Are We Truly a Team ?

Are We Truly a Team ?

Are we truly a Team?

We have learned all the buzzwords, done the team building exercises, given our employees a cool name and planned a staff picnic. Yay, we are a TEAM!!! Not so fast. Let’s talk…..

Defining  a Team

A team is more than a group of people working for the same employer and spouting the same rhetoric. That’s the easy part. After all, we all want to get paid and “if that’s what they want to hear” is the underlying attitude, we don’t have a team; we have sheep.

 “A team is a group ofpeople or other animals linked in a common purpose. Human teams are especially appropriate for conducting tasks that are high in complexity and have many interdependent subtasks. “(Wikipedia).

People need more than a common purpose to become a team. They need a collection of knowledge, a solid goal, an array of experience and a belief in what they are doing and why they are doing it. They need to be stronger together than they are individually. Team effectiveness should not be viewed only in terms of performance. While performance is an important outcome, a truly effective team will contribute to the personal growth of its members.

Creating a Team

A team leader is an important part of assembling a team. This is the person who must keep order, organize assignments and keep everyone working towards the same goal. This must be someone who is respected by the rest of the team and seen as being fair and impartial in their decisions. They must believe in the company, the goal and the people they have assembled. A sense of humor and an ability to see all sides of a story will not go amiss in this position.

Though in a perfect world, we would all agree on everything and things would get done quickly and efficiently, we know this is not only unlikely, it is counterproductive. With no opposition there is no growth; therefore people with different views, education, and experience may make for a more innovative and successful result.

Creating a team is more than assigning several people to do certain jobs for a final outcome. People need to be chosen for their ability to work with others and the contributions they can make as a whole. A person’s past experience should be considered, and their knowledge respected, by the other members. Members will have their own beliefs, standards and moral codes.  They will need to be open to other’s opinions and ideas but not asked to compromise something that is important to them. Often people who are not a part of the core team should be added to the mix for short periods of time to expand the group’s knowledge and experience.

Setting a Goal

We are in this together for a reason. We have a long term goal that needs to be well defined. We need a timeline and we need to know who is responsible for each step to get to that goal. Most of all, we need to believe in that goal and our ability to reach it.

 Assessing results

We have reached our goal! Everything has turned out exactly as we planned it. Congratulations or…

So often things do not turn out the way we expected. We have seen medications that have become more valuable for their side-effects than their original purpose, and employees that were hired for one job and become a star doing something completely different. We have to remember these instances when things are not going quite the way it was planned.

Goals can change, needs can be surpassed, or another, more important, objective may be identified. We are dealing with people and ideas; an open mind is all your team is asking for.

At ShimSpine

At ShimSpine, we work at being a team every day. With Dr. John Shim, we have compiled a group of people with varied talents and experience to reach our final goal.

Jason Mazza has been with him 20 years, operating, seeing patients, writing articles and textbooks and keeping the vibe pretty chill. He is the leader of the team and is always open to new ideas (not a common occurrence with someone who has had the same job for that many years). That little bit of OCD and a sense of humor doesn’t hurt either.

I have worked with Dr. Shim and Jason on many projects over the years. With 15 years of Spine, OR and Practice Management, I try to add the nurse’s take on what we are teaching and putting out to the public.  I also add the  woman’s point of view to the team.

Mark, JK, and Don of Entangle Media are a major part of what we do. Along with building a website, updating social media and keeping us on the cutting edge of technology, they also give us a “non-medical” view of things so we can make things as understandable to the public as possible.

We have our front office staff Kristin and Catie rotate into the team meetings to add opinions, patient input and fresh eyes. They are invaluable.

We have also been building our outside team. Physical Therapy, weight loss specialist, internal medicine and marketing. You will meet them as they add their own spots to our website.

Our Goal

And finally, our goal. To build a practice, where the patient comes first, where the latest in science is combined with respect and kindness, and where people leave us with the feeling they have received the best care possible.


  • Mako T, Svanäng P, Bjerså K. Patients' perceptions of the meaning of good care in surgical care: a grounded theory study. BMC Nurs. 2016;15:47. PubMed PMID: 27493586

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *