Are There “I’s” in your Healthcare Professional Team?

Are you working on a hospital unit or other healthcare workplace where diversity abounds, including personality traits?  I have been in systems where the professionals are so independent, getting them to work as a team  one of my therapist colleagues quipped was like “herding cats”.  If you happen to be the leader of a team of seasoned professionals who seem to listen to the beat of not just one but several different drummers, creating a harmonious group with a shared vision can be a real challenge.   Here are some helpful hints for leaders to try to help create a beautiful mosaic with each professional staff member becoming one valued piece of the whole mural.

TIPS to Help Professional Leaders to Effectively “Herd Cats”:

1.  Identify each staff members’ unique talents and strengths in order to help ensure that they are given (as possible) the patients, other duties or assignments that fit their abilities and preferences.

2.  In meetings, encourage quiet staff members to share their input, and help the more talkative ones to bottom line what they want to say so each member feels they are being heard and respected.

3.  Brainstorm as possible before making a change in charting, etc. to help create buy-in from the team.

4.  Give positive feedback to team members who are helpful (appropriately) with other staff, while gently setting limits with those who are sarcastic to or gossipy about their peers.

5.  Encourage a safe social recurring event such as monthly birthday luncheons to help staff enjoy each other as people and increase a feeling of cohesiveness.

Creating a cohesive team especially when made up of educated, seasoned professionals may be a challenge but when they do come together with a common goal/vision they produce a whole that is even greater than its parts!

Herding Professional Cats Can be a Challenge, but the Rewards When The Team is Successful are Great!

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