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Team Thinking

My team consists of a number of nurses who work together in the surgery room to help doctors to perform successful surgeries on patients. According to systems thinking, team thinking is the process of having dialogue among the team members through interactions of their minds. It ignores the ideas of individuals thinking by stating that there is a need for forming circles among various members. Bensimon and Neumann argue that team thinking process identifies the function of each individual and combines their individual effective thinking skills to articulate the same goals. However, they emphasized that it is a mental process. Therefore, team thinking simply describes how people come together to think in a particular direction. In addition, they recognized the ability of team thinking to move from utilitarian teams to cognitive teams.

The utilitarian style teams achieve their tasks while their members are not much involved in collective thinking process. These teams focus largerly on achieving their tasks and ignore collective thinking. Unlike the utilitarian style teams, the cognitive style teams are known to be real teams that can perform more tasks than expected. These teams concentrate on collective thinking and reflecting on what to do. As a result, they can achieve more than the set targets. The utilitarian teams work together internally although the outcomes may not reflect their work since they use much time and resource on creating, corrections, generating, arguing, and analyzing their operations. My nursing team is a cognitive team because it has collective thinkers who are able to think over any situation before they perform their tasks. The team has to be cognitive since it takes care of the health and any rush individual decision may result to loss of lives. Thus, it is involved in continuous dialogues to select the best alternatives in the hospital.

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The similarity between team and individual thinking is that an individual must be involved in both processes.  Thus, for a team thinking to be successful it must bring its members together in order to think in the same direction. Likewise, in individual thinking, the individuals are involved in the basis of thinking and any results of one’s thinking are directed to other members. The difference between team and individual thinking is that using the team thinking people are able to discuss more ideas with less time and make an informed decision due to a big number of ideas from all the members meanwhile individuals  has less ideas and more time is needed and thus the decisions may not be the best options. In these teams, effective thinking leads to efficiency. The individuals must be open minded, goals oriented, self-evaluative, share common goals and common skills in their experiences, and practice continuous improvement of their nursing skills.

Teams have eight roles of team thinking as summarized by Bensimon and Neumann.  Among the team members must be definers, analysts, interpreters, criticizers, synthesizers, disparity monitors, tasks monitors, and emotional monitors. The eight roles must be present in our nursing team as operations requires clear analysis and carefully done all the operations in the surgery room. Every step or procedure is interpreted and clearly monitored to provide the best option. As the team leader, I seek to ensure improved team working through each member participating in the operations. In addition, I encourage members to keep trying, setting clear goals, ensuring accountability in every member, establish group codes of conduct that all members must conform to, organize informal gatherings, and lastly, I encourage continuous improvement in the team. By following these steps, the organization will be able to improve its team working and hence achieve its set goals.

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