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Assessing Team Skills

May 1, 2003
Teamwork makes the difference for a successful practice. Have you ever been asked, "Are you a valuable team member?" Have you ever felt like your practice could function better as a team?

Teamwork makes the difference for a successful practice. Have you ever been asked, "Are you a valuable team member?" Have you ever felt like your practice could function better as a team? Many professionals talk about teamwork, but how do you make it work? How do you assess your value and contribution to the team? Teamwork maximizes productivity, but how?

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Wise practitioners know that five primary elements guide a practice to success:

  • Team skills
  • Job skills
  • Continual personal and professional growth
  • Emotional intelligence (sensitivity to others and sharing knowledge)
  • Accountability

Use the rating scale in the table above to assess your team skills (1=poor, 5=excellent). Use this same rating scale for the other four areas as well to see how you measure up.

If your score is above average, congratulations! If your score is below "above average," it's time to re-evaluate the reasons why. Take heart; you can turn your situation around! First, evaluate your goals and your level of training to perform to excellent standards. It might be that you are ready for something new. Proper training can get you there! Continuous improvement is the key to success in teamwork.

To assess personal and professional growth, evaluate several things:

  • Are you committed to improvement? If so, how do you show your commitment?
  • What means do you have to grow in these areas?
  • What is your commitment level to this improvement?
  • Regarding professional growth, are you committed to your patients, co-workers, doctor, and yourself?
  • Regarding personal growth, how would you rate yourself on the time you spend on yourself — alone? Do you know where you want your life and career to take you? Remember, you are in control of this.
  • Who are your supporters? These can be your doctor, co-workers, spouse, or friends.

Emotional intelligence (EI) is important, but what is your EI? How is your relationship with your patients, family, friends, co-workers, and doctor? Good relationships are vital to achieving balance in your life. This does not mean that every relationship has to be perfect, but being sensitive to yourself and others around you can enhance your sense of teamwork and support. Surround yourself with people who support you. You will be amazed at the difference in both you and them!

Accountability is what every team member accepts as his own responsibility. It makes a practice run more smoothly. If you are accountable for something, you know you must complete the task. If someone else is accountable for something else, that person is responsible for that task. You and your team hold him accountable until the task is done or address the reasons why it is not. This leads to increased efficiency in your practice, less stress, and improved profitability.

Implementing these things in your practice should lead to greater harmony, improved patient care, and increased profitability. If you scored less than a "4" on any of the five primary elements, find out which areas you are weak in and make it a goal to learn more about them. If you scored higher than a "4," remember that there is always room for improvement, but you are to be commended for reaching those higher levels. The point is that learning is a continuous process that should be exciting! Re-evaluate yourself in the five major areas every three to six months.

If you would like to start improving immediately, contact Gina McMeans for a complimentary one-hour phone consultation, or meet Ms. McMeans at our Women Working With Women Seminars. Visit Linda Miles' Web site at, or for more information or comments regarding this column, visit

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Gina McMeans, CPC
Ms. McMeans is a Certified Professional Counselor, focusing on improving issues in the predominantly female workplace. She is a national speaker, author, and consultant. Contact Ms. McMeans at (866) 626-3267 or glm@themcmeans