As a physician, you have a stake in the culture of your care team and the influence needed to change it. if you find that interpersonal conflicts are contributing to dissatisfaction and inefficiency, identifying the root cause is the first step to helping your team move past problems and perform at a higher level. Ask yourself if the core issue is one of these:
1. Bad behavior is tolerated. If leaders fail to hold individuals accountable for inappropriate or disrespectful behavior or substandard performance, the whole team suffers.
2. The team is overworked. Stress, fatigue, and pressure remove our filters and can trigger fight-or-flight responses. Consider whether you or others are overestimating what people can reasonably accomplish and do what you can to get them the help they need.
3. Someone has a toxic personality. Is there one person on the team who, if he or she were to leave, would largely make the problems go away? If so, the person’s manager needs to be aware of the issue and actively engaged in addressing it.
4. Team members don’t know or don’t trust one another. You spend a lot of time working closely together, but if the members of your care team don’t interact with each other beyond the duties and tasks of their jobs, you rarely get a glimpse of each other's humanity. Find ways to create nonwork interaction at work, such as celebrating birthdays or sharing photos. When stronger relationships develop and trust grows, team members may be less afraid to ask for help and admit mistakes.
Read the full FPM article: “Why Your Health Care Team Doesn’t Get Along.”
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