can become a chore.
We are all different as individuals and yet have been selected (hired) to be on a certain team called “the office” and like any team, we have to work out how to work together in harmony for the greatest good for the practice and the patients.
One of the reasons we stress making a Mission Statement for the practice is so that there is a common purpose which has been worked out and agreed to by all staff, and it brings everyone together in the accomplishment of that purpose.
T.E.A.M. is an acronym for Together Everyone Accomplishes More. Two people working in concert can accomplish more than two individuals on their own. Three working together achieve more than three working apart. And so on.
Like a hockey team, sometimes the Defenceman will skate down the ice and act like a Forward player in order to accomplish the purpose of the team, i.e. scoring the winning goal. In a good team, the Forward would have quickly assumed the Defenceman’s position so there is no chink in the team’s armor. Once the goal is scored, they will give back to each other their normal positions. This can also be called Elastic Team Tactics (military term as well as for teams).
If you don’t already have a Mission Statement, maybe now would be a good time to create one. If you have one, get it out and dust it off from time to time to make sure all the staff is continuously aligned into a single TEAM.