It’s possible that if you’re working as part of a team, you may have an opportunity to attend team meetings.
Being called away from your work with patients/clients to attend a meeting can be frustrating. You might well hear colleagues groan, ‘Oh no, not another meeting!’
But team meetings are essential in building strong teams. It’s often in meetings that the key underpinning parts of teamworking – defining the team’s objectives and the roles each member plays in achieving them – are developed. And team meetings can be central in developing that ‘team spirit’ or ‘team ethic’ we mentioned earlier, in which people get a ‘buzz’ from knowing they’re part of something larger that is really making a difference.
A good team meeting doesn’t involve the team leader doing all the talking and everyone else doing the listening. Instead, the meeting should provide a chance for everyone to:
- agree what’s going to be discussed – setting the meeting’s agenda
- take part in the discussions, with all contributions equally valued
- reinforce the fact that they’re playing an important part in the team and that the other team members are also vital
- see how well the team is doing in achieving the objectives it has set for itself
- recognise and celebrate achievements
- recognise and plan to overcome problems
- raise any concerns about how the team is operating
- reflect on their own and the team’s performance (see reflection).
So don’t be tempted to see your team meeting as a distraction from what you really came into health care to do – care for patients/clients. See it as an opportunity to learn, to make your opinion count, and to have a real influence on the quality of care your patients/clients receive.