Teamwork 101?

Teamwork - it gets sh*t done.

Teamwork – it gets sh*t done.

In my quest for world domination, I am learning a lot more about people than I would have ever thought possible.

My original group of wonder-women total six (including yours truly), and while I initially thought we were diverse? I am finding my newest group of super-heroes (in training) have really outdone the first group.

This new group consists of 18 (?) people in all different shapes, sizes and temperaments. There are quiet ones, outspoken ones, purely professional ones, the predominantly-male-who-don’t-get-involved-in-the-departmental-drama ones, the leaders, and the followers. There are a handful that are so reliable that you can set your clock by them and the handful that aren’t.

The one item of business that I can find that they all have in common, however, is that they are tired of their department not getting the respect that it deserves…errr…desires. They have valid complaints, and on the one hand I totally understand and want them all to be taken more seriously. On the other hand, I can see where some improvements could (and should) be made on their parts. I don’t see how they will get professional credibility if they don’t make an effort to improve how they might (and have been) perceived by our customers.

Getting patients from point A to point B is what I would consider a “mission critical” endeavor, as it keeps the nurses on the floors where they are needed. Sometimes I think that this little detail gets swept up under the rug.

What is really funny to me is that while this group seems to be working against each other, they all basically want the same thing – and that is respect, pride in their department, and a cohesive team, even though nobody will speak up in a group meeting and say that. I’ve had a lot of one-on-ones with them and they verbalize it differently, but it seems to be what the vast majority of them want.

My two most important goals right now are to join a patient transport organization (because the resources and continuing education opportunities are terrific) and to get everyone’s attitudes adjusted so that there are fewer hurt feelings and more willingness to listen to others’ opinions.

I am currently looking for team building exercises disguised as games, and keep stumbling over the same ones over and over. If anyone out there knows of some good ones, please let me know. One of my personal favorites is “Two Truths & a Lie,” which is self-explanatory.

I spoke with two employees at great length today who seemed to have been on opposite ends of the spectrum, and it turns out that they both want what is best for the department, and both want the same things as far as what needs to be repaired. o.O That was an eye-opener to me.

I understand that it’s going to be more difficult to get 18 people to willingly experience “group-think” (or whatever you want to call it) than it is to get six people on the same sheet of music, but I believe that it can be done. I look at our Radiology department, and see that there can be a whole bunch of personality types working under the same roof and STILL come off as friendly, professional and caring. It shouldn’t be THAT hard for 18 people to work together, especially if they all want the same thing.

So while I have spent the last two days at work running around like a chicken with her head cut off, neglecting my original department because so much is broken with the new group that it’s required a lot of attention, I have been assigning tasks to my Service Center team, and you know they are getting it done. I can zing through the office, dropping off assignments at the desks and know that I don’t have to think about them again. That is the object of the game with my new department.

I don’t want them to feel like cast-offs or misfits anymore, but valuable members of a team. I know it is going to take time, and I think that those of you who have read my blog for any length of time know that patience is not my strong suit. Unrealistically, I want this group fixed yesterday. (Kind of like I really need my ankle to be 100% yesterday.) Realistically, I am hoping for within a year…

So here’s to patience, teamwork, and low-drama! (Raising my wine glass.) We can eat more brains as a team than we can on our own.

What has been your biggest professional challenge to date? How did you jump the hurdle?

Until Next Time…

About Julie the Workaholic

Mom of three (grown) sons and one (grown) step-daughter, wife of one, friend of many, and owned by seven 4-legged critters, writer, photographer, friend, huge fan of life, and most of all, lover of all things beautiful .….Getting healthy, and hoping to make a dent in the world in a most positive way! (And then there's my alter-ego, the Workaholic, who is me, just unfiltered.)
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15 Responses to Teamwork 101?

  1. kamrynwhowanders says:

    Don’t worry. I’m sure you will turn your tiny piece of the world into a friendly little dictatorship full of people committed to organized and terrifyingly competent war– er, work.

  2. weight2lose2013 says:

    I manage a team of 17 people right now, and have had as many as 32. There’s always an issue with personalities. I think that my success has been in equity. If everyone feels that they’re treated as fairly as everyone else, they tend to want to work harder for me. It’s a lot of work and it takes time to get there, but without it, work was miserable.

    • Rob, that is another one of my goals, tho it should go without saying (referring back to Management 101, haha). Playing favorites adds to division in the ranks, which is what I am trying to avoid. Every. Single. Person. in that department brings soooo damned much to the table. I am not saying they all have to agree, but I would hope that, as adults, we can respect each other’s differences of opinion!

      My idealist hope is that we can do just that and move forward.

      Now, tell me two truths and a lie and let me see if I can figure out which is which, my brother! 😉

  3. I’m glad I’ve never been in a supervisory position. I only have to deal with myself, my boss and our clients. Everyone else is just window dressing which I can ignore when I need to.

    • I’ve been supervising the first department for a decade and I remember one day when the laundry department was pretty short-handed. My administrative assistant and I went over to help out (because we are kind of nice that way, haha), and I remember thinking, as I was feeding sheets into the folder, how nice it was to only be responsible for myself and the sheets.

      Most days I love my job, I adore my team, and I really enjoy a challenge, but there are days like today where the reality of not being able to be all things to all people, only being able to do but so much in a day, and thinking it may be uphill for a good part of the coming year that I come home mentally exhausted.

      I can get along with pretty much anyone, and I tend to forget that not everyone can do that, which further lends to my level of frustration.

      Also, I was reminded early in the day today that making the wrong decision doesn’t feel good, but lesson learned, right?

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