Hole in One
Optimizing Your Team: Using your team strengths in this specialized learning activity
As a result of participating in this activity, learners will:
- Collaborate as a team to complete an assignment together.
- Organize the team around members’ strengths and utilize them.
- Support team members who struggle with a task essential to team success through valuable feedback and coaching.
- Assemble students into teams of 5-6 using some method to ensure diversity/interprofessionalism on each team. Each team is to complete two tasks in sequence to complete this activity.
- The team is given six plastic drinking cups and a handful of ping pong balls. The team may agree to set up the cups on the table in any configuration they choose with the open end of the cups facing up, and with the surface of the table (with approximately three feet from the table edge to the closest cup) available to bounce the balls prior to their landing in the cup. Once the configuration is established and the activity has begun, the team may not change the position of the cups.
- Each team member is required to get at least one ball into one of the cups. The ball must bounce once on the table before going into the cup. The game ends when all cups have at least one ball in them. The team must satisfy both conditions to win.
Given the similarity to party-based activities in which your students may have participated, you may want to clearly identify the objectives for this activity.
SizeSmall Group, Medium Group
EquipmentMinimal Equipment - plastic cups and ping pong balls
Belonging to a team means that members must sometimes do tasks that are unfamiliar or uncomfortable for the benefit of the team as a whole. That may additionally lead to team members becoming reluctant to continue to participate.
- What went well?
- What did team members appreciate about how others on their team behaved, particularly if some struggled to complete the task?
- How did you feel about your own contribution to the team’s successes?
In patient care we are often presented with patient illnesses with which we are unfamiliar.
- How do we approach these as an individual? Why might a team approach work better?
- As a team, what behaviors can we encourage to keep team members from being reluctant to participate?
IPEC CompetencyVE 4
CC 1, 4, 5 & 7
TT 5 & 11
What looks to some like an easy task to some can be very difficult for others, particularly with naïve tasks. Helping your team to succeed often requires that you encourage members, and may mean that you share your experience with them. You depend on them to succeed for the sake of the team, while they depend on you to help them accomplish the task.
- How did team members encourage you (if at all) to complete your required part of the challenge?
- How did your team allocate responsibility for completing the challenge? Was it on a strength-based model or some other form of assignment of responsibility?
- What should teams do when they realize that one or more members may be struggling? Is it legitimate for them to change expectations of team members part way through the task?
Your patient requires intubation (or another complex procedure). As a resident, you have done this twice with guidance from an attending. This time a new attending gives you no information. You struggle for a minute or two without success and then the attending pushes you out of the way and does it herself.
- How could you have handled this differently?
- How could the attending handled it differently?
- How could the other team members supported you?
IPEC CompetencyVE 4, 7 & 8
RR 2, 5 & 6
CC 1, 4-7
TT 8, 9 & 11
Paying attention to the “big picture” is essential so that “no ball is dropped” in accomplishing goals. While the individual focuses on success, they must also be aware of the team’s overall performance so that no detail is missed.
In our culture, we tend to focus on individual performance, yet on a collaborative team, members succeed or struggle as a unit.
- How can leaders ensure that all team members are fully participating at the top of their skill level? What can be done if it is seen that a member has begun to hold back or withdraw?
- Who is responsible for team successes in a team where leadership is situational, rotational, or fluid?
Surgery is an example of where one provider is the leader but there are many supporting roles.
- What would happen to the patient if the other necessary roles were not filled?
- What would/could cause the “leadership” to change from the surgeon to another provider?
- You notice an important detail the surgeon overlooked? Do you address this? How?
IPEC CompetencyVE 7
RR 2 & 3
CC 1, 4-7
TT 5, 7, 8 & 11
SummarySometimes the success of the team depends on each member contributing to a final outcome. Not all team members are equally capable for a variety of reasons. In this activity, team members must support and encourage others to achieve team success!
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