This is a example of a Reflective Essay I wrote from the notes I provided to a student who had the topic as an assessment.
As supervisor of this team I think it important that we take a multi-method measurement approach. As such, we will combine qualitative and quantitative designs and tests to triangulate the perceptions and outcomes. The literature shows that self-reflection and peer ratings are fantastic ways for small groups to gauge their level of functioning, cooperation and how to overcome interpersonal conflicts that may affect the outcome of group goals (Prebble & Frederick, 2007).
Understanding of research design and measurement, particularly with regards to team functioning, is critical in health management science. Multi-disciplinary teams are required to service the individual needs and contextual parameters for a client/patient’s care. Thus, knowledge of how a group functions to identify best practices and weak processes is of tremendous benefit to health management workers, patients/clients and the wider community.
In-depth interviews have been used in the past, such as in the research of Crother-Lurin (2006). She found that the team was able to identify challenges in building itself and in keeping an effective attitude toward working together. Her results were used to inform Canadian healthcare in terms of its organisational functions that affect teamwork and the implications of policies that exist at this time as well as their regulation and legislation pertaining to teams (Crother-Lurin, 2006).
However, for this project it is felt that in-depth interviews will be too time consuming, especially in terms of transcribing the recorded interviews and undertaking a thematic analysis. Also, there is a large margin for researcher bias in the way in which answers are interpreted. As such, for this study the team I am a part of will undertake a single focus group with all of us at the beginning and end of our projects, to give a pre-post analysis of overall group cohesion, purpose and implementation of findings.
At the end of our first meeting, each of us will begin to keep a journal for self-reflection of decisions and actions made as a team, grounding our reflections in theories and models to guide better practices. Journal entries will be able to be shared, if the team member wants to, with others of the team during normal meetings and gatherings, as well as at the final focus group.
Sharing of critical insights could help the team to incrementally make changes and monitor those affects and perhaps achieve more goals efficiently and effectively. Also, the continuous self and team analysis by each team member will highlight key behaviours and choices and the consequences of these (Loo & Thorpe, 2002). And, the act of journalling will encourage team members to seek up-to-date peer reviewed reference material as an evidence-base for their insights and conclusions.
Finally, inter-group reviews of performance will take place at the completion of each mini goal before the final focus group meeting. Likert scales and yes/no answers will provide as accurate as possible measures of each team members needs and expectations of other team members. Survey responses are an acceptable way to ensure that each team member defines concepts and boundaries in a similar way, to allow for cohesive decision-making and laser focus on a goal (Chartered Management Institute, 2006).
The combination of methods to measure team performance against expected outcomes will allow for a richer picture of leadership strengths within the team, as well as identifying individual skills, knowledge and competencies. A mix of qualitative and quantitative data collection and analysis will help meet the aims of the 2005 Health Council of Canada goals; to seek to enhance teamwork throughout healthcare settings; to improve inter-professional collaboration in healthcare; to review current policies and systems that may be acting as barriers to the transformation of healthcare into one that is team-based and client-focused (Moore, 2005).
Ultimately, continuous research into practices of a team inform the team and management of team functioning. Further, comparison of outcomes to expectations can inform policy makers as to best practices in the healthcare system to support effective teamwork and improvement of patient/client care and everyone’s safety.
Crother-Laurin, C. (2006, Fall). Effective teams: A symptom of healthy leadership. The
Journal for Quality and Participation, 29(3), 4-8.
Chartered Management Institute. (2006). Steps in successful team building. Retrieved from the
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Robert Loo, Karran Thorpe, (2002) "Using reflective learning journals to improve individual and team
performance", Team Performance Management: An International Journal, Vol. 8 Issue: 5/6,
Moore, L.G. (2006, Mar.). Creating a high-performing clinical team. Family Practice
Management, 13(3), 38.
Prebble, D., & Frederick, H. (2007). 10 Ways to distinguish between a team and a
group. Retrieved from the worldwide web on