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Introduction

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Regardless of their experience or rank within the organization, the task of synergizing individual talents into a larger group effort is often problematic for new healthcare manages. Building a team can be a complex task. Trying to establish common goals, objectives, and shared dedication to a mission is one thing—managing and harnessing the abilities and talents of a diverse group of individuals so as to move toward a mutual goal is another thing altogether. If you examine the overall structure of your healthcare organization, you will probably find it consisting of many solid teams. Some departments may be stronger than others—perhaps their members have stronger talents or maybe they work together more smoothly and efficiently. If the department is considered to be a stellar team, it probably has both these elements of talent and group cohesion. As a newly appointed healthcare manager, you can establish a strong team orientation with these resonant and resilient components.

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This chapter will discuss ways of analyzing a team and determining the potential contribution of each member to the team effort. After analyzing the work personality as it relates to health care, the chapter will close with a detailed discussion on establishing and then reinforcing a value-driven team orientation. Upon reviewing these concepts and considering their potential application to your situation, you should be closer to establishing a cooperative, progressive work group.

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As you progress through this chapter, think of individuals in your department and assess what you have observed about each one to the evaluation material presented throughout this chapter. Keep in mind your team's mission and objectives and what you perceive to be key potential obstacles to developing a strong team so that the material herein becomes realistic, effective, and more practical in your own situation.

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Conducting a Team Analysis

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Great teams consist of great players. To build a team, you must first analyze the relative strengths and weaknesses of individual players, both current and prospective. This section discusses methods of analyzing strengths and weaknesses of individual members and developing a system to assess the potential, performance, and contribution of each one. To begin with, you will need a leader's notebook. In this one, make entries about your evaluation of each member (try to be as objective as possible). Use the six basic sources described in the following subsections to compile your analysis.

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Performance Evaluations

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Performance reviews and documentation include the evaluations completed by your management predecessor. Remember that under the best of conditions performance evaluation is a subjective exercise; personal bias on the part of your predecessor might have entered into the equation. While reviewing individual employee files, make copious notes about perceived strengths and weaknesses and the employee's development needs. Note in particular any comments on the employee's ability to work with others and his or her contribution to the team effort. Try ...

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