Informational Assets: Correct information can be a powerful asset for team success
As a result of participating in this activity, learners will:
- Collaborate as a team to complete a crossword puzzle specifically related to a given topic area.
- Evaluate the impact of what happens when teams have members who withhold valuable information.
- Compare their team’s results to what would happen under similar circumstances in other task-based teams, such as healthcare.
- Assemble participants into teams of 5-6 using some method to ensure diversity/interprofessionalism on each team.
- Split each team into three relatively equally sized groups (segments A, B, and C). One group (segment A) will remain seated, and the other two (segments B and C) will be removed from the space. Each segment of the team will be meeting separately and be given different information. The segment of each group that remains in the room (Segment A) will receive a crossword puzzle which can be solved using the clues provided. One segment of the group that has left the room (Segment B) will be given a list of terms (relevant to the topic being taught), some of which may be correct answers to the crossword, and some of which are not. Not all correct answers are provided on these lists. It is intended that some of the terms used to solve the puzzle may be unfamiliar to all team members. Segment B may share their lists with others on their team. Segment C will be given a shorter list with the remaining terms not disclosed to Segment B. All of the words listed on the Segment C list are correct answers to the puzzle. Segment C members may not show their lists in any way nor talk during this exercise.
- Team members are to work together to solve the puzzle as efficiently and effectively as possible within the given constraints (approximately 5 minutes).
SizeSmall Group, Medium Group, Large Group: 120-250 people
EquipmentMinimal Equipment - Crossword puzzles, topic-specific; accurate word lists; decoy word lists
Team members are accountable to their teams. During times of stress and/or conflict, however, team members may not always be able or willing to share information that might be helpful to achieve the team’s goals.
- What went well?
- What was it like to be a team member who was not able to share information with the rest of the team?
- How did team members feel when they realized that some team members were not fully contributing to the task (in their silence)?
- In what ways do team members on a healthcare team rely on one another to provide the best patient care?
- What might constrain information flowing across a team in healthcare?
- What tools or strategies might members of a healthcare team use to assure that all of the relevant, available information has been shared?
IPEC CompetencyVE 5
RR 2 & 6
CC 1, 2, 4 & 5
TT 1, 5, 8 & 11
LessonCommunication and Leadership
Often, without intending to, teams structure themselves such that team members may not be able or may not wish to fully engage with other team members or the team goal. Communication may become distorted and nonfunctional, and it is up to leaders to help move the team forward.
- What sorts of team structures or organization to think would help a team communicate easily? What structures might prevent that?
- What strategies can leaders use to encourage their team members to offer suggestions or information more easily?
- If communication isn’t working well on a team, where does the responsibility lie to fix it?
- How does leadership on a healthcare team get established?
- On a collaborative healthcare team, what do you think the biggest challenges are to the full exchange of information?
- When teams falter to communicate, teams falter. Describe a situation in which you have experienced poor communication and articulate the consequences. Who was affected most?
IPEC CompetencyVE 4
RR 6 & 8
CC 1, 6-8
TT 2, 5 & 7
In some team situations, members may be absent or distracted. They may assume that information they have is already known to others, or they may not recognize the value of the information they hold. Team members must do everything they can to support one another in the face of these realities by how they respond to or treat other team members.
- How do you know when the information you are receiving in any given situation is either incomplete or just plain wrong?
- How can team members support one another to assure that open communication is happening as it should?
- How should a team address a team member who is either not fully participating or is not sharing all of the information available to them?
- Different people see things through different lenses, and yet we want a team to share a common vision or goal in patient/client care. How can people in different disciplines share information in healthcare in the most effective way(s) possible?
- Team members have one another’s backs. Describe how you think this would work in a patient care situation.
- Describe a situation in which you have needed additional support from a team.
IPEC CompetencyVE 2, 3 & 4
RR 3, 5 & 9
CC 4, 5 & 6
TT 6, 7 & 11
SummaryTeams need information to function effectively. If information is seen, however, as a source of power for the person holding it, a failure to communicate effectively with other team members can have negative and perhaps even catastrophic results.
For more information about how to utilize games, low-fidelity simulation, and interactive learning to teach concepts of teamwork and collaboration, contact Better.Teams@rosalindfranklin.edu